Monolith Music Festival at Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre was a breath-taking show in so many ways. If the outstanding indie line-up or the gorgeous natural landscape wasn’t enough to take away your breath, then the hike up the stairs in the high altitude would do it.
Although I felt like a terribly out-of-shape and asthmatic half the time, the physical weariness was well worth running around between the five stages Monolith had set up.
Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008. Part I.
1:00 P.M. to 1:30 P.M. Dressy Bessy – Esurance Main Stage
Local Denver band Dressy Bessy kicked things off on the Main Stage with a rocking set that immediately set the bar high for the rest of the bands that followed. Front woman Tammy Ealom perfectly commanded the stage and made coming early well worth their highly energetic set.
1:00 P.M. to 1:30 P.M. Lovelikefire – Woxy.com Stage
I ran inside to catch some of Lovelikefire. This San Franciscan group also featured a female front woman, and much like Ealom, Ann Yu quickly proved that the girls were not there to mess around. With vocals reminiscent of Grand Ole Party‘s Kristin Gundred, Yu also gave a fun, rocking set complimented nicely by Dave Farrell‘s rolling drums and Robert Kissinger‘s heavy bass.
1:30 P.M. to 2:00 P.M. Colour Revolt – Gigbot Stage
From Lovelikefire I dashed over to the other inside venue to catch some of Colour Revolt. Unfortunately, the acoustics in this room were a little dead and their vocalist lost his voice among the other instruments. It also caused some of the harmonies to be a little off. In another setting, this band would have been a lot better and the crowd still loved them, but this set seemed off.
1:45 P.M. to 2:15 P.M. The Veils – New Belgium Stage
After being slightly disappointed by Colour Revolt, I headed back outside for European rockers The Veils. Their first song left much to be desired, but the next few songs had me hooked as vocalist Finn Andrews stretched out his every last word, forcing the audience to hang onto his every syllable. Girl power again represented as Sophia Burn killed on the bass.
2:00 P.M. to 2:45 P.M. Foals – Esurance Main Stage
Next up, I caught some of buzz group Foals. They walked out looking all suave and like they were too cool to be at this show, but then once they started playing, they just let loose. Their focus was purely on their instrumentals. Voice added an extra flourish, but was not their immediate concern.
2:00 P.M. to 2:30 P.M. Port O’Brien – Woxy.com Stage
I had never heard of Port O’Brien, but I am so glad I stumbled across their set. This was probably one of the best bands out of the entire show and very few people knew to check them out. The alt country group featured free flowing guitar and banjo riffs and some of the best harmonies I heard during the entirety of the festival. Near the end of their set, the group passed out pots and pans and invited the crowd onto the stage with them. They are definitely worth checking out if they come anywhere near you.
2:30 P.M. to 3:10 P.M. The Morning Benders – Gigbot Stage
The guys in Morning Benders seem to be everywhere lately. I’ve seen them multiple times in the last few months opening for different bands and it seemed like every corner I turned at the festival, I would run into a different member of their group either checking out a band or playing ping pong. As for their actual set, it was very laid back, but sadly in the dead acoustic room, so the quality of it was lost upon many.
2:45 P.M. to 3:15 P.M. The Muslims – New Belgium Stage
The Muslims are another band that you should kick yourself for if you don’t check them out immediately. The vocals have an element of folk to them, but the drum solos are what you would expect to hear from a dance electronica group. This eclectic mix works quite well for the group and properly earned them a huge crowd at that stage.
3:15 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. Superdrag – Esurance Main Stage
Superdrag lived up to their name. Their set seemed to have a super drag to it. While the guys moved around and made faces like they were trying to be the rockstars expected of them, they ended up being a little out of place and kind of boring. They even ended up being pitchy.
Slow to Anger
Keep It Close
Filthy and Afraid
Do the Vampire
3:45 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. John Vanderslice – New Belgium Stage
John Vanderslice is a musical genius. The arrangements performed here were absolutely gorgeous and chill. Their violinist had great technique and I loved the effect of his reverberated pizzicato. I could have easily gotten lost in the lush harmonies of this band.
Up Above the Sea
Time to Go
Too Much Time
That’s just the first half of Saturday. Look for the next installment shortly.
Photos and Writing by: Bethany
Filed under: concerts | Tagged: Ann Yu, bethany, colour revolt, Dave Farrell, dressy bessy, Finn Andrews, foals, grand ole party, john vanderslice, Kristin Gundred, lovelikefire, Monolith Music Festival, port o'brien, Red Rocks, Robert Kissinger, Sophia Burn, superdrag, Tammy Ealom, The Morning Benders, the muslims, the veils |