Monolith Music Festival at Denver’s Red Rock’s Amphitheatre was unbeatable with its gorgeous scenery and great line up. Below you will find a continuation of Saturday’s festivities on Sept. 13. Be sure to come back and check out what I thought of the following day and if you missed it, here is what I thought of the first part of Saturday here.
Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008. Pt. II.
4:30 P.M. to 5:15 P.M. Cut Copy – Esurance Main Stage
Cut Copy is one of those bands I was very excited to see, but much lik Foals, the guys came out and looked less than thrilled to be at the show. So, when they started off their synth heavy set a little slow, I was worried that they would be boring. I learned that appearances could be deceiving and they soon kicked up the beat and had the audience on their feet, dancing. Singer Dan Whitford‘s voice was the perfect compliment to the band’s electronica pop.
5:00 P.M. to 5:45 P.M. Holy F**K – New Belgium
Holy F**ck must have picked their name because they knew that after people saw them live, they’d say, “Holy f**k! that band is good.” The group’s experimentation with sound had the most interesting effects and the audience was especially curious to see what the band was going to do with the old fashioned tape machine they had set up on stage. They were a great band to follow the prior electronica group, Cut Copy.
5:45 P.M. to 6:45 P.M. The Fratellis – Esurance Main Stage
Brit imports The Fratellis has had audiences intrigued by their decorative stage set, but I can’t say I am one of the intrigued. I like their songs well enough, but they just didn’t blow me away like some of the other groups I had seen that day. Although, drummer Mince Fratelli was one of the most energetic drummers of the day and he seemed genuinely excited to be performing at Red Rocks.
6:30 P.M. to 7:10 P.M. A Place to Bury Strangers – Gigbot Stage
I had been hearing a lot of about how A Place to Bury Strangers just tears the stage apart, so I went into this set with high expectations. However, I think something was off because while the band sounded fine, they didn’t have people moving and dancing quite as well as Holy F**ck and Cut Copy. Granted, I think seeing them in a small club after having a few drinks would have been a better first encounter with this group.
7:15 P.M. to 8:15 P.M. Vampire Weekend – Esurance Main Stage
I love Vampire Weekend and I suggest buckling in for this bandwagon because this ride isn’t stopping anytime soon. While they were a bit more bubbly and pop sounding than many of the other bands at this festival, they had one of the best sets of the day. They pleased the crowd by playing all their well-known songs with a few twists on the arrangements. The band also made the crowd quite literally scream as the introduced two new songs. Vampire Weekend seemed quite at ease playing to an amphitheatre audience, so I would not be surprised if they shortly found themselves in a similar setting in more cities.
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
White Sky (new song)
One (Blake’s Got A New Face)
I Stand Corrected
The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance
Giant (new song)
8:15 P.M. to 8:45 P.M. Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons – Madeloud.com Acoustic Stage
Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons were tucked away on the acoustic stage, which is a pity because they were a set that it would have been a shame to miss. Relaxing piano melodies, Chisel’s sweet vocals and the Wandering Sons, which included the appearance of a Band of Horses member, made for a special treat.
8:45 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. Silversun Pickups – Esurance Main Stage
Silversun Pickups lead singer Brian Aubert does things with a falsetto I would not have thought imaginable if I hadn’t heard it in person. The only thing that was disappointing about this set was that the crowd size seemed somewhat diminished after the turn out for Vampire Weekend on the same stage. The band tested out some new songs, and the sophomore album sounds promising from those samples.
9:10 P.M. to 9:50 P.M. The Presets – Gigbot Stage
I hadn’t heard of the Presets until I arrived in Denver and discovered this was one of the most buzzed about groups at the festival. Determined to get out from under whatever rock I must have been living under, I checked out this electronic outfit. The overflowing crowd loved dancing to the group’s Faint-like numbers. And while I was entertained, I again thought the Presets didn’t quite live up to the high bar set by the day’s earlier electronica outfits.
9:45 P.M. to 10:30 P.M. Atmosphere – New Belgium Stage
Another hyped up act was Atmosphere. I really enjoy the single, “You,” but Slug seemed to spend so much of his time trying to get the audience to get their hands up inbetween songs that it seemed hardly worth the wait for the duo to get to their actual music. I seriously think he spent at least half the set saying stupid one-liners like, “Denver, put your hands up cause this is a stick-up.” This group is over-hyped.
10:30 P.M. to 12:00 P.M. DeVotchKa – Esurance Main Stage
Denver locals DeVotchKa headlined Saturday’s festivities. They quickly showed they earned that headlining spot by offering the audience an ecletic mix of instruments. As if it wasn’t enough to watch Tom Hagerman on violin and accordian, Jeanie Schroder on sousaphone and acoustic bass, Sean King on drums and trumpet, and vocalist Nick Urata on guitar and theremin, the group was also joined by a small string section. To see this group and hear their full sound reverberated off the rocks was the perfect close to the day.
Check back for Sunday’s installment.
Photos and Writing by: Bethany
Filed under: concerts | Tagged: a place to bury strangers, atmosphere, Band of Horses, bethany, Brian Aubert, Concert Reviews, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, cut copy, dan whitford, devotchka, Holy F**k, Jeanie Schroder, Mince Fratelli, Monolith Music Festival, Nick Urata, Red Rocks, Sean King, silversun pickups, Slug, The Faint, The Foals, The Fratellis, the presets, Tom Hagerman, vampire weekend |