Concert Reviews

Gathering of the Clouds, 10/21/10 - 10/23/10

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Friday, October 22, 2010

This night started off with a band not many people know about yet called Glass Homes, a duo comprising a guitarist and singer and a bass player, with programmed drums and synths. These guys had some aggressive energy and sounded a bit like those "dance punk" bands from around a decade ago, but more like the Faint than Interpol. Great energy and tighter than a lot of bands.

Juliet Mission turned in an admirable performance with its moody yet uplifting music. Not sure how these guys make introspection rock so much or how Andre Lucero sings with such melodic precision and strong emotionalism, but they do.

Apparently Shane Williams revamped his projection rig, because when Overcasters played its short set, the stage was awash in such rich, vibrant colors that it sometimes didn't look like you were seeing a live band. Or, at the very least, the projection made everything seem hyper-real. Overcasters, for their part, turned in one of their most assured performances, moving in conjunction with the swirl and flow of the music. Kurt Ottaway danced with his guitar a lot more than usual, and even did the classic move where he nearly goes to his knees, crossing his legs in a kind of lunge.

This set from the Swayback didn't have as many of its more atmospheric songs, instead focusing on the outfit's bluesy rock numbers. The rework of "Concrete Blocks" was almost unrecognizable, because the guys put a grittier, more aggressive spin on the performance. Anyone who was used to this band being more brooding saw a show this night that could be described as being in a more hard-rock vein.

Closing out the longest night of the festival were the Buckingham Squares. And, as usual, it was one at-least-as-good-as-the-original cover of garage-rock classics after another. None of us will probably ever get to see the Music Machine or the Blues Magoos or even an original lin-up of the Kinks again anytime soon -- much less any other band interpreting the same material with as much conviction and power as the Squares displayed this night. Ricky Kulwicki had to go to work at 4 a.m. after getting home around 3; he deserves some kind of award for extreme dedication to rocking.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.