Last Night (In Denver): SoCo Music Experience

Our SXSW drinking partner and friend Castro from A Walking Disaster was fortunate enough to spend the weekend at the Southern Comfort Music Experience. He was able to catch performances from Blonde Redhead, Gnarls Barkley and more. Here is the review...

What turned out to be a perfect overcast day in the Mile High catered perfectly to the Southern Comfort Music Experience that rolled into town on Saturday. With plenty to do around the venue such as photo booths, Rock Band and Guitar Hero, screen printing, and comfy inflateable sofas to sit on, it was the music that made this event a true experience.

With local bands gracing the Westword Stage to headliners on the main stage a few bands caught my attention. First on the Westword Stage I had a chance to see local favorites the Hot IQ's grace us with their melodic pop sound infused with catchy guitar riffs and intense drumming. They seem to have a huge local following by the large crowd that gathered during their performance. Next up was the main stage in which Bassnectar took his DJ set to another ear deafening level in what can be described as a hippie/dub/drum n' bass/electro/reggae/hip hop set. With the bass pounding out the speakers i'm sure folks in Fort Collins could have heard his set. Being a DJ myself i often see DJ's who perform for the sake of the paycheck, but in Bassnectar's set it seemed that he enjoyed himself up there more than we did in the audience, always flashing a grin and body language to go along with every beat he produced. After enjoying a few cocktails of Southern Comfort and lemonade in the VIP tent I made my way upstage to catch Blonde Redhead. If i were to describe this band's sound it would be a mix of Sonic Youth with a splash of The Cure. With twin brothers on drums and guitar it was the angelic soulful voice of singer Kazu Makino that blew everyone away. Many in attendance did not seem to familiar with the group, but after all was said and done Blonde Redhead left a good impression on all the festival goer's.

One of my favorite albums of the year so far would be
Odd Couple from Gnarls Barkley, I would say it is a more polished album from their debut St Elsewhere. It seems that anytime Danger Mouse is holding ground on production duties your going to get a hit album (can't wait for the new Beck). I had never seen Gnarls Barkley and was pretty hyped when they were announced as the headliners. They took the stage dressed in dapper suits ready to rock the Mile High crowd with a mix of songs off both of their albums. As soon as the first notes off "Gone Daddy Gone" hit the speakers the crowd went into a mild frenzy dancing to the bands cover of The Violent Femmes song. I would say that only the hardcore Gnarls fans are familiar with the bands whole catalog and a majority are fans of "Crazy" which seemed to hold ground as the Summer anthem of last year. All in all it was a great festival that we as residents of Colorado should appreciate (it was free of all things). With what seems as a growing mecca for live music it is events like this that quenches our thirst for upcoming festivals to take place later this Summer. For some cool video footage of Gnarls Barkley check out I Am Fuel, You Are Friends. This was my first chance to take out the new Canon digital slr to take pics here are some more...

Thanks to BJ for sharing, check out A Walking Disaster for more reviews as well as our other Denver peeps Cause=Time for their review of the SoCo Fest. Here are the links...

[A Walking Disaster]
[A Walking Disaster / Flickr]
[Cause=Time / Flickr]