It’s no secret that Denver’s Wildermiss is an incredible hometown band, ascending the ranks to what seems an assured future stardom. What felt like a secret, however, is how very close they may be, as evidenced in their sold-out performance at the Bluebird Theater Friday night. In honor of the vinyl release of last year’s Lost With You, the band took the theater on a joyride of a performance. For as many twists and turns, the performance took, the audience lavished the band in heaps of praise, if for nothing else than the sheer thrill of it all.
Entering the venue, local pop-rock band Ivory Circle made quick work of energizing the crowd. Soul-bearing and vulnerable, Ivory Circle laid their heart on the line and unwound a spool of yearning and affection that had the audience instantly caught up in their own feelings. Singer Connie Hong just as easily melted the crowd as drilled into it with her vocal range and control while performing many songs from the groups newest EP Scalene. From howling to pleading, Hong wasn’t always pitch-perfect, but never for a second did she let the emotion slip away. Likewise, Chris Beeble (keys and guitar) and Rob Spradling (drum) latched on to the momentum Hong pushed for, and drove the performance home. Spradling in particular, was absolutely rabid, pounding on his set throughout the performance with cool precision. The pinnacle of the performance, however, was in “Pretend.” The passion of the band was more than evident as the song reached its peak and drew collective shivers from the audience.
Following with similar gusto, Wildermiss took the stage to deafening fanfare. Lead singer Emma Cole unphased by the enormity of the crowd, breathed the sweet poetry of their first song as the audience settled in for the ride. Keeping in line with their namesake, Wildermiss traversed the expanse of their grand sound as it enveloped the crowd in feelings of wanderlust. The band took the audience on a trip as far as one’s imagination could conjure — to great heights and greater pitfalls. Even though Lost With You has been out for a year, Wildermiss rose to the occasion making even the oldest song feel brand new in the ears of the audience.
Guitarist and bassist (Joshua Hester and Seth Beamer respectively), egged each other on, betting the other to go heavier and play harder. Caleb Thoemke on drums accentuated the edge of Cole’s voice slithering over, rumbling something rapturous as the audience bopped along. Throughout the band’s expedition of a performance, the audience was intent on following wherever the set would lead, completely rapt in the people on stage. Much like Forrest Gump leading a group of people across America, Wildermiss helmed the trust of the audience not just for the night, but a signal for what’s yet to come, and the many adventures awaiting the band as they continue their ascent. The Bluebird and its 550-capacity served as less a culmination of the band’s efforts over the past year than a milestone on their journey as one of Denver’s best up-and-coming groups. If the Bluebird was any indication, we can be lucky to say we were there, before they took off.