It's a big tradition at Channel 93.3's Not So Silent Night concert: the Top Ten finalists of Hometown For The Holidays are announced. This song contest has become such an ingrained part of the Denver music scene that some bands specifically record songs just for it. Every year, after musicians from all over Colorado (not just Denver) have submitted their songs to KTCL, a committee that represents a wide variety of music professionals gets together to listen and rate. The list is narrowed down to the Top Ten which is, as I mentioned, announced by DJ Alf during the annual Not So Silent night music festival (which was last night... I think... if I can remember through my massive hangover).
I often say that Nerf and KTCL Channel 93.3 have an uncanny ability to put together a stellar concert lineup and 2015's Big Gig was no exception (click here to see band interviews). AWOLnation, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Banks, New Politics, Atlas Genius, Saint Motel and Colorado band Pandas & People absolutely slayed the main stage while other Denver bands killed it from the "Locals Only" side stage. One little nitpick: Fiddler's Green seems to have sound issues every time I am there which isn't so great for a music venue. I watched band after band struggle with their ear pieces and frantically motion to the sound bounds throughout their sets - New Politics in particular. Banks had technical glitches on her own computer systems and had to cut her set very short. The good news is most people probably didn't even notice, or care, because the place filled much earlier than I have seen in past Big Gig years and was rockin' all night long.
Cage The Elephant is one of the best rock bands out there right now; the whole band kills it while Matt Shultz is turning into something of a muse for me. I was lucky enough to photograph them last year at KTCL's Not So Silent Night, and it was a blast to see them again at Red Rocks. Especially loved how Matt was wearing a Colorado Renaissance Festival t-shirt. Their openers Portugal The Man and The Mowgli's were also great, making the whole night a trifecta of awesome for all of us in attendance.
Cage The Elephant
We had some bad years. Primarily they started with my mom getting sick and ending with me getting sick. 2013 started to turn things around, but last year was good. Really, really good. Sure, we are still struggling out of a financial hole from those dark years, but whatever. Money is money. If I have learned anything this decade, the most important thing is the ones you love, then the experiences you have on the journey. No collection of 365 days can be perfect, nor would I even want them to be. But 2014 was pretty damn awesome. I am so incredibly thankful. Here are my highlights.
Yesterday was 303 Day. Our area code in Denver is 303, so every March 3rd we Coloradans get a little local-centric, especially our indie music station, KTCL Channel 93.3, which plays bands from all over the state all day long.Another cool thing that KTCL does…