Reviews: Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Joe Purdy, John Common and the Blinding Flashes of Light, Drive-By Truckers at Mile High Music Festival, day two

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My first stop was the Wolf stage, where Danielle Ate the Sandwich was parked, being all adorably quirky -- as she does so well. She was playing "Bad Romance" and then lead into "Canada," the simple harmonies and clean uke and violin lines offering a refreshing foil to Jack Johnson last night. Although I was over Johnson after about an hour, Danielle is so engaging -- her music so clean and simple, yet interesting -- that I could have listened for much longer than her forty-minute set.

She spent almost as much time bantering with audience members as singing, proclaiming that some skater/snowboarder types had some "nice ass sandwiches" they were waving at her, catching up with old schoolmates and even a former teacher while on stage. We were treated to "Two-Bedroom Apartment," "Bribes" and "The American Dream" before she took her leave.

Joe Purdy had the Elk tent packed, and Fury was throwing down some dark, dirty dub-step in the Beta Beach tent, but I pressed on toward the Cougar stage to wait for John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light -- where a sizable crowd had gathered for Danielle Ate the Sandwich autographs; I wasn't the only person she impressed, evidently. John Common and company were dressed up in suits for "the Lord's day," according to Common, and they played mostly from the Beautiful Empty album, offering up "Wide Open World," "Can You Hear Me," "Turnaround," the Murder by Death-esque "Go to Hell With Me," "Goodnight Tulsa" and the Tom Waits cover "Clap Hands." Common has been all over the rock spectrum in his career, and the alt-country vibe he's got going on is working well for him. I caught bits and pieces of "In My Neighborhood" while heading toward the main stage for Drive By Truckers. DBT opened with "Lookout Mountain" and played "Uncle Frank," "Drag the Lake Charlie," "Sink Hole," "Birthday Boy," "Santa Fe," "Women Without Whiskey," "Hell No I Ain't Happy," "Marry Me" and closed with "Let There Be Rock." They made the transition well from plaintive-and-soft to insistent-and-angry, and for a Southern rock band, they are tight and clean, rendering their jams tolerable.

They dropped in Rocky Mountain references and played to the crowd, and their choice of song to close with was inspired. There surely was rock, and they finished off their hour-set at 3 p.m. with a big ending and salute to the crowd that had soaked up every second of their set.

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