Blitzen Trapper, Smoosh and Aqueduct July 31, 2007 The Hi-Dive Better than: You’d think three bands with such silly names would be.
Blitzen Trapper started the night off with a set of deliriously giddy, loose-limbed indie pop built on a foundation of rattling drums, overdriven guitar, fuzzy synths and sunshine melodies. They came off for the most part like a more somber Flaming Lips or a more upbeat Minus Story, which isn’t bad territory to stake out.
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Smoosh followed and proved, once and for all, that junior-high-age girls can seriously rock the fuck out. It would be easy to assume a band comprised of two girls that won’t be driving legally for some time would be purely novelty, but that isn’t the case. The singer had an incredibly pure, clear voice that pushed angelic melodies straight into the stratosphere and the drummer might as well be the reincarnation of Brian Jones, albeit in pint-sized female form. These girls have some serious talent and, with a few more years and a bit of polish under their belts, should find them among indie rock royalty.
After the pleasant surprise of Smoosh, Aqueduct took the stage and started off with a fantastic version of “As Your Girlfriend is Far Away” and steadily increased the level of awesome from there. As usual, Dave Terry managed to propel his irresistible junk-pop masterpieces to even higher levels live, stopping between songs to swear that Denver is one of his favorite cities to play (Aw, Dave, I bet you tell all the cities that), give a shout out to the large number of Tulsa kids present and take song requests from the audience. Although he refused to play any of the crowd-favorite covers that were called out, he did fulfill requests for “Who Wanna Rock?” and “Growing Up With GNR” before finishing up with a version of “Frantic” that easily lived up to its name. Apart from the rhythm section seeming a little behind the rest of the band at times, it was a stellar set that ranks among his best Denver appearances. Critic’s Notebook Personal Bias: I’m an Aqueduct fan, pure and simple. I own all the releases, I’ve seen them about six times, and I’ll see them again at the next opportunity. Random Detail: An infatuated female fan told me she was “kind of freaking out” after meeting Terry, then announced she needed a shot and headed to the bar. By the Way: This current Aqueduct tour will culminate in an appearance at Lollapalooza in Chicago. -- Cory Casciato