White Arrows & Shady Elders | Larimer Lounge | February 18

Larimer Lounge is always the venue that you look back and say, "I saw that band at Larimer Lounge and look at them now!" That's exactly how I feel about the bands we saw on last Wednesday night. But first, let me preface this review with an apology. First and foremost, I am deeply remorseful for using the hashtag #rockordie during Slow Caves set. I see now that it was a grave mistake and I am forever indebted to Castro and to our followers who had to see that. Secondly, I am sorry for this review being so late. I was one of the many fools who decided to venture up to the mountains for the "snowpocalypse". Which resulted in lot and lots of I70 closures and sitting in my car writing this story in my mind. Anyways, I hope that you fine readers can see past all of my imperfections and still find the time to check out these bands.

This was our second time seeing White Arrows, the first time we saw them was when they opened for The Neighbourhood at The Ogden Theatre. This time around there were less screaming tweens and more swooning 20-somethings. White Arrows definitely has this mysterious, rocker vibe down to a tee and the crowd was picking up what they were putting down, if you can catch my drift. To put it into perspective, in order to get decently close to the front one would have to elbow through 6 chicks staring doe eyed at the musicians and risk a perfectly manicured scratch to the forearm. For good reason though. Their looks and "swag" as the kids are saying were definitely on point, but more so than anything, it was their music.

White Arrows has upgraded from pop-punk into their own distinct genre. Ranging from indie undertones to rockish roots, they've fully grown into their skin. Throughout the night they introduced us to some new songs along with peppering in some of their classics. The new tunes were a refreshing surprise as it maximized the unique sound I mentioned earlier. They seem as though they've stepped away from poppy-ness of their youth and upgraded into full-blown indie heartthrobs. Also, they decided to bring Shady Elders along with them for part of their tour which is just another degree of awesomeness.

Shady Elders was the very first band that I saw play at Larimer Lounge. They opened for Youth Lagoon and immediately I was taken with how amazing they were. Listening to Shady Elders play is reminiscent of your first heartbreak where you were left sulking around solemnly and devastated. Where the only thing that dried your streaked cheeks was finally finding THAT album (you all know what it is...Elliott Smith, Conor Oberst...) that understood exactly what you were going through. The addiction you felt to the album at such a young age, is exactly how every song they play makes you feel.

Lead singer and guitarist, Fox Rodemich has a voice that is like an ethereal lullaby coupled with a Stevie Nicks-esq  raspy-ness. It is beautifully unique and hard to put down in words. We recommend checking them out and listening for yourself. They're Denver local and play a lot of shows around the city. Or as our Managing Editor, Castro likes to do when he finds a new band he loves: grab a bottle of his favorite merlot, pop in a pirated version on Fifty Shades of Grey and listen and cry to the album all night long. 

Check out both White Arrows and Shady Elders on Spotify and iTunes!

Wiredogs | Marquis Theatre | January 24, 2015

Last week we gave you guys a sneak preview of Wiredogs new, upcoming EP Kill The Artist Hype The Trash, and over the weekend the band premiered their new songs to the rest of the universe with their show at The Marquis Theatre on Saturday night. Fans new, old, and of a variety of ages all came out to support the Denver punk-rockers, and get a taste of the bands new, solidified musical direction. With a little help from friends in Slow Caves and Allout Helter, it was a solid night for all parties. 

photo by Matt Smith

Opening the night were fellow local acts Slow Caves and Allout Helter. Fort Collins-based Slow Caves took the stage promptly at 8:00pm, playing what our photographer Matt Smith described as "fast-paced-snare-and-high-hat-punk". The group's music was certainly the lightest of the evening, but don't mistake this fact as a knock on the band, as I really love their music. Driving rhythms, and upbeat pop-punk rhythms kept fans moving for the duration of their 30-minute set. If you showed up late, or missed the show, fear not. Us Denverites will be graced with their presence once again on February 18th as they play with White Arrows and Shady Elders at the Larimer Lounge. Next up was Allout Helter, bringing with them a quick and forceful change of pace. Easily the heaviest band on the bill, the group's high energy was contagious, and got fans rocking and moving. 

