Interactive Concert Will Transport You to a Mythical Forest

Coastless Creatives' vibrant and unique shows are made possible by its equally colorful staff.
Coastless Creatives' vibrant and unique shows are made possible by its equally colorful staff. Madebyhollow
The Organic Dystopia concert hosted by Denver's up-and-coming musician collective Coastless Creatives on Saturday, December 4, is anything but ordinary. The interactive music and art showcase will transform Your Mom's House into Arbor, a Meow Wolf-inspired, post-apocalyptic forest ruled by odd and enchanting creatures. There will be six musical artists, as well as visual-art displays and interactive booths that include tarot reading and nail painting.

Coastless Creatives was created in February by a group of former students of the Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME), a private school that had a branch in Denver accredited by Metropolitan State University. When the pandemic shut down the school, Alex Creighton and four other ex-DIME students decided to found the collective and support their own musical projects and other local musicians by booking concerts, promoting events and recording high-quality footage of performances.

As Coastless Creative's lead executive, Creighton hopes the collective will afford musicians the time to make music rather than spend it on promoting and editing videos. Coastless has grown to a crew of eight people, all with specific jobs, including a video editor and a TikTok influencer.

"This show is the beginning of where we're going to be heading. I feel like anyone can throw a concert; I feel like a lot of other really good companies are doing exactly what we're doing right now," Creighton says.

"A lot of our shows going forward will push the limits of what venues will let us do and what is even considered a concert," he adds, teasing other immersive experiences such as a Scott Pilgrim-esque battle of the bands.

Organic Dystopia was inspired by Creighton's visit to the new Meow Wolf outpost in Denver with his team members. "I was just in a place where Coastless was not fun or creatively fulfilling, and I'm like, we need to do something different," he recalls. "And I was at Meow Wolf and got inspired. I was like, 'Let's just make a show where we have art and that has a theme and a story — like, what if we did a concept show?'"

Creighton will greet concert-goers at the door with cards that explain Arbor's lore. As visitors wander through the post-apocalyptic forest, they can get tarot readings, have Polaroids taken, commission custom poetry, get their nails done and purchase handmade candles. Those interactions will lead to more cards that piece together the story of the fictional world that, according to the press release, is a "forest planet that barely survived a human invasion that destroyed most of the forest and natural resources for their own profit and left most of Arbor's inhabitants dead."

"The show isn't us taking a stance on climate change, but it's definitely inspired by climate change. And my stance on climate change is that it's real and it sucks," Creighton says, adding that Arbor was also inspired by his interest in post-apocalyptic settings. He says he chose a forest as the backdrop because he found dystopian cities to be cliché.

"It's not like it's supposed to be a commentary, but it's inspired by what's happening in front of my face every day," he says.

Coastless Creatives receives emails and DMs regularly from local artists asking to be part of one of its shows, according to Creighton, who says the collective's events include a mixture of bands that reach out as well as bands they've worked with in the past. Organic Dystopia's lineup includes funk trio Louphonic, lofi producer Yugs, ii/lo, R&B duo Dog Tags, indie band Mellowpunk and jam band Trusetto. Behind each of the artists, an individualized piece of digital art made by Coastless Creatives creative director Jack Terry will be projected on a screen.

Coastless Creatives presents Organic Dystopia at 8 p.m. Saturday, December 4, at Your Mom's House, 608 East 13th Avenue. General admission is $15 in advance at Your Mom's House online, and $18 day of show.
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Gabrielle Bye is an editorial fellow at Westword, reporting local news; she previously covered Colorado politics for almost two years. In her spare time, she loves to enjoy nature and eat locally.
Contact: Gabrielle Bye