Hell’s Belles, MF Ruckus, & The Dirty Femmes – November 2nd – The Oriental Theater

Photos by Johne Edge 

The Scene: First Friday packed the sidewalks and bars along Tennyson.  After Elitch Gardens relocated, the street was barely kept alive by the beer and pizza bowling league at Elitch Lanes, but now the Berkeley Park neighborhood is a Mecca for young urbanites.  A year after part of the ceiling of the 85 year old theater collapsed, The Oriental Theater again is serving as the anchor of this Tennyson Art and Business District.

Opener: The Dirty Femmes.   The Dirty Femmes have been celebrating the music of the Violent Femmes, and the 30th anniversary of the band’s self-titled release, since they debuted the project back in April at The Hi-Dive and on Friday their fans got a treat.  Joining the Denver tribute band on stage was Gordon Gano, the Violent Femmes guitar player and singer.  Gano played violin as singer and guitar player Jen Korte masterfully interpreted his classic songs.  Later, Gano was talked into singing the songs “Blister in the Sun” and “Country Death Song.”  For anybody that has ever argued over what the lyrics of “Blister in the Sun” mean, The Dirty Femmes put on a show not to be missed.

Opener: MF Ruckus. Next up was MF Ruckus, sticking with the tribute theme, they came out and played nothing but Iron Maiden songs.  The hard rocking Mother Fucking Ruckus not only sounded great, but they looked the part.  Wearing long haired wigs and studded wrist cuffs, in the low light conditions the band took me back to my Junior High days.  Amber Saxon of Hell’s Belles came out on stage to share in the vocal duties for the bands rendition of “666.”  Join MF Ruckus on Saturday December 8th at 3 Kings Tavern for a holiday party so good that the band says, “it will make you shoot tinsel out your ass.”  Who knows, maybe for Christmas they will throw an Iron Maiden tune or two into their set of original material.

Hell’s Belles: I will give you five reasons that Hell’s Belles is better than AC/DC.  Lisa, Adrian, Laura, Mandy, and Amber.  These girls brought a raw energy to songs that have grown stale for me from to much radio play.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love the originals, but five beautiful girls playing them brought back the passion  for me.  Shortly after guitarist Adrian took off her shirt and climbed on the drum kit to bare her ass, with AC on one cheek and DC on the other, somebody in the crowd lit up a spliff.  The smell of marijuana in the air the night was complete with sex, drugs, and Rock and Roll.

Energy: A-
Musicianship: A-
Sound: B+
Stage Presence: A
Set/Light Show: B-

Overall: B+


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Who Is Johne Edge

Wherever the music is, you'll find me with my camera, shooting on street corners, from barstools at clubs, from the side of the stage at theaters, and from photo pits in places like Red Rocks. Clicking away, trying to capture the emotive essence of music, and all those moments that we forget because of one too many Pabst Blue Ribbons.