Here is it, finally. My final post from the final music festival in Denver this year. Riot Fest Denver Day 3 culminated with the reunion of the *ORIGINAL* Misfits, who have pretty much hated each other for 30 years. I have no idea how they pulled this off, other than perhaps some massive therapy. They sounded great, but sadly, no photographers were allowed in. It happens... and also allowed me to run over and catch NAS, who put on a killer final set of the day. My other standout, of course, was Chevy Metal. I was surprised as I listened to the crowd discussing the band, reading directly from Riot Fest's description. "A 70's rock cover band?" I wanted to scream back at them: "WITH TWO FOO FIGHTERS, YOU GUYS!" I ain't gonna lie. Photographing Taylor Hawkins, perhaps my favorite drummer ever... that was f-u-n, FUN. Everyone else I got to that day was incredible as well. Bleached, Flatbush Zombies (including their awesome romp through the crowd), Bad Religion and especially Gogol Bordello rounded out a day that started great and just kept going. Thanks again for an awesome weekend, Riot Fest. Can't wait to see what tricks you pull out of your sleeve in 2017.
The second day of Riot Fest Denver was full of surprises for me. Sure, I liked the bands playing, but none of my absolute favorites happened to be on the schedule. What surprised me is that many of the bands I did see on day two blew. me. away. In particular, Sleater-Kinney became a highlight of the whole festival. THEY KILLED IT. Rock and roll at its finest with those ladies, to be sure. It was also fantastic to see Denverites DeVotchKa play to such a warm reception, so high on the bill. I am loyal to this band forever - they contributed to my former elementary school concert fundraiser way back in its early days. Set Your Goals, a band I had never heard of before (lame), threw down earlier in the day by running all around the stage and getting the crowd to a frenzied pitch. I almost forgot to take photos because I was having so much fun watching the guys performing, and their fans having fun. So Riot Fest continues to be exactly what we want it to be. Lots of music out in the dust on a hot day in Denver.
At the end of August, I took some time to attend the 360iDev conference here in Denver. 360iDev is the leading indie iOS/Mac developer conference in the U.S. and possibly the world. Over 4 days, iOS/Mac developers gather in Denver to share tips and techniques on everything topics like Xcode tricks, connecting iOS devices with Azure, and getting started with AudioKit.
Why go to the 360iDev iPhone Developer Conference?To be honest, I’m not actually an iOS/Mac developer. I have a few projects that I’m working on, but I have a full-time day job that I took time off from to attend this conference. I love the tools and work with them when I can, but it’s not my primary thing. So why would I want to attend a conference that doesn’t totally apply to me? The first reason is simple: I know the organizers from the Denver tech community. Denver Startup Week (happening right now), Denver Open Coffee Club, and multitudes of meet-ups, unconferences, co-working spaces, and happy hours introduced me to an amazing community of talent and experience. I’m always up for a chance to be around this group and learn more, and I want to support them in any way I can. The second reason is the reputation of the conference. Friends have gone in past years, and it gave them a new perspective on the tech industry. They told me the speakers and sessions weren’t just about the code and optimization techniques - there was always something more about how what developers create can have a larger impact beyond just their applications.
Last month, I interviewed Young The Giant's drummer in advance of the Denver Bud Light Party. It was a fun night - full of music, the arts - and of course, beer. Young The Giant released their latest album Amerika that same week, and if you haven't listened to it yet - be sure to check it out. It's their best yet (in my opinion) and I was blown away by their live show. Young The Giant returns to Denver for two nights at the Ogden Theater in early November. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="700"] Live street art at Denver's Bud Light Party[/caption] Opener The Strumbellas were also lots of fun, and big crowd pleasers. These guys return in December for KTCL Channel 93.3's annual Not So Silent Night music festival - and tickets for that go on sale this Friday.
One of my favorite music festivals is fast approaching and I want to help you win Riot Fest tickets! The lineup is incredible as always, even though people would still complain about it if all four The Beatles rose from the grave and reunited for the show. Which is why, to win tickets this year, we are going to play BAND BINGO!
I have (3) sets of (2) general admission 3-day passes for Riot Fest Denver to giveaway!
Here are our three winners!
Michael T via Twitter
Older Brother Sam via Twitter
Rachel via blog comment
Recently, several Denver bands joined together for the first ever First Class Fest at Summit Music Hall in LoDo. The lineup included Air Dubai, My Body Sings Electric, The Epilogues, Povi, Panther Martin, CRL CRLL, Sur Ellz, and No Coast. How did all those bands play the Summit in one night? By ingeniously alternating between the main stage and Summit's alternative side stage, often billed as the Moon Room. The three headliners are longtime staples of the Denver music scene, and I am lucky to call them all friends. Which makes me sad that I failed yet again to capture The Epilogues, seeing as the band is playing their final show ever (also at the Summit) in August. I have tried and tried and apparently I just suck at photographing these guys. Call it a combination of low light, fast action, and high strobes - I am raising the white flag and simply attending the farewell show to enjoy the music. My Body Sings Electric has always been one of my favorite bands (see our earliest collaboration: a video I made using a small waterproof camera featuring their music that was played on the Kodak Times Square billboard for a week). And I still maintain that Oceancrest is a perfect pop song, even with the dark theme of assisted suicide. Air Dubai reunited for the show and we all could not be happier. These guys are so seriously great live - and lucky for us, they are making new music together as well. The energy they bring to a room is palpable from the first minute they walk on stage throughout every second of their show. I know most of the members have side projects - go see them all for sure - but when an Air Dubai show pops up - BE THERE.
Denver First Class Fest Concert Photos
The 2016 Westword Music Showcase was another killer day in Denver. A ton of local bands played early in the day and national headliners filled the main stage at night. In my opinion, far too many people only show up later and miss some of the best musicians Colorado has to offer, but sadly this year I did not get around to see as many as I would have liked either. [caption id="attachment_12918" align="alignnone" width="700"] Channel 93.3's Nerf (and his "assistant") announcing bands at WMS[/caption]