At points, 888 Reminded me of The Used meets Tears for Fears with heavy percussions, fun synths and catchy piano chords. They performed a new song called “Gold”–a wonderful blend of electronic sounds and drum beats. 888 concluded their show with the singer drumming alongside the drummer in an intense rhythmic showcase. Having been my first time seeing 888, I was very impressed and am already looking forward to their next show. By the end, I could tell the crowd felt the same.
“Denver rocks. The altitude is a little heavy. We live below sea level in Holland.” – Chef’s Special
“Black Pistol Fire was hands-down the most talented group to perform at Westword Music Showcase this year.”
“[Matt & Kim] opened by announcing that the last time they performed in Denver Matt went so “H.A.M.” he broke a bone.”
“For those of you who don’t know what happens at a Matt & Kim show: anything happens at a Matt & Kim show” – Kim Schifino
As if joining the crowd, one of the ten-foot-wide beach balls from Matt & Kim migrated with everyone to Cold War Kids. Each one of the members of this alt-rock group owned the stage and sounded great, performing for over an hour and including hits like “First” and the catchy “Hospital Beds.” Though I’ve been a Cold War Kids fan for quite some time and excited to see them live, there was nothing that exceptional about this particular performance. The band translated their songs live very fluidly and carried much energy, but nothing about this set really stuck out to me.
Slowly the crowd faded out and moved over to the concluding show–Dillon Francis. He lit up the Coors Light Stage right on cue and the Golden Triangle exploded with electronic sounds. Mixing in up-and-comers like Galantis as well as classics like Chromeo, it was a great blend of the old and new. The audience became more-and-more packed as the show went on but it certainly didn’t slow anyone down. At this point I was dancing with everyone around me and cheersing anyone who made eye-contact. As the sun set the feeling of nostalgia began to sink in–that same feeling you get at the end of any great music festival.
Westword Music Festival had its faults just like any other festival but all-in-all it was a wonderful experience. The single best thing was the sense of community felt throughout and seeing so many diverse Denver people all in one place drinking together, dancing together and admiring some great music together. By the time I departed the festival grounds and started walking back to my car, I found myself gleefully smiling at strangers in passing, feeling proud to be a resident of this great city.