Phoebe Bridgers's haunting performance at the Gothic

photographed by Meesh Deyden

PhoebeBridgers-8.jpg

Two months into her 2018 headlining tour, Phoebe Bridgers played Englewood's Gothic to a near sold out crowd. The show, which moved from Larimer Lounge, featured tracks from her record Stranger in the Alps, and an encore cover of Sheryl Crow's 1999 hit "If It Makes You Happy." 

Angus & Julia Stone: Not your average singer-songwriter duo

Angus & Julia Stone at Englewood's Gothic Theater (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

You probably know this Aussie sibling duo from tracks like "Big Jet Plane" or "Mango Tree," but have you listened to their new album yet? Benefitting from legendary producer Ruck Rubin's guidance, their fourth studio album, Snow, released in mid September, shines prismatic with upbeat tracks like "Who Do You Think You Are" and "Chateau." A departure from their pearly, minimalist solo endeavors over the past few years, Snow showcases what magic can happen when you let go and try something new. 

Oh, and their show at the Gothic? A surprising kaleidoscope of headboppin not-just-your-00s-acoustic emphemera, dutifully attended by the Mile High's highest concentration of publicly affectionate couples I've seen in years. Though you could hear my phone drop during opener Luke Sital Singh's penultimate track-- sorry, guys-- I was pleasantly surprised by how not bored I was for a singer-songwriter show. 

Angus Stone (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

So, if you're like me and try to avoid the depressive sonic sop that can muck an already hellish 2017, don't fear the latest tunes from our siblings from down undah. Add "Cellar Door" to the playlist ya listen to when you're trying not to fall on your ass walking your dog around Wash Park. And try out their title track "Snow," right when that caffeine starts to hit your weekday morn. 

Words & Images by Meesh Deyden

DFA outrages Englewood

Sebastien Grangier of Death from Above (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

Sebastien Grangier of Death from Above (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

Not really, just keep reading. Since their release of The Physical World back in 2014, Death From Above-- yes, they 86'd the 1979-- have dropped their latest Outrage is Now! and are back in the tour mix. With the release of their radio ready single, "Freeze Me" back in June, DFA hit some of the summer festival circuit, playing select Canadian festivals and Riot Fest Chicago.

Gracing Englewood's Gothic Theater Friday night, DFA, decked out with bassist Jesse Keeler's signature acrylic bass guitars and backdropped by their trunk-cated DFA silhouettes, the dynamic duo got Denver to dance their asses off. It took no more than 3 tracks for the mosh pit to form, and fans didn't dare stop before encore.

"Audience was [insert fire emoji]! Makes a difference!" DFA said after their set. For a city that has a rep in some music circles for being hard to win over, Denver sure did show the love for Death from Above...and for openers The Beaches.

L: Kylie Miller R: Jordan Miller of The Beaches (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

L: Kylie Miller R: Jordan Miller of The Beaches (Photo Cred: Meesh Deyden)

Also hailing from DFA (& Drake & Beiber & Avril) land of Toronto, Canada, this quartet served fierce and mighty with tracks like "Money" and "Gold."

Both bands wrap up tour together next month in Toronto.

Words & Images by Meesh Deyden

Warpaint Had Us All in Love Last Night

“Love is die/ Love is to not die/ Love is to dance," chanted the amazing Theresa Wayman, front-woman of the all Female L.A. art-rock group Warpaint during their performance of a crowd favorite, “Love is to Die” off of their self-titled album (2014). Needless to say, the crowd died of love for the four women who played a mind-blowing, nearly two-hour long set on Denver last night. Hoards came flocking to the Gothic Theatre to see them perform their new album Heads Up, but Warpaint took us through all corners of their sound, dipping into every album they’ve put out to date. 

Instagram user:  sasquatchbert

Instagram user: sasquatchbert

These ladies brought a strong powerful stage presence last night, but they knew exactly how to bring down the vibe too. Their sound is percussion heavy, murky and open-ended without losing sight of itself. They often build into bright flares of echoing, guitar and vocals, crafting sonic dreamscapes through slow, tense ascents. Sometimes squirming below into the ether, or escalating above into the support beams of the theatre space. 

Photo: Kendall Morris

Photo: Kendall Morris

“Tension” is the perfect word to summarize their sound; the group dances in the in-between, toying with hot and cold tonalities, and oscillating between fast and slow tempo changes. It’s highly listenable. Still accessible without sacrificing its experimentation. 

