We’re far from the gaudy lights and arena stage set ups tonight. Instead, everyone is crammed into the historic, ramshackle walls of Globe Hall; it’s underground rock and roll vibe the perfect venue for the raw, grittiness that is Black Pistol Fire. And as sweat pours from Kevin McKeown’s lanky frame while fans grab at his legs and euphorically bang their hands against the stage to the heavy back beat of Eric Owen’s drums, I can’t help but think that this is where everyone who loves music should be.
There’s a scene in the movie, Almost Famous, in which Lester Bang tells the young William Miller, “These are people who want you to write sanctimonious stories about the genius of the rock stars, and they will ruin rock and roll and strangle everything we love about it.” I think about that every time I review an album or live show such as tonight’s, but trust me, everything written about Black Pistol Fire is absolutely true. “Sleep on these guys at your own risk.” “…trail of scorched earth and melted minds.” “A power duo that can almost match the power and intensity of the massive rock sounds of the likes of Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac.” “Pure fire on stage.” And if you read my last write up, this Austin based duo is the epitome of everything that is great about rock music right now. Words are just words, however. Black Pistol Fire is a band you must still experience live to get the full impact of just how powerful they truly are. And that’s on full display tonight as they pummel the crowd right from the start with Lost Cause off their recent album, Deadbeat Graffiti, and into the epic Hipster Shakes with Kevin singing, “Hey mama the way you roll that cone, oh see you cuppin’ and a rattlin’ those bones. C’mon down and do the hipster shake, someone let me out my cage!” They roll through covers of Fleetwood Mac’s, Oh Well, and Bob Dylan’s, Where You Been Before, then slow it down slightly with Blue Dream before belting out “I’m dead and gone, the way you do me wrong, and I’m dead and gone!” on Suffocation Blues. From that point, it’s a continued and total annihilation of the gritty, bluesy, rock and roll authenticity their fans scream for.
Within the hour and change onslaught, you can hear them draw inspiration from some of the greats that include Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Nirvana, and Led Zepplin, taking the very foundation the legends built, then molding it into their own sound, and finally unleashing it in an epic roar of rock fervor. That’s apparent as they constantly change gears throughout the rest of the set, grooving through Speak of the Devil, torching the stage with Drop the Needle, and then completely burn the house down with Run Rabbit Run. They hold nothing back, forever charging ahead and leave this place wanting more. I’m saying it now, Black Pistol Fire is one of the best live acts in music today and it’s time you jump on board. There’s a reason why so many people are talking.
Here are the things you can do in and around Denver this week.
Celebrate Hispanic Culture at the last week of National Hispanic Heritage Month
This is an annual celebration of culture, history, and many contributions of the Hispanic community to what the United States of America is today. It is in its last week so it’s your last chance to join in this year.
SEP 15 – OCT 15, 2017
Watch Dinosaurs Live at Dinos! After Dark
What’s better than watching dinosaurs? Watching dinosaurs actually move. What’s even better? Watching them at night. The Denver Zoo brings their Dinos Live act to a next level with Dinos! After Dark. Get to experience the Zoo’s animatronic dinosaurs come to life along with illuminated sculptures made from pumpkins. Perfect for Halloween.
OCT 5 – OCT 28, 2017
2300 Steele St., Denver, CO 80205
Catch Imagine Dragons
Catch Imagine Dragons at the Pepsi Center this Saturday. I don’t think I need to say more.
OCT 14, 2017
1000 Chopper Cir., Denver, CO 80204
MmmmBop with Hanson
Oh, you know you want to sign along!!! It’s the 25th anniversary of Hanson’s Middle of Nowhere album and you can celebrate this milestone with the band itself, all grown up.
Summit Music Hall
OCT 14, 2017
1902 Blake St., Denver, CO 80202
Run, Rock ‘n’ Roll
Rock ‘n’ Roll bands along a marathon course? I am so in. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is an annual event that has been happening since 1998 and every year, more and more people are joining the fray. Best part is that the event has raised more than $310 million for participating charities. So, marathon, bands, and charity. What else do you need?
OCT 14-15, 2017
Broadway Ave. & Colfax, Denver, CO 80202
Here are the things you can do in and around Denver this week.
Incubus will be playing live at Red Rocks tonight!!! Need I say more? If that doesn’t get you off your sofa, know that their guest are Jimmy Eat world and Atlas Genius. Get off your butt and score some tickets now!!
Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre
OCT 3, 2017
18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison, CO 80465
Soak up some Sun-power at US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon
Aside from being a collegiate decathlon, consumers and businesses alike can pick a thing or two about the benefits of clean energy, particularly solar energy. Get to see young birght minds come up with useful implementation of solar energy in a variety of innovative houses.
61st & Peña commuter rail station
OCT 5 – OCT 15, 2017
Join in on The Great American Beer Festival
This annual event is the premier US beer festival and competition. Witness the biggest collection of US beer ever served. Have a taste of samples, and watch or partake in some contests.
