Gods of Summer Tour ft. Ra Ra Riot, Jimmy Eat World and Third Eye Blind

Third Eye Blind (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

On a cold rainy Saturday, Denver witnessed the Gods of Summer Tour featuring Third Eye Blind and Jimmy Eat World. Anybody growing up in the mid to late nineties got to witness two of music post grunge pioneers. The tour stopped at Levitt Pavilion this past Saturday, with rain forecasted throughout the night concert fans got lucky as the stormed only played havoc for about 20 minutes before the skies cleared and the bands belted out all the classics we have come to love. Ra Ra Riot opened up the festivities to get things started. Followed shortly by the band from Tempe, Arizona. Jim Adkins and company rallied in the rain to give us a dose of nostalgia from albums such as Bleed America, Static Prevails and Futures. Fan favorites included “The Middle”, “Sweetness” and “Pain”. The band has maintained its cult following for years now and luckily for us we have had the chance to follow them throughout their fabled careers.

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World slaying in front of a packed Levitt house. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

As the rain stopped it was time for bay area rockers Third Eye Blind to hit the stage. Adorned in a bright yellow hoodie with matching sneakers frontman Stephan Jenkins and company opened with “Screamer”, which happens to be the name of their forthcoming album set to drop in July. Playing out like the soundtrack to any 90’s teen movie the band ripped through classics such as “Never Let You Go”, “Semi-Charmed Life” and “Jumper”. The band managed to show its relevance with Jenkins commanding the stage, some brief audience banter about the show feeling like a basement show due to its intimate setting and lack of production lighting (weather uncertainties caused them to stay in their trailers). For some it was a show that featured two bands that had a major impact in their teenage adolescent years, while others basked in the comfort knowing that good music still exists even if they achieved popularity in the 90’s.

Ra Ra Riot (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Bumbershoot Day Lineups Announced

Seattle's Music and Arts Festival, has announced the 2019 day-by-day lineup. Taking place over Labor Day weekend, Friday Aug. 30 through Sunday Sept. 1, the 49th annual Bumbershoot will feature an eclectic list of performers including headliners Tyler, the Creator, The Lumineers, REZZ, Louis The Child, among others. Weekend passes are currently on sale. Single day passes starting at $99 and two day passes starting at $165 are also on sale now for a limited time at Bumbershoot.com.


More than 100 artists will perform throughout the weekend on more than a dozen indoor and outdoor stages spread throughout the 74-acre festival grounds, which includes both Memorial Stadium and Museum Of Pop Culture. Days for Comedy and Conversation performers and programming have also been released.

DAY-BY-DAY SCHEDULE - 2019

Friday

Music

Tyler, The Creator, *****, Hippie Sabotage, Alina Baraz, Snow Tha Product, SOB xX RBE, Bryce Vine, SOL, Flora Cash, Madison Beer, The Dip, Shaed, Morgxn, Y La Bamba, Evan Konrad, Jagwar Twin, School of Rock Seattle, Tourist Company, Art D’Ecco, Laza

Comedy & Conversation

Ramy Youssef, Punch Up The Jam, Ian Karmel, #Adulting with Michelle Buteau and Jordan Carlos, Quinta Brunson, Shane Mauss, Dulcé Sloan, Irene Tu, Emma Arnold, Mohanad Elshieky, Scott Losse, Evelyn Jensen, Levi Manis

Saturday

Music

The Lumineers, H.E.R., Jai Wolf, LP, Carly Rae Jepsen, Summer Walker, Rival Sons, A R I Z O N A, Alec Benjamin, Coin, Matt Maeson, Two Feet, Donna Missal, half*alive, Alex Lahey, Jasiah, The Blue Stones, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Alex Cade, I///U, Baja Boy, USC Event’s Silent Disco @ Chihuly Garden and Glass feat. Hex Cougar, Lowsh vs. Farraday, Web vs. Coltan Johnson, Hherb vs Vitamin B, DJ Onyxx vs. Night Audit

Comedy & Conversation

Neal Brennan, Ramy Youssef, Ian Karmel, Jak Knight, Zack Fox, Quinta Brunson, Stand Up Science with, Shane Mauss, Jo Firestone, Dulcé Sloan, Irene Tu, Emma Arnold, Mohanad Elshieky, Scott Losse, Evelyn Jensen, Levi Manis

Sunday

Music

REZZ, Louis The Child, Taking Back Sunday, Clairo, Bob Moses, Reignwolf, Gallant, Bea Miller, The Midnight, Kiana Ledé, Pink Sweat$, The Aces, nothing,nowhere., Manatee Commune, Kolars, Ryland James, DJ Scheme, Emily Rowed, Fuzz Mutt, Tracksuit Wedding, L.A. Edwards