They played tracks like “Composure” and “Warpaint” off of The Fool (2010) to warm up the crowd before announcing that they were going to play their newer tracks from then on. They then played tracks “White Out”, “New Song”, and “Don’t Let Go”, all off of Heads Up (2016). Theresa Wayman was brought to her knees, sweating, black halos under each eye and hair falling in her face toward the end of her set, completely lost in her performance. Her vibrancy left the audience struck with the sense that they were witnessing something profound, something honest and alive, unmoderated. 

Despite the two year hiatus, Warpaint members kept busy in the meantime with solo projects. According to Pitchfork, Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass and vocals) released a solo album under the name jennylee, and Emily Kokal (vocals and guitar) worked with Saul Williams and Paul Bergmann. Stella Mozgawa (drums) was featured on a Kurt Vile EP. Theresa Wayman has been working on her solo project called BOSS.

They came together again to create their newest release, and it is a strong, even necessary addition to their previous. It’s both the familiar, dreamy, post-rock sound they’re been consistently working toward, but it reaches new heights, stirring in dance and pop without being kitschy, clean or over-produced. 

Jenny Lee Lindberg told Pitchfork on Heads Up, “I feel really proud of what we made—almost surprised and shocked. When we were making it, I was like, “I wonder what this is going to sound like? How’s this going to come together?” I love the way that it came together so nicely. I feel so proud of it, and like it’s an evolution of our band. It sounds like a mature version of Warpaint.” 

Last night’s performance only reiterated the sentiment. These ladies are forward moving and their recent work bears the fruit of their effort. We only see progress in the future of Warpaint, a band who continues to surprise us with new-found depth and emotive ability. 

After the band ended their set and humbly stepped off, the crowd waited for literally fifteen minutes, cheers swelling, begging for more. Finally, Wayman and the rest reappeared, eliciting a truly thrilled reaction from the crowd. They played multiple encores afterward, and only once the astonishment wore off did the crowd begin to stagger out, stupefied and totally enamored. 

Words: Kendall Morris

Music | Halsey live at The Gothic Theatre | November 9, 2015

We first laid eyes on Ashley Frangipane at SXSW back in March. At the time, the artist more commonly known at Halsey was slowly beginning to build her brand based around her debut release Room 93. Her performance was quick, and although we saw the potential in her music, her live show was typical of SXSW: too quick to get a good feel for the artist we were seeing for the very first time, unsure of what to expect in the upcoming months.

Halsey at SXSW 2015 in Austin, TX (photo credit: Maddie Casey/Ultra5280)

Here we are, nearly nine months later, and Halsey has become the queen of the scene. With over 1.2 million followers on Instagram, Halsey's full-length debut Badlands landed in the #2 position on the Billboard charts during it's debut just a few weeks ago, but that sits at the bottom of an already impressive resumé. After being signed based on the success of one single, Halsey secured a coveted position opening for Imagine Dragons during their summer 2015 arena tour. Her feature on Justin Bieber's upcoming record, not to mention selling out her first headlining US tour without issue, are only continuing to move her forward. A whirlwind six months to say the least, this young pop artist has been making major waves, and we don't see it stopping anytime soon.

Her show here in Denver this past Friday was edgy, dynamic, beautiful, and perfect for her fan base. Fans arrived as early as 10:30am to sit and wait in the parking lot of The Gothic, and by our judgement? They were not let down. Her dark lyrics were complimented beautifully by the stage's dark, enticing lighting. LED panels surrounding her on stage played a variety of images, slideshows, and patterns, bringing the music to live. Moving from side to side of the stage, you could watch the audience mirror her movements as she went. Her genre of grungy, glittery, sugar-coated sadness is unique, different, but fills a void we didn't even knew existed in the music world. She may be young, but Halsey's grasp on her artistic vision is defined. Her lyrics are uniquely poetic, bringing to life the dark, and sometimes heartbreaking stories she chooses to tell. Taking a moment before breaking into the song "Roman Holiday", Halsey shared a moment with her fans to remind both them and herself that "damn Ashley, it's not that serious", bringing a new light to the show. 

Halsey performing at the Gothic Theatre in Denver, CO on 11/9 (photo credit: Maddie Casey)

Nine months certainly seemed to be enough time for Halsey's live show to grow as strong as her lyrics. Her vocal control and command of the stage was that of a tenured performer, not a 21-year old who released her first EP barely a year ago. So much has changed for this young star in 2015, and it seems that her hair color isn't the only thing continually getting brighter. Halsey will close out 2015 with the end of her Badlands tour, and continue on to Australia and Japan at the beginning of 2015. We don't know when we expect to see her back in Denver, but we can promise it will not be a performance you want to miss. 

Check out more photos here