Colorado Convention Center
OCT 5, 2017 – OCT 7, 2017
700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202
Back by popular demand and just in time before Halloween, Colorado Ballet presents Bram Stoker’s epic gothic horror featuring the enthralling choreography of Michael Pink and music by Phillip Feeney performed by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
OCT 6, 2017 – OCT 15, 2017
1400 Curtis St., Denver, CO 80204
I walked into the photo pit already filled with other soon to be trigger happy photographers on Friday afternoon just before Denver’s own, Tattooed Strings, walked onstage to open High Elevation Rock Festival, turned on my camera, and slowly scanned the crowd wondering what to expect over the next two days. Besides the shitty beginning of Fall weather that was supposed to roll through, this was a festival dedicated to nothing but heavy rock; a genre of music that often takes a backseat to other ‘radio friendly’ juggernauts dominating the eclectic airwaves even in our own city. So to be honest, I wasn’t sure if it would work out that well. Yes we’ve seen Guns n Roses and a sold out show from Metallica in June, but come on, that’s Metallica. And for one night only after not playing Denver since 2008. But as I looked over a scene of face paint, black t-shirts, and the many devil horns thrust into the ever-darkening sky, it mattered less and less. Nothing was going to stop this and no one seemed to really care either. Everyone was here to simply hang out, maybe have a few beers, and listen to their favorite music rain or shine. And that’s exactly what happened at Fiddler’s Green.
Tattooed Strings | Starset | Beartooth | Halestorm | I Prevail | A Day To Remember | All That Remains | Five Finger Death Punch
Tattooed Strings – Some may say that rock music infused with a hip-hop edge should be left in the past but these five guys from Denver showed that if you write good music, show up on stage with energy, and get the crowd jumping, you can do whatever the hell you want.
Halestorm – There’s no sense in putting Lzzy Hale in a ‘girl of rock’ box because she absolutely annihilates any such distinction the moment she walks onstage in patent leather stilettos and belts that perfect metal scream. This is a polished band with a gritty attitude that set the early evening crowd on fire.
I Prevail – KBPI here in Denver can’t quit playing this band’s music and for good reason. Their album Lifelines debuted at #1 on Alternative Albums, #1 on Hard Music Albums, #1 Rock Albums, #9 Top Album, and #15 on the Billboard Top 200, with Alternative Press naming Lifelines one of the Best Debut albums of 2016. Then you see them live and all hell breaks loose on stage.
Five Finger Death Punch – They celebrated young fans on stage as the next generation of metal, gave away a Five Finger Death Punch tagged Jeep hood in honor of cancer survivors, Ivan Moody made his return to the stage after a stint in rehab that he described as a ‘human moment,’ and then he brought on Philip Labonte from All That Remains to sing a powerful and emotional version of the band’s hit song, Wash It All Away.
Tonight We Rise | Ocean Groove | Them Evils | Red Sun Rising | Ded | P.O.D | Radkey | Steel Panther | The Birthday Massacre | In This Moment | Avatar | Mastadon | Falling In Reverse | Zakk Sabbath | Korn
P.O.D. – Sure they’re infamous for coming out of that early 2000 MTV era with the single, Youth of a Nation, but the band’s entire stage presence shows why they’re still around and playing main stages after all of these years. The most poignant moment came when they dedicated the last song, Alive, to the late frontman of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington.
In This Moment – This band led by Maria Brink, is one of the most visually dynamic and incredible sounding hard rock shows out there today and although they could have benefited from utilizing the stage more, still put on one of the best shows of the weekend.
Korn – I have to admit that this was the one ‘must see’ show of the weekend for me because for all of the concerts I’ve seen, I’d never witnessed them live. For years I’ve heard friends say you ‘have to see them live,’ ‘they’re incredible,’ and ‘it’ll change your life.’ They were all right because that was probably the heaviest, most visceral, bone crunching live show I’ve ever witnessed. From songs Twist and Black is the Soul to hits like Falling Away From Me, Here to Stay, Got the Life, and closing with Make Me Bad, Korn showed why they will forever remain one of the best bands in hard rock history.
Last night The Lumineers returned home to play the first of three shows this weekend at Fiddler’s Green – a homecoming that saw the 18,000-capacity venue filled with screaming fans from stage to lawn and what will eventually become the end of the band’s Cleopatra Tour on Sunday night. Here are a few photos from Friday night.
If you’re near Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater late in September chances are you’re eardrums will rattle from the sound of thundering drums, metal-driven guitars, and thousands of fanatics screaming in an explosion of furious rock music energy. Why? That’s because High Elevation Rock Festival is coming back for year two on September 22-23 and you’re not going to want to miss this lineup.
After its one-day debut in 2016, High Elevation comes back to Denver even bigger and better in 2017 with a lineup of more than two dozen bands, led by Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, A Day To Remember, Stone Sour, Halestorm and more.
“After an incredible inaugural event last year, we decided to turn it up a notch in 2017 and expand High Elevation to two days,” comments Joe Litvag, Executive Producer of the festival for AEG Presents. “Now we’ve got 25 of the very best-in-class artists like Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, and Black Veil Brides performing more than 18 hours of music for the hard rock fans of the Rocky Mountain region to celebrate!”
All tickets for High Elevation Rock Festival include admission for both Friday night and Saturday. Ticket prices are as follows:
General Admission Pit (includes Marjorie Park VIP Access and Premier Parking): $225
General Admission Seated (Sections 1 & 2): $129
General Admission Lawn: $99proven they’re one of the best in the rock industry
After their self-titled 1994 debut and introducing the rock world to ‘the rise of nu-metal’s whomping pain-stomp‘ Korn has made a lasting mark and proven they’re one of the best in the game over and over again. Their stage presence is one of a kind and their legion of fans, both old and new, will tell you no different. And if you haven’t seen them live, Saturday will be your chance.
Friday night’s headliner, Five Finger Death Punch, is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year after making their debut with the 2007 album, The Way of the Fist. Ivan Moody, who recently entered rehab for addiction issues, released this statement:
“I love you guys and I love my band… It’s what I do and I can’t imagine my life without it. I am 100% committed to getting healthy so I can get back on stage with Five Finger Death Punch. See all you Knuckleheads on August 19th!!”