SLIPKNOT & KORN | Denver Coliseum | November 11, 2014

photo credit: David Burke

photo credit: David Burke

With temperatures in the single digits and about 2 inches of snow falling, the feel and temperatures were exactly the opposite inside the Denver Coliseum. Denver was indeed prepared for hell. The energy and excitement were high for these two pioneering heavy hitters in the metal realm.

Korn came out with their classic track Twist where frontman Jonathan Davis growled and spit out undecipherable sounds while the band thumped out the heavy beats and riffs. They played two songs from their latest album The Paradigm Shift and the rest of their set was mostly from their 90’s albums. They also jammed to the heavy riffing part in Metallica’s classic One and we were all uncontrollably head banging in sync. They ended their particularly short set with the song that started it all for them over twenty years ago: Blind. This was the perfect setting for the next onslaught that was next.

Photo Credit: David Burke

It's been four years since co-founding bassist and principal Slipknot songwriter Paul Gray passed away. A lot of grief and reported pent-up energy have generated the band's return, which emerges amidst the controversial replacement of drummer Joey Jordison. Departure or dismissal, that's as much a mystery as the identity of the new guy under the mask taking Jordison's place. Slipknot has opted to stay mum on the issue. Their set started with the intro track XIX from their latest album 5: The Grey Chapter, a very moody and desperate song that gives the feel that they have been beaten into a corner but now must rise from the ashes, and that is exactly what they did. Almost two hours of punishing riffs, heavy fists and scorching pyro left us without breath and anticipating more.

“Its great to be back here in Denver!” “I have so much love for this special place!”shouted frontman Corey Taylor. As he used to live in Lakewood when he was figuring out his early life. The crowd warmly responded to his genuine comments. Every song that they played had the intensity as if they were playing it for the first time. They are a well oiled machine and now as they are in Japan for two days for Knotfest Japan they will return to the states to continue their onslaught across the country, maybe even back in Denver this spring. 

Hail to the Knot



KoRn Setlist: Twist, Here to Stay, Right Now, Love & Methe, Falling away from Me, Good God, Hater, Shoots and Ladders, (with a snippet of Metallica’s One), Got the Life, Freak on a Leash, Blind.

Slipknot Setlist: XIX, Sarcastrophe, The Heretic Anthem, My Plague, The Devil in I, Psychosocial, The Negative One, Three Nil, Eyeless, Vermilion, Before I Forget, Duality, Wait and Bleed, Spit it Out, Custer, 742617000027, (sic), People = Shit, Surfacing, ’Til We Die 

NEW POLITICS | The Gothic Theatre | November 9, 2014

It’s been a crazy two years for David Boyd, Søren Hansen, and Louis Vecchio. The first time I ever laid eyes on this Danish-American rock explosion was in 2012, right as their radio single “Harlem” was making waves on Top 40 stations across the US. Ultra5280 had made plans with New Politics to play an acoustic set at one of our annual Wash Park summer barbecues during one of their first visits to Denver, but due to a van breakdown that day, the band was running late to their show with Fall Out Boy and had to cancel their park excursion with us to make it on time to soundcheck. The impression they made by simply agreeing to such an outlandish promotional event stuck a chord with me. I was impressed with their willingness to do all they could with their art to reach the top, whether that meant traveling the world in a junky van, or playing acoustic sets for random blogs in a park. When I finally saw their live performance later that night, I knew without doubt that they could not be stopped. The band had potential, a great live show, and their devotion alone would ensure success, no matter how long it took. Last night - a mere two years later - I saw their goals come to fruition in front of a sold out crowd at the Gothic Theatre.

Since that fateful summer day I saw them open for Fall Out Boy, I’ve seen New Politics play four more times, but last night was the first time I’ve ever seen them headline. I was unsure of what to expect…did they have what it took to captivate a room for a full 90 minutes? I should have known better than to doubt, because it was one of the better mid-level shows I’ve seen in years. As guitarist Søren stepped onto stage last night, the crowd went mad. The band seems to have picked up a trick or two from their year spent touring with veteran bands Fall Out Boy and Paramore. Not only was their lighting rig better than any I have ever seen in that venue before, but their stage presence had grown and matured in countless ways since I saw them at KTCL’s “Not So Silent Night” last December. Lead vocalist David took to the stage well aware that he was in control of the room, using this fact to his advantage. Grabbing the hands of fans, and strutting around stage with his jacket half on/half off, it was nice to see them performing not to entice new fans, but rather to enthrall the ones already there. In the past, I’ve seen the band play all their cards quite quickly into their set - David doing headstands and dancing by song three, and Søren whipping out the Ukulele by song two, but this time the band waited - letting the energy build into the set. About one hour into the show, during the song “Burn It Down”, the room went silent; the band had literally been playing so hard that they blew a fuse on one of their rigs. Fans took it all in stride, realizing that the band had meant what they said when they said they would give it their all that evening.


