It’s rare to come across an act that fully embraces the chaos of rock culture in all aspects of their sound and performance. While much of modern rock relies on 12-string gimmicks, ear-shattering screams and outlandish outfits to capture a crowd, The Velveteers take a different approach — they let the music speak for itself. With music this captivating, and a keen eye for the building blocks of a great performance, this Denver-based rock band is the best show you’ll see all year, guaranteed.
The Velveteers’ performance Friday at Boulder’s historic Fox Theatre was a breath of fresh air in the alt-rock scene. From Dry Ice’s opening performance, which included a playful, mocking beatdown of a frat boy they spotted in the crowd, to the straightforward, gothic stage design spearheaded by a neon “V” between a ceramic sun and moon, each aspect was carefully crafted to create a cohesive experience that might pair well with a werewolf howling at the moon or a vampire in search of their next victim.
The crowd, which maintained a steady moshpit on the venue’s floor section throughout the entire night, certainly felt this energy. With an eclectic mix of fashion styles, a healthy range of age demographics and any hairstyle you could imagine, it was great to see such diversity at a hard rock show.
There were plenty of ways to enjoy the experience. You could take to the sides and enjoy the best view of dueling drums and shredding guitars, elevated and protected from the wild moshpits by a metal railing. You could take a step back and kick it by the sound booth to hear the infatuating bass lines and screeching snares loud and clear. Or, my personal favorite, you could jump in the moshpit without worrying about a high-flying elbow coming at 100 mph towards your temples. It was nice to see that, despite the chaos, each moshpit respected one simple rule — you’re there to have fun, not to hurt an innocent bystander.
Fresh off their tour with Greta Van Fleet, The Velveteers have perfected performing their most recent album, Nightmare Daydream — a gritty, gothic exploration of modern rock sounds and an homage to the genre’s greatest moments. In true rock star fashion, there were dueling guitar solos, crowd surfing and flashy outfits that complimented the music perfectly.
Underneath the spotlight, The Velveteers’ lead singer, Demi Demitro, showed off a sparkling black jumpsuit with dazzling curtains lining each arm. Behind her, the duel drummers, Baby Pottersmith and Jonny Fig, sported less flashy garments. These included a see-through, star-studded crop top and a plain white undershirt, although their eccentric playing and demeanor remained intact throughout the show.
Of course, the music never took a backseat to the performance. There were no gimmicks. Instead, each production and performance decision was made with the music in mind. From the Led Zeppelin-inspired “Dark Horse,” which was a perfect first song to introduce themselves to the crowd, to the final moments of Demitro’s solo “Brightest Light,” there wasn’t a single dull moment during the entire night. Of course, the band performed their biggest hits like “Charmer And The Snake,” which they recently played on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and my personal favorite, the high-energy, uptempo punk-banger “Motel #27.” However, what really impressed me was the fact that every single song seemed like the highlight of the night, receiving the same care and reaction from the audience with each passing tune.
In a world saturated with pop-punk and indie artists, The Velveteers are a true rock ‘n’ roll standout in today’s musical landscape. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a band that has as much fun on stage as The Velveteers, and equally challenged to find a crowd more ecstatic to bear witness to such an incredible performance. The Velveteers may be from Colorado, but their future extends much farther. See it with your own eyes, before everyone else catches on.
All Photography by Roxanna “Roxie” Carrasco