The Scene: Thank goodness that some of the neon on Colfax still works. If it weren’t for theses glowing tubes of light, I would not know which pizza place was “open crazy late,” and which one closed a normal hour. Concert photographers might never eat if it weren’t for pizza. We usually arrive at a venue around eight o’clock and are there until well after midnight. Tonight would be no different as I arrived to a group of middle aged nuns playing Clash covers. As I got closer to shoot photos, I realized these were not nuns but men in habits, and that they were the best Clash cover band I had ever heard and I was thoroughly disappointed that the theatre was about a third full for The Nuns of Brixton. Security told me that a snowboarding convention had rented out the entire balcony and had not arrived yet. With “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “White Riot” ringing in my ears, I knew it was game on.
Opener: Synthetic Elements. Denver based Synthetic Elements came out next and kept things going. The quintet played its first show back in 2001 and has built a large fan base over the years. I was impressed as vocalist and guitarist Todd Mcmullan led the band through a strong set of Punk. Starting with “Standing Still” and finishing with “Living Dead Parade,” they kept the energy up in the room. Later you would find them getting drunk and watching Goldfinger with the rest of the crowd.
Goldfinger: Along with bands like Rancid and Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger led the way for Third-Wave Ska. The blending of Ska and Punk exposed a whole new generation to Ska music. With seven albums over nineteen years, the band had plenty of material to choose from. Lead singer and guitarist John Feldmann and bassist Kelly Lemiux, formerly of Electric Love Hogs, led the show off with “Spokesman.” Absent from this year’s tour were Goldfinger lead guitarist Charlie Paulson and drummer Darrin Pfeiffer. Tongue out and jumping around, Phil Sneed from Story of the Year took on the lead guitarist duties.
Loud and low pitched on the drums, Matchbook Romance’s Aaron Stern provide the rhythm for the night. Between “Counting the Days” and “Here in Your Bedroom,” the band ripped through five more songs. During the next song the band invited the crowd to join them on stage. Crowd members crawled over the barrier and through the photo pit to jump on stage. As the band began to play “Mable” the crowd on the stage began dancing around and joined in singing the song into the microphones. As the song ended several people dove from the stage into the awaiting arms of the crowd. Later in the set the band played “Miles Away” and “Superman” at which point John put down his guitar and walked upright into the crowd who held him up in the air. The show ended with an encore of “If I’m Not Right” and a cover of the Nena version of “99 Red Balloons.”
Stage Presence: A+
Set/Light Show: A