Baby Metal Invades Denver With An Epic Performance

BABYMETAL (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Walking upon the Ogden Theatre this past Friday one would have thought a band like Slayer or Iron Maiden may have been playing. The demographic ranged from grown men dressed in metal garb to young girls dressed in the latest fashion trends seen in Asia. Babymetal has been on our radar for a minute and they have toured with the likes of Lady Gaga, Metallica, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Suzuka Nakamoto of BABYMETAL (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

The live show is something to see as members of the group carefully choreograph every dance move backed by a heavy metal array of musicians(Kami Band). You are almost lost in the performance forgetting it’s an actual metal show for a second to admire the precision and amazing theatrics taking place in front of your eyes. Some may argue that the performance is a novelty gimmick when in reality it is a force of nature that has the band continuing to sell out shows all over the world.

We were pretty impressed by not only the performance but by the fan engagement during the show, not only were people banging their heads but we were dodging crowd surfers in the photo pit. If you ever get a chance to see Babymetal (BABYMETAL) do not hesitate… us.

BABYMETAL performing at The Ogden Theatre (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

BABYMETAL (Photo Credit: Robert CAstro)

The Velveteers Shine As They Embark On Their UK Tour

Demi Dimitro of The Velveteers (Photo Credit: Kate Rose)

On Saturday The Velveteers kicked off their UK tour with a show in Denver at the Bluebird Theater. The venue was filled with fans eager to support this badass trifecta and wish them well on their tour. The eerie mood was easily set between the incredible stage design, created by Sierra Voss, and fog rolling out into the crowd. The stage was covered in candles and roses, five floating eyes, a handpainted banner, along with vintage TVs displaying hypnotizing clips of the band. Add all of that to the already impactful sound of The Velveteers and you were left with an almost out of body experience. Your eyes continuously move around the stage between the set design, Demi’s euphoric voice paired with her fluid guitar strokes, to wanting to watch John and Adrian complement each other’s drumming prowess. This has been a wonderful group to watch grow, and we’re definitely ready to see where they go from here.

The band is set to hit the stage again overseas on September 10th at Broadcast in Glasgow.

Words and Images- Kate Rose

VIRETTA Summon Vintage Horror on New Single: ‘Remember Me Now?’

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Mike and Rob Moroni, the twins who make up rock band VIRETTA, are back and they're coming for you. The last time we checked in with the pair, they had just released a 12-track self-recorded album, THE FEAR, and moved east to the hot and humid city of Nashville...with only half the band.

With just a guitar and a computer in Mike's bedroom, the break ended up yielding over 30 songs. Now, after a year of writing and recording in Music City, the brothers return with their first new offering, "Remember Me Now?". The song is mean and heavy, and apparently about vampires.

"I started getting obsessed with a lot of older horror movies," says Mike. "When the whole town bands together to fight Dracula, or Frankenstein and The Phantom of the Opera, I would start to sympathize with the monster."

But he has a special place in his heart for one monster in particular: "Dracula. He's Satan incarnate in one moment, and in another, a tragic romantic figure. I love that and I feel like that crept into the song too. In "Remember Me Now?" Rock Music is the vampire, waiting in the shadows and ready to come alive again."

Stream the single on all music platforms: here

UMS Artist Spotlight: DRAMA

DRAMA (Image taken from Facebook Page)

Chicago R&B duo DRAMA were nice enough to chat with us on the eve of their Saturday performance at The Underground Music Showcase.

Ultra5280: If you could sum up the essence of Drama what would it be?

DRAMA: The essence of drama is creating the concept of originality, art and feeling. In general, we’re friends who were brought together by way of music that is way bigger than us. We didn’t know what to expect when we started sharing our art, but our mission was always to love everything we put out and connect with people and their day to day feelings. If you listen to our songs, our hope is that you might find one that will strike an emotional chord.

