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Over the Weekend ... Stand By Your Band II @ hi-dive

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Stand By Your Band II Saturday, January 26, 2008, hi-dive Better than: Sitting at home and watching The Last Waltz again.

What makes a scene great? Better yet, what makes a scene viable and important? One could say the quality of music, even still it could be said that the thing that makes a great music scene is the extent to which the figures involved are willing to come together, either supporting each other, or the community as a whole. Right now Denver is producing some great music (even with several bands breaking up), and on Saturday night at the Hi-Dive some of the people who are making this scene great, came together for some drunken revelry in support of the Denver Public Schools music programs and the Denver Kickstand group.

The whole premise of the night was stunningly simple; members of local luminaries Born in the Flood, Hot IQs, d.biddle, Mothership, Everything Absent or Distorted get traded and sorted into brand new supergroups. Each group then plays one song by each of the bands that lent a member plus three covers. What ensued was a night of in-jokes, inebriation, and at times, some damn good music.

With members coming and going at will, the two supergroups both made use of the friendly environment to put their stamp on covers that varied wildly from Tom Petty to Curtis Mayfield to Photo Atlas. The crowd, made up mostly of friends and fellow musicians, cheered wildly after every song. And who wouldn’t have eaten up the awesome cover of “Pusherman”? The only unfortunate thing was how short the whole event was, with each group playing less than a half hour. If the crowd would’ve had its way, the show would’ve gone on 'til close, with somebody most likely requesting some Pink Floyd covers.

The night seemed more like a celebration than a mere concert, with all the musicians obviously having a blast, and nobody taking themselves too seriously. However this night also proved to be a great show of solidarity for a music scene that is starting to find a confident voice on the national stage. -- Jeremy Brashaw

Critic’s Notebook Personal Bias: Gotta give it up for the duel drums Tom Waits cover; Eli from Hot IQ’s really had me convinced on that one. Random Detail: In case you didn’t know, DenverKickstand.com is a not-for-profit organization committed to supporting, educating and developing the Denver independent music community. Check them out. By the Way: From the looks of things at this show, balloons, tied to one’s wrist, is the new hipster fashion accessory. Go figure.

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