This Memorial Day weekend was packed full of events in Denver. Saturday was Denver Day of Rock, a full afternoon lasting until 9:30pm of live music, vendors, food and drinks. The event is presented by Amp the Cause, formerly Concerts For Kids, to raise funds for and awareness of non-profits in our community, and backed by a long list of local and national sponsors.
There were five stages setup along the 16th Street Mall and the 25 bands were staggered in timing. I read up on all of the artists to have an idea of who I wanted to see most at each time. I was impressed by the great reviews and all of the accolades these bands had earned. Nearly all of them were out of state, some had Grammy nominations, others top songs on the Billboard charts, and as a whole offered a spectrum of sound to please the crowds.
16th Street was bustling with people, buses, bikes and vendor tents. The music was the main objective so I missed out on most of the vendors. However, I can tell you about the bars’ offerings. There was beer and wine from Barefoot, Budweiser, Great Divide, Ska, Oskar Blues, Avery Brewery, Odell, and Left Hand Brewing Co. There was every type of liquor from Deep Eddy Vodka, Black Magic Rum, Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, Tequila Exotico, and Broker’s Gin. You could also pack a bag and bring whatever food and drinks you would need as they did not check bags *wink wink*
The clouds and rain came back and forth throughout the event, but there were plenty of places lining 16th Street to duck into. There were also a couple covered beer garden tents and catered VIP tents at every stage. We had a nice hour of sun around 4pm, which was perfect timing to accompany the beach-y pop music of Bestie at the 17th and Arapahoe stage. At 5:30 we went to the Welton Street stage to see the much talked about “kid” play guitar. He is a local 19-year-old boy named Austin Young who draws a crowd with his talent and passion he displays. His show was a fun mix of classic covers and original songs.
Colorado favorite Mat Kearney was delayed almost a half hour as a brief monsoon took residence during the late evening headlining stage. Once the sky cleared the audience rushed the stage to get the best view of the rather pleasing sing along set. Kearney has an infectious pop sound that even finds me singing in the shower to myself at times. He often sells out every show he plays in Denver so seeing him for free in a more intimate setting made for a wonderful experience.
The day flew by for my friends and I. There were so many good bands and many distractions that I felt like I was continually weaving through crowds and tents to get to the next stage. I definitely didn’t get to see everyone on the list I had crafted, but those I did see sounded great and put on a good show. None of the stages were crowded, so you could get any viewing spot you wanted with a little effort. We all had a great time, I just wish the time didn’t fly by!