Ultra5280: Tell us about your music influences. What styles have the biggest pull when you’re creating your music?
Via: Sade and Drake. 100% smooth, simple, clever, relatable and impactful.

Na’el: I gain my influence from many different producers of various different skill sets. Pharrell for his drums, Kanye for his sampling chops, Jon Brion for his beautiful arrangements and overall production. I could go on, but I’ll leave it there for now.

Ultra5280: What was the hardest song to write and why?

Via: Our new single ‘Give No Fucks’ for sure. The beat is unlike anything we’ve done and the process was relatively unorthodox for me. When writing a song, I usually spend a good amount of time listening to the music before words form. GNF came together relatively quickly. The majority of my lyrics come from a dark and cold places of mourning and loss which, for me, help songs write themselves. GNF musically felt like a party everyone was trying to get into, I didn’t even know where to begin. So I had to picture what that might feel like and “what would Pharrell and Bruno Mars do” and let just let it flow.

Ultra5280: I would say my favorite genre of music is sad dance tunes. Why do you think listeners gravitate towards sad dance music?

DRAMA: The same reason the earth is dying but the flowers are still blooming… life goes on.

Ultra5280: What can we expect from your live performance this weekend at UMS?

DRAMA: Lots and lots of love and laughs, possibly some tears and some make out session in the audience… haha. It’s an emotional rollercoaster with us. You gotta come expecting to experience the ride.

Ultra5280: What’s the next move for Drama?

DRAMA: A lot of touring! We’ll be on the road this fall with SG Lewis in North America and back across the pond for some shows in Europe. Looking forward to also releasing our first full album in 2020! :)

11 Latino Artist To Watch For At This Year's Underground Music Showcase

The Underground Music Showcase is just around the corner and we wanted to celebrate the diversity and culture that this years’s festival will allow us to enjoy. Latin music has been around for many years and we are lucky to be home to quite a few bands here in our own city. This year’s UMS spared no expensive to give us a weekend to celebrate latin music at its finest. A slew of national and locals will grace the stages of venues all across Broadway next weekend to showcase the biggest growing genre in music today. (In no particular order)

1. Chicano Batman | Showcase Stage @ Goodwill Saturday, Jul 27 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, the dapper four piece blends the soulful sounds of the 70’s with an upbeat and infectious romantic pop. The band pays homage to the early bands of yesteryear including the Los Angeles Negros and Los Pasteles Verdes. They have built a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in the industry due to their extensive touring and festival appearances. We are lucky to be graced with the amazing sounds for this years Underground Music Showcase.

2. Y La Bamba | Knockout Stage @ Punch Bowl Social Sunday, Jul 28 6:20 PM - 7:00 PM

Y La Bamba is gracefully evolving as a major player in the folk scene. Blessed by the vocals of Luz Elena Mendoza, the band takes us on a journey in which they step over boundaries to connect with their audience with rich narratives about heritage and legacies left behind. The creative songwriting is a warm welcome of a woman whose identity is shaped by her ancestry and we are fortunate enough to live to see the tale. It’s also a homecoming for Julia Mendiolea of Inner Oceans fame who returns to Denver as a member of the band.

3. ALTAS | Moe's Original BBQ Saturday, Jul 27 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM and Skylark Lounge Sunday, Jul 28 11:00 PM - 11:40 PM

ALTAS is one of the most underrated bands in Denver. They have been honing their craft for sometime and deliver with a sound unlike no other. Flanked by ambient sounds and lush dreamscapes the instrumental band reminds us of a latin Explosions In The Sky. The music is unconventional but demands your attention without you realizing you have already been pulled in.

4. Big J Beats | Blue Ice Saturday, Jul 27 3:00 PM - 3:40 PM

Big J Beats is the moniker of Justin Alvarado, hailing from the Mile High City. Ask any hip-hop head or beat junkie and Alvarado’s name slips off the tongue without hesitation. A marksman behind the beat machine Big J Beats delivers uncanny strokes and explosive finger mastery that eludes into a one-of-a-kind show rarely seen. A Denver legend in the making, you don’t have to see it to believe it, just listen.

