From MySpace to Mission Ballroom: 3OH!3 Is Back for 303 Day in Denver | Westword

From MySpace to Mission Ballroom: 3OH!3 Is Back for 303 Day

The duo plays the Mission Ballroom for 303 Day with Matt and Kim, LovelytheBand, N3ptune and RSTY.
Sean Foreman and Nat Motte of 3OH!3.
Sean Foreman and Nat Motte of 3OH!3. Madeline Leary
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The guys behind 3OH!3 are perpetually celebrating their home state thanks to their moniker, but March 3 is a particularly special day for Sean Foreman and Nat Motte.

That date inspired the 303 Day celebration in Colorado, when we tout everything that makes our state great, as well as all the great things our state has made, including music. One of the biggest parties happens to be hosted by 3OH!3 at the Mission Ballroom. The duo held its first 303 Day show there in 2020, and while immediately after that the pandemic shut down the show for a couple of years, the annual event came back last year and will again return to the Mission this Sunday, March 3.

"For us, it's an opportunity to celebrate with fellow Coloradans the place that we love and the place that we grew up — not just as people, but as musicians," says Motte. "It's celebrating everything we love about Colorado, especially the music scene here. We partnered with AEG and the Mission Ballroom, which is a really amazing place to see music, and KTCL with Nerf [Jeb Freedman], who is the program director there and has always been a big champion of ours and a big champion of local music in general. It's something we're keen on doing every year."

While many musicians are big on repping their hometown, not many do it like 3OH!3 does, with both its name and attitude. "Obviously, there's the greatest amphitheater in the world here, and so many great the hi-dive and Larimer Lounge," Foreman gushes. "That's where we started and still continue to see our friends and live music. So our idea was, 'Let's just celebrate it!' ... Every artist we run across or talk to — and I don't think they're just blowing smoke — when we ask what their favorite place to play is, they always say Denver or Colorado in general."

Although Foreman now lives in California, he comes to Colorado often, and Motte is still based in Boulder, where they both grew up and later met at University of Colorado Boulder. "We were both going to underground hip-hop shows and stuff," Motte recalls. "We actually only formally met in a physics class, and then we bonded over music really quickly."
click to enlarge two men in a field
The duo first gained popularity on MySpace.
Madeline Leary
The two friends were in another band together before forming 3OH!3, which quickly gained a cult following via MySpace (it was the early 2000s, so where else?). By 2008, the duo hit the mainstream with the song "Don't Trust Me," which reached number seven on Billboard's Hot 100 and was a hit on many fans' ringback tones. Foreman and Motte were then tapped to collaborate with Lil Jon on the track "Hey," as well as with Kesha for "Blah Blah Blah." 3OH!3 was also a mainstay on the Warped Tour, that pop-punk fever dream cherished by Etnies-wearing millennials.

And 3OH!3 has remained cherished, as well — so much so that the group easily sold out last year's 303 Day concert. For past shows, Foreman and Motte always enlisted local acts, and this year is no different, with special guests N3ptune, Westword's Best Breakout Musician of 2023, and RSTY. The evening will also include the duo Matt & Kim, which once played such DIY venues as Rhinoceropolis, and Los Angeles rock group LovelytheBand.

"We were so stoked to have N3ptune be part of this. We haven't met him in person yet, but I saw him do the halftime show for the Nuggets, and he had so much energy, killed it. He's amazing," says Foreman. "He has this positivity and great vibe and great music, so that was just a no-brainer for us."

The pair promises some "exciting surprises," too. "We may have convinced a certain dance and drum squad to be there...and maybe a little taste of Colorado bluegrass," teases Foreman.

"It's gonna be a blast. We always pick a kind of theme," he adds. "Last year was a used car lot; we were inspired by the Dealin' Doug and Rocky's Auto [commercials], just our early childhood watching those."

This year's theme is based on the National Parks, and "might have a certain park-ranger vibe," Foreman says. "We've got some photo ops and all this fun stuff."

"We're just excited for the show, and we're excited to keep celebrating with fellow Coloradans this holiday," Motte concludes. "We're going to create something that's a little bit concert, a little bit experience and a little bit weird. And mostly the thing that ties it all together is a bunch of fun."

303 Day Concert, 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 3, Mission Ballroom, 4242 Wynkoop Street. Ticket prices vary.
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