Comedy & Conversation

Ramy Youssef, Ian Karmel, Jak Knight, Zack Fox, Jo Firestone, Dulcé Sloan, Fahim Anwar Dance Hour, Irene Tu, Emma Arnold, Mohanad Elshieky, Scott Losse, Evelyn Jensen, Levi Manis

Everyday

Arts & Culture

Totally Legit, Seattle Design Nerds, Urban Artworks, Tariqa Waters presents Martyr Sauce, Electric Sky, Trivia Puppet Company, Drag Queens of Seattle with Arson Nikki, Butylene O’Kipple, Cookie Couture, Solana Solstice, Mercury Divine & Britt Brutality, Laser Dome presented by Pacific Science Center, Hair Flip Comix Newspaper, Kelly O, Alchemy Arts Collective, Design In Public, Eric Nyffeler, Yogashoot presented by CorePower, Sarah Lovett, Polite Society, Art/Not Terminal Collective, SIFF

Culinary

B-Eats: Musang, Wood Shop BBQ, Gracia, Bok A Bok Fried Chicken, Southpaw Pizza, Matt’s In The Market, Radiator Whiskey, Frankie & Jo’s, Adana, The White Swan Public, House, Manolin, Bar Harbor, Sawyer

J. Lo Dazzles In Denver With Her It's My Party Tour

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Jennifer Lopez is currently in the midst of her current tour rightfully named the It’s My Party Tour. The party invaded Denver’s Pepsi Center this past Wednesday night as the atmosphere came to life via an amazing glamorous production. For me personally I was sharing my own birthday so the whole night seemed surreal and a perfect way to celebrate. Now we’ve all know Lopez from her television/film/dance background, seeing her live proved to be worthy as she proved to be one of the industry’s most charismatic artist. With a production featuring lights, balloons, smoke, pyro, and a hanging dazzling chandelier that dropped to the center of the stage, there wasn’t a single vantage point in the whole arena that didn’t warrant the price of admission. That as well as the numerous costumes and outfits she graced the crowd with. Jaw dropping ensembles paired perfectly with the production giving each song even more meaning.

Lopez has recently shined with her collaborations with fellow latino artist such as Pitbull, Bad Bunny, and Cardi B. In fact the mostly dominant latino crowd ate up the celebration as they sang word for word from her vast catalog. Spanish hits such as “Dinero”, “Te Guste”, “Te Bote” and “El Anillo”, all set off impromptu dance parties across the floor and up and down the aisles.

She did manage to reach back into the archives with fan favorites we have come to love such as “Get Right”, “I’m Real”, and “Jenny From the Block”. It was those songs that introduced the world to Jennifer Lopez and seeing them come to life with amazing pageantry reminded us how far J. Lo has come. Much of the credit to her live performances has to go to the amazing dancers she has brought on this tour, a former fly-girl herself, Lopez meshed amazingly well with each choreographed routine.

J. Lo dazzles in Denver. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

J. Lo dazzles in Denver. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

One of the most touching parts of the show was when she brought out her daughter Emme for their version of “Limitless/Titanium”. It’s heartfelt moments such as that which enables Lopez to control the show from an all out dance party to a more sincere moment at the drop of a dime.

The consensus amongst the crowd as they exited the aisles was a shared admiration for what they had just witnessed. For me it felt more personal as I mentioned it was my birthday and I felt like the whole show was dedicated to me, an amazing way to celebrate my day.

A Conversation With Nick Murphy (Chet Faker)

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We had a chance to talk to Nick Murphy recently about a variety of topics including the name of the new album, freeing himself from his previous moniker of Chet Faker, and his frequent amazing collaborations. Nick Murphy fka Chet Faker will be in Denver on June 21, 2019 at Ogden Theatre. Nick Murphy is heading out on tour in support of his forthcoming album Run Fast Sleep Naked out April 26 on Downtown / Future Classic / Opulent.

U5280: Let’s talk about Run Fast Sleep Naked, where did the name for that title come from?

Nick: I was 16 or 17 I was into writing poetry. That phrase was always meant to be the name of my first album. It was perfect to come back to it as it related to what is going on in my life.

U5280: Do you think this album frees you clear of your previous Chet Faker persona?

Nick: I don’t think, honestly when i made that decison I knew that I would be talking about it for a long time. The one thing that was really hard to explain in a simple fashion was that the name had become a heavy coat that i would have to take off, as soon as i finished thinking about it all this music came flooding out. I knew it was… i just had to do what was most important musically for what it seemed crazy for my career. I had to do it for myself because i didn’t denote myself to consider my music was the most important thing, I wasn’t just doing this for…success or anything like that. So i think that was kind of the idea, but i think there is still a bit of time of it will always be a part of what i make I will always love making music like that.

