Concert Reviews

Hallow Freak'n Ween at 1STBANK, 10/30/10

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The Denver dance scene came out in droves for it with the winking devil lady icon an appropriate mascot for the show. Although most of the ladies costumes were courtesy of Legs Avenue (fishnets paired with micro miniskirts and assorted wings/tutus), there was true originality in a marvelous version of Doc Brown from Back to the Future and A Clockwork Orange's Alex DeLarge.

When we entered the main arena, aka the Grim Reaper's Lair, DJ Bl3nd was starting off the evening with a series of hard, kick-drum beats - waking up the early arrivals in raw punctuation marks. The stage's name was derived from the giant Grim Reaper, the DJ booth inside the cowl with a skull looking over the DJ's shoulder, its skeletal arms outstretched over the crowd and devil lady go-go dancers in between. The mutilated Chucky mask worn by Bl3nd as he jumped on the booth was an appropriate sight to start the night off with.

He was followed by DJ Icey at 9:45pm who started right where Ble3d left off and kept banging the beats into the crowd. As one of the hardest touring American DJs, Icey is a dependable, fun spinner to go watch. The best parts of his set were when he had the break beats and naughtiness on high -- the most awkward when trying to infuse a few lighter melodies in. It felt like he skipped a track ahead of himself -- out of sync with the set.

The other "stages" at the event were very small alcoves normally reserved for a few tables to dine at. They were spaced out fairly evenly around the perimeter of the venue -- the concrete divider walls did a decent job of keeping sets separate from another, but I had to feel for the DJs that were crammed into them. It was hard on the very small stages to get into the sets with limited crowd space and, at times, unclear sound quality. On the flipside, it was nice to see a myriad group of locals and out-of-towners getting to play to the crowds.

Sir Thomas, one of the Denver locals, was spinning the night's most unique set consisting of tech house beats -- a sophisticated darker, eerie and decidedly minimal sound -- from one of these alcoves. Many artists mixed in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" to their sets, but Sir Thomas was the best of them, teasing the crowd expertly with the opening lyrics before busting out the full chorus to their delight.

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Kris Abel
Contact: Kris Abel