5. Don Chicharrón | Showcase Stage @ Goodwill Saturday, Jul 27 4:00 PM - 4:40 PM

There is only one band in Denver that identifies itself as the Kings of Chicha. Don Chicharón plays a style of music that most of us can relate to as cumbia music. Only difference is they do it with a Peruvian flare that lights up their live shows into a full on dance party. The nine-piece band delivers with an array of sounds that channel folk, cumbia, psych rock and a percussion section that serves up all the fixings all on one plate. A band that truly honors those who came before them, they give the listeners something they will always remember.

6. iZCALLi | Skylark Lounge Saturday, Jul 27 1:00 AM - 1:40 AM

Long heralded as one of our favorite bands for the last few years iZCALLi deliver a supersonic blast of rock in Español. Anchoring the band is Miguel Avina (lead guitar/vocals) and sister Brenda Avina (bass) who deliver punchy guitar driven melodies and backed by the drumming of Luiggi Ramirez (who by the way we consider the best drummer in Denver, fight us!). The band spreads the importance of love and unity in its music and leaves a long lasting impression after all is said and done. We only know of one way to go out on Saturday night and it will be with iZCALLi.

7. Jackie Mendoza | Knockout Stage @ Punch Bowl Social Sunday, Jul 28 4:20 PM - 5:00 PM

An artist we recently discovered at SXSW, Jackie Mendoza is one of the many latin growing artist we are seeing blossom. Hailing from Chula Vista, California ( a bordertown with Tijuana), Mendoza delivers electro-pop and performs in both English and Spanish giving her a unique dynamic which barely exists in the genre. Her songs often relate to the modern day complexities of love and relationships which emphasize the importance of loving yourself to equate happiness in its most complex forms.

8. Los Mocochetes | 3 Kings Tavern Sunday, Jul 28 10:00 PM - 10:40 PM

No other band has equated to the success Los Mocochetes have in the last three years here in the Mile High City. Our 2018 “Band of the Year” has outdone themselves to become a staple in the Denver music scene. Their message of positivity and love comes at a time when it is most needed for us and they explore those relationships through the magic of music. Their sound can only be described as a cornucopia of various elements that exude funk and latin infused elements of cumbia, and socio-political agendas that resonate into their live performances.

9. Vic N’ The Narwals | Showcase Stage @ Goodwill Sunday, Jul 28 1:20 PM - 2:00 PM

Cut from the same thread as fellow surf rockers Los Growlers, Vic N’ The Narwals deliver a live performance unlike no other. The band takes its influences from 60’s rock and and a sound that maintains originality but also infuses a hint of The Doors. The band is slowly leaving their mark on the Colorado scene and is only a matter of time before they get discovered and introduced to the world to enjoy.

10. Joshua Trinidad | Banded Oak Brewing Co. Friday, Jul 26 7:00 PM - 7:40 PM

Joshua Trinidad has been a consistent mainstay as one of the hardest working musicians in our city, an accomplished trumpeter, Trinidad evokes the craftsmanship and extensive list of performers he has had the pleasure to sit in with. Hailed as one of the best Trinidad continues to impress and gift us a sound that is distinctive and one of a kind.

11. Lady Gang | Denver Distillery Saturday, Jul 27 10:00 PM - 10:40 PM

Nobody works as hard as Jen Korte who also goes by the name Lady Gang. Also fun fact, not many know Jen comes from a latino background (we did our homework). Lady Gang isn’t a musician or band, it is more of an experience than anything else. We love witnessing creativity at its finest and with Lady Gang we get that and a second plate to take home. Stepping outside the boundaries of conformity Lady Gang gives us a blissful array of sounds from a loop machine and guitar. We highly recommend catching her set at this year’s Underground Music Showcase.