U5280: You spent four years traveling the world with a microphone in your suitcase for this album, where were some of those places?

Nick: Japan was a place, particular Koyasan which is a mountain valley, four hours out of Tokyo, that was a place i spent a few times just to get some quiet time. I really went to many places that drew me, like the southwest as well in the states, I found myself increasingly more and more drawn to the desert terrain. There’s something really clear about that kind of land. I also spent time in Morocco (where i shot the record cover) a self portrait, I went and stayed in the desert for three days and shot rolls and rolls of film it was like 110 degrees it was crazy. 

I’m from West Texas and i can relate to the terrain out there.…

Ah hell yeah, I feel like a lot of Americans don’t realize how nice it is down there. I think it’s beautiful.

U5280: You have collaborated with the likes of Kaytranada, and Flume in the past, what goes into choosing who you collaborate with and is there somebody who you would love to work with in the future?

Nick: It’s usually just who I meet personally, people i came across in my life. I think with collabs they are something i have to have a personal connection with those people. Whether it be Harley (Flume) or Kay or Bonobo all these people I have met at festivals or shows and we just talk about music and stuff like that. I don’t really like working with strangers it has to be pretty personal, i like to get along with someone. Sometimes i get in a room and im like get me out of here, if im not feeling that connection.

I read you want to work with Nigel Goodrich (Radiohead)

Absolutely he’s on a list of potential people, my manager has been in touch with his manager. I would also like to go back and work with Rick Rubin. 

Reader Questions:

U5280: Elise find that you’re really evocative, so would love to know if "Talk is Cheap" evokes a specific sense of place or experience for you?

Nick: Absolutely, it does, i don’t like telling everyone what the song means to me, the power of music is what it means to someone else…umm but that’s an old song for me it reminds me of my ex girlfriend at a time when we lived together, that song is about the beginning of our relationship it reminds of going through a hard time and trying to work on stuff you know. Definitely evocative.

U5280: Kyle wants to know: With all the multitude of instruments and variety of ways you make music, where do you usually begin your songwriting and the bones of your songs?

Nick: It’s not always the same but it does change a lot, I will say in general and this isn’t  100 percent of the time. Almost they start with live pianos and keys, chords and singing and writing, most of them have been written on my laptop, and usually recorded on a plane.

U5280: Finally what can your fans of Denver expect for your show on June 21?

Nick: Umm two days before my birthday, I’m trying to create a place of warmth, the show itself has been evolving with the album. A new layout and a lot of old stuff and new stuff. I feel really great about the shows coming up. I encourage people to bring flowers and set them on stage to create an amazing experience. 


Anderson .Paak Delivers the Show Of The Year (so far...)

Anderson .Paak looks up in awe off the Red Rocks crowd. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

We have reached the almost mid-way part of the year, and usually about this time we get to witness a show that is deemed as an early front-runner for show of the year. Friday night Anderson . Paak may have easily won that honor. The Best Teef In The Game Tour as it is aptly titled stormed into Red Rocks on Friday night. Getting the evening started was Colorado favorite Thundercat who ripped through baselines like a bat out of hell. Next up was Earl Sweatshirt who’s lyrical prowess was appreciated by all.

The stage was set for .Paak as a silhouette emerged behind a LED box with only him and a drum set barely visible as the flames that adorned the stage lit up as he slowly rose up and appeared above above the stage. Flanked by his amazing band The Free Nationals the California native ripped through his extensive catalog of hits from all four of his albums (aptly named for California cities). Crowd favorites included “Come Down”, “Glowed Up” (Kaytranada Cover), “Bubblin”, “Come Home”. Yielding his biggest production to date, .Paak showed all 9,000 plus in attendance why he sone of the most versatile performers in the business. He showcased his drumming skills on a few of the songs and left a lasting impression with a tasteful tribute to the late Mac Miller to end his set. All in all the buzz after the show was felt with a positive vibe knowing that we had just witnessed a show for the ages.

SETLIST: Heart Don’t stand A Chance | Saviers Road | Come Down | Tints | King James | 6 Summers | Glowed Up (Kaytranada Cover ) | Smile | Reachin’ 2 Much | Time | Make It Better | Put Me Thru | Anywhere | Might Be | Trippy | The Waters | Jet Black | Suede | Bubblin’ | Milk n’ Honey | Come Home | ENCORE: Am I Wrong | Lite Weight | Dang (Mac Miller Cover)

Images and Words: Robert Castro