The 21st Westword Music Showcase in 21 Words or Fewer: Part Two

MisterWives put on one of the day's most talked-about sets.EXPAND
MisterWives put on one of the day's most talked-about sets.
Aaron Thackeray

Over 100 of the best Colorado bands and artists (plus a few notable out-of-towners) crowded onto fifteen stages in the Golden Triangle on June 20 for the 21st Westword Music Showcase: our annual celebration of Denver's music scene. To mark the occasion of our festival reaching drinking age, we asked our keen-eyed music writers to describe a few of their favorite sets in 21 words or fewer. Check out the first batch here — several more of our short takes are below. 

MTHDS’ sunny pop tunes call for a dancing hype-man in a cardboard-and-tinfoil robot costume. Luckily, MTHDS had one.

-Jef Otte


Plume Varia's beautiful, ambient, dramatic, ethereal sound juxtaposed with Stoney's ready-to-party atmosphere. The dark and the light, together.

-Bree Davies

The Dirty Femmes delivered a rowdy set of material that included Violent Femmes songs, a Creedence tune with special guests.

-Jon Solomon


Packed room, new band members, old songs, happy crowd for the Photo Atlas. Is it 2005 or 2015?

-BD


Church Fire exposed EDMers to the other side of electronic music. Also, girls hula hooping as Shannon Webber screamed over beats.

-BD

Even with a day-drunk crowd, Edison's thoughtful lyrics, serenading voice, and catchy instrumentation caught the attention and ears of attendees.
-Mary Willson

Natalie Tate's incandescent melodies, light-hearted banter, evocative, smoky vocals and smooth textures suggested a secret cabaret to soothe the soul.

-Tom Murphy


Eros and the Eschaton’s noisy, edgy dream pop recalled the music of Medicine — jaggedly beautiful songs of striking originality.

-TM

From mohawks to collared shirts, an eclectic crowd showed up to hear Reno Divorce's high energy tattoo-shop sound.

-Alison Uralli

Bringing a badass, confident demeanor mixed with intricate and evolving lyrics, Koo-Qua is a leader on and off the stage. 
-MW


Joy Subtraction tore the stage up, bringing wild and irreverent humor to new fans — what a festival is all about.

-BD


Cory Kendrix woke up the hot, stoned patio of Vinyl. "Wanna Be" was absolutely lit.

-Lindsey Bartlett

Future Single Mom was bigger than the room. Not enough people know how fucking awesome this band is...yet.

-BD


Mane Rok of Stay Tuned took his mic into the crowd for an amazing set hidden in the City Hall rafters.

-BD


Kalyn Heffernan offered to buy the crowd cocaine with her freshly awarded MasterMind money. Then Wheelchair Sports Camp blew their minds.

-BD


Sam Warren: Come for the siren-like, melodic thumping, stay for the air conditioning.

-LB


I Sank Molly Brown displayed masterfully refined math-rock with bursts of emotional intensity punctuating passages of tender, delicate melody.

-TM

I Sank Molly Brown’s tight set coiled around flicker-quick changes like a nerdy python. And they courteously offered everyone earplugs.

-JO


This four-piece edition of Sound of Ceres took already enchantingly otherworldly pop music and breathed a bit more life into it.

-TM

Allout Helter
Allout Helter
Jay Vollmar

The Raven and the Writing Desk's formerly ethereal, fairy-tale-esque sound has been replaced with moodier, darker, more urgent songwriting.

-TM

Even spitting machine-gun-quick nursery rhymes beneath a foot-tall marching-band hat, Wheelchair Sports Camp’s Kalyn Heffernan issued impassive cool.

-JO


Wiredogs lets slip a slew of charismatic, SG-driven metal with all the earnestness of a door-to-door Mormon on a tirade.

-JO


Snake Rattle Rattle snake sounds like the soundtrack to a crossfit workout for paranoid schizophrenics based on Apocalypse Now: menacing.

-JO


With jams that should never end, the personality of old friends and energy that is contagious, Rubedo shouldn’t be missed.
-MW

Even the flinging beach balls seemed to slow in the Black Angels’ thick, methodic sludge, incanted like a wizard’s spells.

-JO


Wave Racer brought heavy bass mixed with jazzy, shiny, synthetic brass sounds. I got hit in the head with a beach ball.

-AU

Rubedo
Rubedo
Jay Vollmar

Chamber music for maladapted: Only Ian Cooke’s banter between the songs of his haunting solo set could stop the weeping.

-JO


MisterWives: Best. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" cover. Ever.

-AU


While the first half of the Black Angels’ set was as heavy as it was spacious, the second half packed more vigor.

-JS


MisterWives: Neon. Saxophone. Had a chorus of "Woah, woah, woah-ocean."

-Isa Jones


With drums, bass and facepaint, Robert Delong used his joystick and Wii remote to show the future of EDM.

-LB

To the person watching the sweaty crowd for Flume from the fifth floor of the Art Apartments: You know too much.

-LB

Lots of drunk people make me feel claustrophobic, but their graphics were phenomenal. 
-MW


Flume brought edible visuals, sparkly sound, triangles and tons of high schoolers. Would see again.

-AU

MisterWives
MisterWives
Aaron Thackeray

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