Monolith Music Festival @ Red Rocks, Denver – Sunday, Sept. 14

Monolith Music Festival was just as busy and just as good on the second day, Sunday, Sept. 14. People started to come out a lot earlier for these acts. I had a long drive ahead of me, so I didn’t make it as late as the headliner Justice, but I still managed to catch a lot. Check out my pictures and reviews below. If you missed it, here is what I had to say about Saturday’s line-up: pt. I and pt. II.

2:00 P.M. to 2:30 P.M. Rosewood Thieves – Esurance Main Stage

I got to the venue in time to catch some of the Rosewood Thieves as they were finishing up their Dylan-esque folk rock set. I enjoyed the laid back jams I heard and wouldn’t mind giving trying to check them out another time.

2:45 P.M. to 3:15 P.M. Snowden – New Belgium Stage

After making the long trek up the stairs from the Esurance Main Stage to the New Belgium, I had the chance to catch my breath during Snowden‘s chill rock set. I really enjoyed grooving to their experimental rock, but what really caught my interest were the amazing bass lines and soulful harmonies of Corinne Lee.

3:00 P.M. to 3:45 P.M. Tokyo Police Club – Esurance Main Stage

Of all the bands at the festival, I must admit that Tokyo Police Club was the band I was most excited to see. This was partly because I really like their music, but also partly because they’ve canceled three shows that I’ve tried to see them at and I was finally getting to see them play live. The boys did not disappoint and put on an energetic set that had the audience clapping along. They all seemed genuinely pleased to be playing for the crowd and their enthusiasm was well-expressed in their music.

3:45 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. The Handsome Furs – New Belgium Stage

The Handsome Furs were one of those bands that I thought was really good, but maybe not as great as people are making them out to be. Denver was excited for this band because they’re not getting a visit from Wolf Parade on their upcoming tour, so I suppose this spin-off group sufficed. However, while they rocked musically, their stage show was a little dry.

4:30 P.M. to 5:10 P.M. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – Stage

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson has been well-supported on this site by the other editors and writers and now I finally saw what the party was all about. MBAR and his supporting crew excellently swelled from mellow acoustic melodies to exploding indie rock anthems supported with big bass drums and guitar solos. MBAR treated the audience to a few new songs, which indicate the upcoming album should be amazing.

5:00 P.M. to 5:45 P.M. Tilly and The Wall – New Belgium Stage

Omaha represent! Tilly and the Wall are one of the best live groups you could possibly see. They play a series of songs that has everybody dancing whether they tap or not. One Omaha guy loves them so much he follows them around in fun outfits and Tilly even let him join them on stage. This was the first time I got to hear songs from O live and they sounded much better when accompanied by their live stage show than the recording was able to capture. My only regret about Tilly and the Wall was that I didn’t plan ahead and try to carpool to Monolith with them.

5:50 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. The Whigs – Stage

When I heard the Whigs on the radio, I wasn’t blown away. For the first song of their set, I still had yet to be blown away, but once the guys loosened up their Nirvana meets The Beatles music finally caught my attention. I especially loved when lead singer Parker Gispert kicked along with every clash of the cymbal.

5:45 P.M. to 6:45 P.M. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings – Esurance Main Stage

I just caught a few songs of soulful singer Sharon Jones‘ set, but she definitely has a powerful voice that will get people grooving along. The highlight of her show was when she spotted Tilly and the Wall’s number one fan in the crowd and had security bring him on stage to dance with her.

6:30 P.M. to 7:15 P.M. The Kills – New Belgium Stage

There are just two members in the Kills, but they produce a sound as full as any band. This UK group is getting a lot of deserved buzz, but I suggest you catch them now before Alison Mosshart destroys her voice with her chain smoking.

7:15 P.M. to 8:15 P.M. Band of Horses – Esurance Main Stage

Band of Horses took to the main stage to play their easy rock tunes to a packed crowd that I was glad to see actually knew the words to more of their songs than what was in commercials like “Is There a Ghost.” I saw these guys a few years and loved the vocals, but was kind of bored by the stage show, which offered little more than what you could hear on a CD. However, these guys have come into their own and feel a lot more comfortable being on stage and it shows on their songs. This was a much improved set.

7:10 P.M. to 7:50 P.M. Does It Offend You, Yeah? – Stage

I wish I had gotten to this party sooner because I was forced to listen to the electronica songs of Does It Offend You, Yeah? from the hall as the played to an overflowing room of dancing bodies. Even from the hallway, they were a fun show to listen in on.

7:50 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. The Airborne Toxic Event – Gigbot Stage

So, you might have noticed that The Airborne Toxic Event‘s album’s reviews are slightly mixed, though we love it. However, one thing is for sure and that is that their stage show is phenomenal. While all the musicians are quite skilled, keyboardist and violinist Anna Bulbrook especially shined on stage as she climbed on amps and rocks, while playing the violin.

8:15 P.M. to 8:45 P.M. Paper Bird – Acoustic Stage

Up in the rocky mountains, Colorado has been keeping a little secret, but I doubt they’ll be able to keep septet Paper Bird secret much longer. With bass, banjo, trombone and some of the prettiest harmonies of the weekend, it was hard to not to become endeared with this sweet group.

8:45 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. TV on the Radio – Esurance Main Stage

They almost didn’t make it. Van troubles in Utah threatened to keep the boys in TV on the Radio away. Rumors the entire day were that they were not going to make it, but TV on the Radio insisted they wouldn’t miss it for the world and the rented cars to speed through the mountains in. You have to admire a band that determined to not let their fans down. They barely got to the venue in time, but the drama of their drive and the lack of a warm-up did not seem to phase these boys as the ripped through a set of old and new material. The new album held up quite well next to the older songs.

Monolith Music Festival put together a great line-up of the finest indie acts. With five stages hosting one fine group after another, it is very hard to criticize any aspect of the festival. Although I wish more people had come for the entire weekend. In the future, a weekend with this solid of a line-up should be a sell out.

Monolith Music Festival: website | Sunday line-up | Saturday review pt. I | Saturday review pt. II

Photos and writing by: Bethany



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