By the time Wiredogs took to the stage, the audience was definitely all warmed up and ready to go. Playing a mix of both new and old songs, it was apparent that lead singer Dan Aid, and the rest of the band were giving it their all. Fan favorite tracks like songs “Chelsea Hotel” and “Stone On My Chest” summoned sing-alongs from audience members, and the boys from Slow Caves took little time to start a mosh-pit in the crowd. The band took a minute to explain to fans that they’d recorded their new album live, playing songs track-by-track, rather than instrument-by-instrument to help ensure that all the passion and energy that one feels at their live show came though on the record, and if you remember from my review from last week, I can most certainly feel that difference. Closing the show with songs like “I Am The Resistance”, and new tracks “The Fear Is A Lie”, fans got a great taste of this new sound from Wiredogs. If you missed the show, check out photos from our photographer Matt Smith below and try to pretend you were right there, rocking along. The band is currently out on a quick west coast tour, but should be back to Denver playing shows through the rest of the spring. For now you can quench your thirst for fast-paced punk rock by streaming the new EP, Kill The Artist Hype The Trash on Spotify.

New Music Tuesday | Locals Only Edition: Wiredogs "Kill The Artist Hype The Trash"

Happy New Music Tuesday, friends and foes! This month is packed full of new music from some of our favorite local bands, so brace yourselves as last week, this week, and next week are all heavy hitting hometown releases. Last Tuesday we brought you coverage of the new Filthy T album set to debut this weekend, but they’re not the only band who will be bringing new tunes to your earbuds in the next seven days. Local rockers Wiredogs will be premiering their brand new EP this Saturday night at The Marquis Theatre, but we got our hands on a sneak preview this week to tell you all what to expect. 

This three-piece from Denver are certainly not new to the local scene, nor to rock and roll. Originally named The Hate (a name so punk that they were forced to change it), the groups first EP titled Resistance garnered interest in Denver and led to shows at UMS in 2013 and 2014, performances with Agent Orange, Residual Kid, The Ataris, fellow rock locals In The Whale and more. This past fall they were one of three local bands asked to play at Riot Fest Denver, but they’ve kept a bit quiet since that show, working hard on this new, EP Kill The Artist Hype The Trash. When we first were introduced to the awesomeness that is Wiredogs, it was inherently apparent that there was massive talent and potential spiraling around, but the band seemed unsure of which direction they were headed musically. Straddling the lines of punk, classic rock and even sometimes ska, the groups live show was so high energy and the tracks so catchy that you couldn’t not love it, but every track still felt different from the next…different enough that it left you to wonder what was precisely at play. 

    The groups new EP seems to have taken that next step forward, finally locking their sound to a more specific genre, creating a more coherent experience for the listener. Kicking off with the high energy track “Violence”, frontman Dan Aid’s grungy voice elicits a forced awareness from the listener; one can not passively listen to this album. The driving guitar riffs and consistent melodies roll from track to track, complimented by drummer Stefan Runstrom’s choice to hold nothing back. One of my favorite drummers currently playing in the Denver scene, I really appreciate how much this recording allows the listener to hear him playing as hard as he does at every live show - something hard for an audio engineer to successfully reproduce. This magical drum sound happens to be a known talent of The Blasting Room, the infamous Fort Collins-based studio the band recorded at. Aid has always delivered catchy hooks and memorable chorus’, but there’s something new about the writing on Kill The Artist Hype The Trash that I can’t quite place. The ability for the listener to focus on this more might honestly be thanks to the consistency of the music behind the lyrics, although I can’t be certain. My favorite song of the record is the last track, “Fear Is A Lie”, a memorable, anthemic, beat-driven single thats a surefire hit with both new fans as well as those familiar with the group’s past work. To say i’m anxious to hear these new songs live would be an understatement. I’ve always enjoyed the band’s live show, but I finally feel like the group’s music is consistent enough to make their performances what they’ve always hinted at: a coherent build up of emotion and release, driving impassioned fan reaction beginning to end of the set. 

