Photos by Ty Hyten
Ah, it’s that time of year again. Tim for the Westword Music Showcase. That annual summertime experience when the local hipsters, punks, and hip-hop heads rub shoulders in Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood. Popular Golden Triangle bars and clubs host a variety of Denver acts. Whether you caught the indie-rock band, A. Tom Collins, jamming out like pirates at Curious Theatre or got weird with the infamous Colfax Speed Queen at Broadways, there was always another band waiting in the wings: if you hated an act, you could simply walk down the street and find one that you loved. The festival proved yet again that Denver’s eclectic mix of talented and unique musicians helps define this city as one of the best towns in which to live.
The crowd in the main venue resembled the crowd on the neighboring streets, just more drunk. Inundated with vendors selling everything from vaporizer pens to Christian music lessons, the main stage saw an array of individuals, many of them draped in rainbow colors and American flags in support of their homoerotic patriotism. “GO USA and GO GAY,” was heard chanted by the beer stands, which were surrounded by topless [painted] women handing out flyers for Colorado’s first marijuana-centered festival.
2 Chainz and Diplo represented the Billboard charts at this year’s Showcase to draw in the masses. Although Man Man put up quite the fight to achieve a sizeable crowd, the masses didn’t arrive until Cherub took the stage. The Electro-Pop duo recently released a new album titled Year of the Caprese, which does a great job of bending the sound of the neo-disco movement into their style. Hits like “XOXO,” “Disco Shit,” and their enormous summer single, “Doses and Mimosas” grew the crowd to extreme proportions and, to the dismay of many, quadrupled the sizes of the beer lines.
2 Chainz followed, bringing in an even larger audience. The hyped-up Atlanta rapper only sported one chain, but that didn’t phase anyone as his presence was nothing less than electric. Hits like “No Lie,” “I’m Different,” and “Birthday Song,” whipped the entire crowd into a “rap-a-long.” After 2 Chainz exited the stage, attendees were left to fight the lines to booze up for the dance fest that was about to ensue. Diplo brings it, and he brings it hard. At this point, even the anti-EDMers were getting down with 2 Chainz groupies and local Denver rockers. The world renowned DJ intersected Denver’s roots with mixes of Hip-Hop, Electronica, and 80’s Pop with his colossal bass and spectacular lightshow. As the sun set and the temperatures lowered, the energy in the Golden Triangle neighborhood raged long after the music at the showcase had ended.
Westword Music Showcase 2014 was a true success. Until next year, Denver!