Denver music field guide, chapter two: Five kinds of music fans and how to spot them
All illustrations by Noah Van Sciver
The city of Denver is known for its various species of beer geeks, outdoor enthusiasts and sports fans, but the varied climate of the Denver music scene cultivates a diverse cluster of fans, from metal heads to hippies to Juggalos. Here, in the first of several chapters in our handy field guide, you'll find colorful illustrations and descriptions of the most common fans in the Mile High City. Consider this a cheat sheet for astute people-watchers to help identify the breeds that inhabit our fine city, as well as tips on where to locate them.
There's a reason that Denver is one of only four stops on the Global Dance Festival tour and that electronic dance music has made a home here: The scene is strong here, and ravers can enjoy the multitude of electronic artists that come through town and feel comfortable donning neon American Apparel to their heart's delight. See also: PLUR.
Characteristics: Plans year around STS9 at Red Rocks, Camp Bisco, Skylab and Caffeine. Travels only by party bus. Wears old festival bracelets and newly beaded bracelets. Keeps a supply of glow sticks handy. Neutral colors have been nixed from their closets.
Native Habitat: The parking lots at Red Rocks, arena raves.
Mating Ground: A tent, located at whichever festival they might be at.
Burners identify with burning events, where a few days (or weeks) of dance music and art exhibitions culminate in the flame-filled demolition of a wooden structure or art edifice. Burners often have money from ventures outside of their cultural identity, which can often be put toward things that might enhance the self-expression of the burner experience.
Characteristics: Referring to Burning Man as "the pilgrimage," these folks want to celebrate art, music, beauty in the middle of the desert and feel the need to "burn" their conventional self on occasion.
Native Habitat: Warehouse parties. And, of course, Black Rock Desert.
Mating Ground: Wherever inspiration finds them.
Consumes: Do they eat?
Holy pompadour! If you're somewhere where they play the old-school blues rock of the '50s, you're likely to run into a rockabilly revivalist, a member of the culture that idealizes -- and emulates -- the nostalgia, fashion and music of the 1950s. See also: Greaser.
Characteristics: Immaculate hairdos, rolled cuffs, Chuck Taylors, car that pre-dates the plot of The Outsiders.
Native Habitat: Rockabillies (duh), the Skylark, old car garages, various retro watering holes.
Mating Ground: Rockabillies, the Skylark.
Consumes: Burgers and fries, Coca-Cola.
Crust punks travel in packs, and many disregard traditional social norms as a rejection of the government and/or a traditional lifestyle, and in turn, drift around.
Characteristics: Multiple dogs, black clothing, patches, lackluster personal hygiene, in a group of three or more.
Native Habitat: DIY shows, events and venues.
Mating Ground: See above.
Consumes: Many crusties are vegetarian or vegan.
It's hard to peg someone as goth these days in Denver and elsewhere because, for the most part, the identity has become so crowded with people wearing the stereotypical attire of goths that it's become hard to tell the difference between authentic goths and those in costume.
Characteristics: Disdain toward society, prefer being a social misfit, might or might not worship Satan.
Native Habitat: Various goth nights and shows across the city.
Mating Ground: Deathwish at City Hall, Machine District at Norad.
Consumes: Food that is based entirely on a stereotype.
For the first list of fans, read "Denver music field guide, chapter one: Five kinds of music fans and how to spot them."
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