If you want to check out this newly revised version of Wiredogs, you don’t have to wait long. The band is releasing this brand new EP this coming Saturday, January 24th at The Marquis Theatre. Tickets are going quick, but I implore you to pick one up quick and not miss out on what will be a strong local release of 2015. For now, check out the group's last single, "Chelsea Hotel" here on SoundCloud: 

New Music Tuesday | Filthy T's "Twice The World Away, Vol. 1" EP

It’s a new year, so why not jazz up life with a little new music to match? This year KTCL’s Hometown For The Holidays competition formally introduced Denver to Filthy T, a new age rock and hip hop collision who’s produced a sonic boom of funky jams soaring right to our earbuds. Although the band has been together for nearly eight years, this year seems poised to be the band’s biggest yet. We all fell in love with their radio single “Hearts On You” during the Hometown competition, but the band is set to release five more tracks for fans on January 23rd with the release of their new EP “Twice The World Away, Vol. 1”.

A mix of dance beats, funky horn and guitar lines, and upbeat lyrics, the new “Twice The World Away” EP showcases the unique blend of genres the band has mastered during their time together. The calculated feel of the rapping on track “Colors” reminds listeners of the style of Atmosphere, while the next song “Never Been Alone” feels much more closely related to the up-beat, anthemic pop tracks that have been all over the radio lately. Not sure how you’ll feel listening to something so eclectic? I guarantee you’ll be on board by the end of the album’s first track, “Horns”, a high energy welcome to Filthy T family that you can’t sit still to. With distant familiarities to other locals Air Dubai and Bop Skizzum (who they’ve opened for multiple times), Filthy T’s EP is a sampler platter, showcasing the band’s diversity to it’s fullest and acting as an easy introduction for any new fan. Be sure to dig around once you get your hands on the EP for a hidden track that has totally become my jam recently. The band is playing a release party the night of the 23rd at the Marquis Theatre (tickets on sale here) and we’ll be giving away a pair tickets for you and a friend to check it out, so keep your eyes on all things Ultra5280 early next week.

Ultraween 4 | Event Video

Here it is folks the Ultraween 4 video courtesy of the very talented Govinda Tamburino. Many people ask about our parties. Let's just say we like to turn it up to 11 and get a bit crazy. A huge thanks once again to our presenting sponsors Deep Eddy Vodka and Breckenridge Brewery for their support. Next up Ultraversary 4 this coming Spring. Prepare your liver now.

Hometown For The Holidays | A Hometown Christmas Carol

This past Saturday marked the 2014 Hometown For the Holidays competition, a show which led to local newcomers AMZY taking home both the crowd favorite award of the night as well as the top prize of taking 1st in the music surveys, winning them time at the Blasting Room, and the opportunity to open next year's Not So Silent Night

The contest itself might be over, but this year showcased a delightful new level of camaraderie between the competing bands than we've ever seen before. Although there was less "#DenverBandBeef" than we've come to expect (and love) from this competition, we did get one big band medley out of it, and it's this fabulous rendition of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" that the boys from Filthy T put together with fellow competitors Amzy, DeDoz, Rumours Follow and Ivory Circle. Just in time for Christmas, you can throw this awesome local cover onto your holiday party playlist and just wait for friends to ask you who it is. Mad props to Filthy T for putting this all together, and consider this your "happy holidays" from your Ultra5280 family to yours. 

Friday Night Fun | Wild High Album Release feat. Turner Jackson

It's the Friday before Christmas and we are smack in the middle of Hanukkah. Even if you don't admit it, this time of year everyone can get a little overrun by the holiday spirit - sometimes you just need a break from the spiked egg nog and ugly sweater parties. If you're looking for a good excuse to get out of your holiday office party, or just looking for a fun way to spend one of the last Fridays of 2014, look no further than Wild High's release party tonight at the Larimer Lounge. 

Local indie-psych rock band, Wild high, has had a huge year. After joining the Red Bull Sound Select roster wowing crowds with sets on the main stage at Denver's UMS, packing the stage at Denver Psych Fest, and performing a CPR Open Air studio session, the band refuses to end this pivotal year without a band. In fact, they are celebrating the end of the year with the highly anticipated release of their debut 10-track album SDREAMS. 