Playing what I believe to be the best cover of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” I’ve ever heard, and a set list filled with fan favorites from both of their full length albums, the show kept you moving beginning to end. One of my favorite moments of the night was when the band played a new song, “Loyalty Among Thieves”, which I guarantee will be the next radio hit off of their next album. The band said they wrote an entire record while out on the road this summer on the Monumentour, and fans can expect it’s release around February 2015. When the band returned to stage for their encore at the end of the night, Søren stepped up to the mic to speak to the crowd for a moment. “Two years ago, we were lucky if we could have had five people (at) our shows, and now this is happening. They say that (nights like tonight) only happen maybe five times in your touring (career), And this is one of those nights. We were so broke and eating so much ramen, but we kept believing in what we were doing, and now this happening, so truly, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” The band closed the show with “Harlem”, and received a standing ovation from the entire room, back of the mezzanine to the front of the stage. The band is growing, their sound changing, their live show developing. Sometimes radio bands get stuck in a rut, failing to progress, yet continuing to grow in radio-driven cities like Denver. It’s taken some time, but the only thing that hasn’t changed since my first run in with these guys is their consistent drive, their unending desire to succeed, and their passion for what they do. I’m curious to see if their Euro-pop blended rock can continue to take over the states, but after this weekend’s show, I’m not too worried for now. 

set list: Perfect, Berlin, Die 4 U, Give Me Hope, My Love, Loyalty Among Thieves (unreleased track), Die Together, Sabotage (Beastie Boys cover), Dignity, Overcome, Goodbye Copenhagen, mashup of “Love Is A Drug”, “We Are the Radio”, and “New Generation”, drum solo, Just Like Me, Stuck On You, Everywhere I Go, Yeah Yeah Yeah, ENCORE: Fall Into My Arms, Harlem.

A LOVE LETTER TO ILLEGAL PETE'S | Locals Only | November 5, 2014

I would like to qualify this little editorial with the simple fact that I am the only Colorado native working for Ultra5280. I've spent a majority of my life taking pride in the things that you can truly "only do in Colorado", and rubbing it in for friends who live elsewhere. I've watched just as many films at Red Rocks as I have concerts (well, maybe...), spent summers hiking through Chataqua and Rocky Mountain National Park, driven for hours up I-70 in the winter just to get one run in on the weekends between homework assignments, and I promise you that *no* day spent in Colorado could be completed in a better fashion than by eating dinner at Illegal Pete's. Pete's food has been a staple in my diet for as long as I can remember. While I was working my way through college, I took the bus to and from work through LoDo every day from my dorm on CU's Denver campus. On Tuesdays I worked until 12am, and would often not get back to the dorms until 2-3am depending on what bus I managed to catch - far too late to get any food from my dining hall. I had few food options that late in the evening, and Illegal Pete's became my surefire choice for dinner each week. Slowly but surely, the staff at Illegal Pete's on the 16th Street Mall began to recognize my face, and would even sometimes delay their close just so I could run through the door and beg them to make one last Queso Burrito before their register closed for the evening. 

The amazingness that is Illegal Pete's does not start or stop with starving, college-aged Maddie. But grown up, post-collegiate Maddie is heartbroken by the negative words being shared regarding the monicker of my favorite burrito haunt, and i've come to take a stand. The older I've gotten, the more involved I've become in both Denver and the world around me. This deeper understanding has shed light on just how deeply rooted this restaurant is in it's community, and how important it is for us to celebrate. From serving local meat in all of their dishes, to the Greater Than Collective record label they run, Illegal Pete's is a community-based company full of like-minded thinkers who strive to make the world a better place. Their efforts to focus their time and financial resources here in Colorado benefits both their staff members and patrons in ways the average joe could never imagine. Unlike their globally franchised counterparts (who are also Colorado based, mind you), Pete's has stayed local, working to help make our Mile High state the best it can be. The fact that so many people are hung up on their choice of name opposed to the good this company brings to our community is absolutely tragic, and weighs heavily on my heart. Illegal Pete's has been a happily functioning restaurant in Colorado since 1995...that's nearly twenty years of happy people eating happy burritos without caring what the word "illegal" could accidentally ensue. Why must we now, in 2014, find the tiniest thing to nit-pick when Illegal Pete's is merely trying to expand their positive reach to another Colorado community?

CU Denver students rocking out at Illegal Pete's during the 2014 Underground Music Showcase.

No one seems to care that the restaurant's name is an homage to owner Pete Turner's beloved father who carried the same given name as he. It also seems that no one cares to educate themselves on all of the community-focused programs Illegal Pete's has to offer to the great city of Fort Collins. Instead, they've chose to focus on the sad, miscommunicated understanding of one measly little word. Illegal Pete's is more than just a name. Illegal Pete's is more than just a restaurant. Illegal Pete's is one of the few remaining local treasures that we as Coloradans are blessed to have all to ourselves, and they give back to this community in immense ways. Owner Pete Turner took his simple dream to open a place with a "fun and energetic atmosphere with music playing (and) employees having fun" and has turned it into a successful, well known food chain spread across the front range. He's created a hugely successful record label that supports some of Denver's most talented musical artists, and has expanded that support to artists worldwide through the Starving Artist Program, which feeds out-of-town bands at no cost while they travel through Colorado. Pete's also supports charities like the American Cancer Society, the Hatian Earthquake Relief efforts by the Red Cross, stepped in to help the Aurora Police Department after the movie theater shootings, the Colorado Springs Red Cross after the fires, the Boulder Flood Relief efforts and many more. 

How can the people of Fort Collins look past these incredible actions of a business, and get so hung up on one adjective that has taken on a sadly negative connotation in this new era of over sensitivity? Times like these make it clear why the world's good people are growing harder to find, as their actions are overlooked to focus on petty battles instead. I urge the citizens of Colorado to lay their negative thoughts to rest, as they will do no one an ounce of good. Rather, I encourage all of you to become more informed, and choose your battles not based on new-age stigmas, but rather based on facts. I hope that this will make all of you choose to research the companies you support just a bit more, and celebrate local heroes like Illegal Pete's, who've asked for no praise for their goodness other than the simple ability to open a new location. Ultra5280 are proud Pete's lovers, and owe them a great debt for late night business meetings, hangover breakfasts, and stopping the dreaded post-UMS "hanger" episodes. We hope Pete's stays "illegal" forever, and hope that Fort Collins can come to love them just as much as we do. 



If you'd like to learn more about Illegal Pete's, please read these articles on their namesake, as well as "Seven Facts You Didn't Know" right here: