Long Live the New and Improved Hi-Dive

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The hi-dive is the kind of place where you'll be chatting with your friend near the bar and turn to see that the guitar player from the stage has decided to play his solo right behind you. It's the kind of place where a band will hand out inflatable swords and have someone provide beer bongs to the crowd, a place where punks, hipsters, older professionals and everyone in between can revel together in whatever loud, ridiculous, (and often amazing) thing is happening upon the small stage. It's anarchy, it's punk-rock, it's always a damn good time. Those reasons are why the hi-dive has lasted eleven years, and the reason we hope it will be around eleven more.

See also: 49 of the Hi-Dive's Most Unbelievable Shows

While the small bar and venue on South Broadway has always been known as the haunt for punks, rockers, and the place to see some amazing, undiscovered talent, recently, it recently got an upgrade: The drop ceiling on the side of the building with the stage has been removed, and the difference is immediately noticeable.

Here's what's different now:

-- The ceiling is now significantly higher. The tallest Denverites can now wander around the bar without brushing their head on the roof. The space isn't any bigger, but the added square footage above makes it feel significantly larger. While feeling like you're crammed into a small, sweaty basement bar provides a certain aesthetic, feeling like you can move around and breathe without having a panic attack provides a better one.

-- The speakers no longer sit on tables next to the stage, but now hang down from the ceiling. Not only does this mean that those who want to be upfront can do so without having to stand mere inches from the speakers, but the sound now carries above the crowd instead of directly into the first few rows of people. You can hear the wailing guitars and pounding drums with clarity no matter where you end up standing.

This past anniversary weekend showed the place is just as raucous and unpretentious as ever. But the hi-dive has taken the time to better use the much loved space, and it only works in their favor. It's not like suddenly throwing beers in the air and moshing is suddenly banned. Oh no: that seems like that would involve rules and authority. But now you can do all of it with just a little more head room.

Happy Birthday, hi-dive. Here's to eleven more ridiculous years.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.