If you're familiar with Ultra5280, the name Turner Jackson might be familiar. A Local hip-hop artist, and entertainer extraordinaire, Turner helped us get "turnt up" at our Ultraversary party this past April. Tonight he will be opening the show for Wild High, and taking this opportunity to debut his brand new live backing band, an exciting change to the rapper's already charismatic live show. 

Tickets are an easy $10 at the door tonight, and this is a show you do not want to miss! Doors are at 8:00pm, the show at 9:00pm, and we hope to catch a few of you getting down tonight. 

Riot Fest Denver | Sports Authority Field at Mile High | September 19-21

The Riot Fest crowd catching 3OH3! (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Ahh, Riot Fest. A weekend filled with punk mutants, vomiting girls, carnies and "under-butt". For those of you that don’t follow us on Instagram and Twitter, "under butt" is what happens when girls wear high wasted shorts and half their butt hangs out. Why do we mention this? we love it. With asses and beer galore, we were able to sit back, relax (with Slayer blaring) and take in yet another beautiful Riot Fest. This weekend officially marked the end of festival season for the year, and we certainly made the most of our final hours with funnel cake and turkey legs.

This was Denver's second year hosting Chicago's rowdy punk festival, and despite the change of scenery, some may argue that this year got it right. 

Radkey one of the days surprise sets. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

The biggest change to the festival this year was the location. After a bout of petitions and protests from a few unhappy members of the Byers community, the city voted to not allow the punk rock festival back within county boundaries. Riot Mike and the rest of the festival's team decided to take this the only way they know how, with salt on the rim, and fire in their loins. Determined to win back the heart of Byers, Riot Fest themed this year's festival around the little country town. Offering discounted tickets to the residents of Byers, filling the venue with tractors and hay bails, and naming all the stages after Byers city landmarks (Country Feed Store, May Farms, etc), it was apparent the festival wished it was out east at its inaugural location instead. 

Matt Berninger of The National closing out the final night of a cold, rainy Riot Fest (Photo Credit: Matt Smith)

Despite the forced change of scenery, we were pleasantly surprised by the use of Mile High's parking lot. Denver is used to seeing this as the Warped Tour venue, so it was hard imaging the layout being able to differ greatly, but what a pleasant surprise this weekend was. The venue's traffic flow was fantastic, the lines for bathrooms nominal, and bands promptly started one after another, avoiding the much dreaded festival "lag time" all have come to expect. There is something magical about being out in a corn field miles from civilization, but the layout at Mile High just....worked. The decision is up to Riot Fest (after they win in court against Arapahoe County), but we're very curious to see what venue is used in 2015. 

We’ve summed the entire weekend up into a few different categories:

Riot Fest 2014 (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

The Crowd:
From air fisting cowboys to cape-wearing WuTang super fans and green mohawks, the crowd at Riot Fest did not disappoint. We believe that people watching at Riot Fest should be considered as an Olympic sport. Is there a way to vote that into existence? When we weren’t busy ogling our childhood heroes, we were taking in the wonderful scenery. We saw a woman eat a sword, a man dance around on his torso, and a girl barf something bright red all over the grass and then proceed to lay in it. It was perfect. 

TV on The Radio (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Our Favorite Acts:
City and Colour, TV On The Radio, Weezer, NFG, Taking Back Sunday, In The Whale, Manchester Orchestra, 3OH3!, Radkey, Dum Dum Girls, Descendants, Me First and The Gimme Gimme's.

By the Numbers:
$1 - the amount of money made at the “Watch This Video for a Dollar Truck!” - Somethings you can’t unsee. 
4 - the number of times we watched someone puke after The Zipper Ride
6 - trench coats
2 - nours amount of time Robert cried at The Cure
12 - the number of people we saw get dropped after crowd surfing
1 - the amount that the Broncos lost to the Seahawks :(
24 - cans of Red Bull we drank collectively as a team
1.1 Miles - the length that you would have to walk around Mile High if you missed the entrance and proceeded to walk aimlessly around Invesco

Check out our Riot Fest photos courtesy of Matthew Smith and Robert Castro