The National Showcase New Music During Back To Back Nights At Mission Ballroom

Matt Berninger of The National. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

The National has long been a band that has gotten better with time. Much of it doing with the amazing and talented band’s dedication to the art. With back to back nights at Denver’s newest venue Mission Ballroom, Denver had a chance to witness the bands glory. We got a chance to attend the second night and were welcomed with a warm and happy set from ALVVAYS (one of our favorites), Molly Rankin and company ripped through their set playing fan friendly hits such as “Dreams Tonite” and “In Undertow”.

We have had a chance to cover The National on many occasions and they have always delivered with an amazing production in the past. On this tour the stage was flanked by three large LED boards displaying various imagery including shots of the band backstage getting ready to take the stage.

The band played all new material with a few classics towards the end. Their latest album I Am Easy To Find has been getting rave reviews and fans got a chance to listen to those songs live for the first time. The reception was welcomed with cheers and applause as songs such as “Quiet Light”, “Oblivions” and “Hey Rosey” rang through the venue as the lighting gave life to each song.

Words and images: Robert Castro

Collective Soul and Gin Blossoms Bring Nostalgia To Denver

Collective Soul showing they still got it. ( Photo Credit: Kate Rose)

This past Wednesday was quite a treat as the Gin Blossoms and Collective Soul respectively took to the stage at Mission Ballroom. This is the 25th anniversary tour for Collective Soul properly titled, Now’s The Time Tour. Both bands lit up the stage with their presence, constantly moving around with energy and flair; including some pretty amazing jumps from the mic stand by Collective Soul frontman Ed Roland. Mission was filled with all ages, gleefully singing along to the songs that many of us had the pleasure of growing up with. This was certainly a show to check off the bucket list, a much needed trip down memory lane.

Words and Images: Kate Rose

Gin Blossoms (Photo Credit: Kate Rose)

Collective Soul

Gin Blossoms

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: Jackie Mendoza

Jackie Mendoza by Tayo Okyekan

We had a chance to catch up with Underground Music Showcase artist Jackie Mendoza before this weekends festival to chat about a variety of topics including the growth of Latin music and wha it means to be a Latina artist.

Ultra5280: There has recently been a huge shift in the popularity of Latin music in the United States, what do you think attributes to the success?

Jackie: More Latin artists have been highlighted in the mainstream media and bigger artists have been collaborating with Latin artists too. 


Ultra5280: What are some of the struggles you still see as a Latin artist and what obstacles have you had to overcome to be where you are at today?

Jackie: I think any POC would face similar limitations like stereotyping or lack of visibility. I’m lucky to be able to share my music with people of all cultures and I’m proud to be labeled as a Latin artist but sometimes it feels like it’s tokenized. I’ve also been criticized for singing in Spanish and for “taking advantage of the ‘Latin trend’ ”, but this wouldn’t come into question if they knew my story. 


Ultra5280: Do you see the genre expanding? Why or why not?

Jackie: Yeah! It’s expanding because people from other cultures are incorporating the Spanish language and Latin sounds into their music. It’s cool to see how reggaeton has completely taken over mainstream hip-hop and pop. We also hear a lot more Spanish and even non-Spanish speaking artists are singing in Spanish too. 


 Ultra5280: If you could collaborate with any Latin artist past or present, who would it be and why?

Jackie: I would love to collaborate with Juana Molina. I would learn so much from her and I have a feeling we could make cool and weird music together. She’s mastered the art of looping and I make most of my music from loops and small little hooks. I think our ideas would flow and meet at unexpected points. 


Ultra5280: Where do you see the shift in Latin music in the next five years?

Jackie: I think there will be an even bigger blend of Latin music with other types of genres. 


Ultra5280: You recently signed to Luminelle Records, how has that impacted you and who are some of your influences?

Jackie: Signing to Luminelle felt like the official start of a new stage for my music. Now I have a full team of awesome people supporting me and helping me move forward. I’m really excited to be on a label with artists I admire and love. Anemone and Munya have become influences for me since I joined Luminelle; Munya’s songwriting and Anemone’s energy on stage. 


Ultra5280:  Finally what can Denver expect from Jackie Mendoza next weekend at the Underground Music Showcase?

Jackie: You can expect my silly dance moves, techno beats, a swirly-sounding electric ukulele, and lots of singing :)