Turbonegro – May 20th – The Ogden Theatre

DSC_6756Photos by Johne Edge

The Scene: There must have been a ship docked at 935 E Colfax last Monday night, because as I walked up to the Ogden Theater I became engulfed in a sea of boys and girls wearing denim and sailor caps.  It was a bit surreal since we were all awash with the neon of Colfax, and not the Pacific Ocean which was over 1,000 miles away.  Learning to embrace the odd lately, I decided if KISS can have army of fans then Turbonegro can have its navy of fans.

Opener: The Dwarves. With the images of naked women and a dwarf in a lucha libre mask dancing in my head, (who says record covers don’t influence our purchases) I eagerly looked forward to the night’s opener The Dwarves.  They played a fast and furious set of Punk Rock with intentionally shocking lyrics.  Funny and irreverent, they were the perfect openers for the main act, and may be the last great Punk act out there.

Turbonegro:  The headliner was about fifteen minutes behind schedule.  Waiting in the photo pit I found myself surrounded by the Turbojugend, members of Turbonegro’s fan club.  Easily recognized by their specially-made denim jackets with the Turbonegro logo and Turbojugend chapter name stitched on the back.  The fan faithful had come from all around for the show.  There were chapters from Austin, Los Angeles, Fort Collins, and of course Denver.  Looking out at the sea of fans (nautical pun intended) I could tell that Turbonegro has become a phenomenon over the last twenty years but my focus was pulled back to the stage as the lights went down and the band took the stage.

Euroboy, the proclaimed love child of a one night stand between Jimmy Page and Elton John began playing the opening notes of “Just Flesh.”  The two Toms, bassist Happy Tom (in full sailor regalia) and drummer Tommy “Manboy” Akerholdt provided the songs rhythm.  Joining in on the upbeat was guitarist Rune Grønn.  Bright lights shined on a backdrop depicting a neon version of the cover of the band’s latest album Sexual Harassment, and out came vocalist Tony Sylvester dressed like someone from the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (The Marlon Brando movie not the band) crossed with an S&M fetishist wearing a tie.

As soon as Tony, “the Duke of Nothing,” opened his mouth to sing the crowd knew it was on.  The band jumped back and forth between classic Metal and Punk themes of loss and death in songs like “All My Friends Are Dead” to homosexual innuendo with the tongue-in-cheek  lyrics  of “Sailor Boy” and “Prince of the Rodeo.”  There was no attempt at political correctness, this night was clearly about rock n’ roll.  After playing fifteen songs the band came back out for an encore.   Playing “The Age of Pamparius,” “Back to Dungaree High, ” and “Turbonegro Must Be Destroyed,” the band ended the night with “I Got Erection.”  In those last moments at the Ogden Theater I finally understood the lyrics, “When I hear that death punk sound- Erection /Oh, I got Erection /Oh, I got Erection.”

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

Overall: A


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.