Denver’s most bumping bicycle music festival, Velorama is right around the corner — bringing with it, three days of booze, bands and of course, bikes. Going down August 17 to 19, this year’s festival is poised to be headlined by none other than Matt and Kim, Modest Mouse and The Growlers. While the lineup is topped by a strong set of performers, the true meat is found in the undercard, chalk full of amazing local bands that are not to be missed. This article serves as an introduction to the local artists of Velorama, so that when the Monday after hits, you can tell us we told you so.
Bluesy rock roots run deep in Denver’s Tracksuit Wedding. The band, started by keyboardist Libby Anshutz and lead singer Ali Frankfurt is a throwback of hearty grooves, gritty vocals and classic-rock musicality. The band has rocked the small club stages of Denver all the way to national stages like Arroyo Seco Music Festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Heading to Velorama, this band, gracing the local stage is guaranteed to energize the crowd in the process.
Rooted in woozy surf rock, Slow Caves is set to bring Velorama from the streets and onto the beach. Don’t be fooled though, these rockers can go from a chilled saunter of a jam to a rip-rolling barn burner in the blink of an eye. The band has performed all over the country, from Austin’s South By Southwest to Boise’s Treefort Festival, as well as toured with acts like DIIV and Cold War Kids. Kicking off the festival Friday, Slow Caves will make kick work of transporting the audience to a sun-kissed bliss.
Alt-rocker Brent Cowles is a bona fide household name in Denver. The rock titan, lauded by the likes of NPR is soulful and seething, creating music that cuts deep and lingers with you long after the initial listen. Wearing his heart on his sleeve, Brent Cowles is an electrifying performer who consumes the stage as he moves across it, inviting the audience into his world preventing them from looking away. Having released his debut album, How To Be Okay Alone a little more than a month before the festival, Velorama will see the rocker performing songs off the masterful debut album on the Saturday of the festival.
What is there to say about Wildermiss that hasn’t already been said? As one for Denver’s bands leading the charge onto the mainstream, Wildermiss is a complete package of powerful indie-rock. The foursome, sure to conjure semblances to the like of Local Natives and Of Monsters and Men, brings a startling mix of vulnerability and raw energy to every stage they perform on. Performing at Velorama, the band is riding a wave of momentum coming off a national tour that included a sold-out night at the Bluebird Theater. If they continue at the pace they are, who knows, one day this band may be a future headliner.