On June 29, we'll present our 25th Westword Music Showcase. The event has grown dramatically since it was founded in 1995 with just a handful of bands playing around LoDo. In 2019, more than seventy local acts will fill venues throughout the Golden Triangle, while national headliners CHVRCHES, Jai Wolf, JAUZ, Bishop Briggs, Crooked Colours, lovelytheband, The Knocks, The Wrecks and SHAED will play the two main stages.
Many of the artists who have participated in Showcase have gone on to worldwide success, while others continue to perform for loyal local audiences. And some have cashed it in and left music altogether.
The goth Americana act Slim Cessna's Auto Club, best known for helping to create the so-called Denver sound, has been playing for more than a quarter of a century. The group, which continues to perform and release material, has also formed an offshoot project, DBUK, which has been gaining attention in recent years.
Westword recently caught up with Cessna to talk about his memories of the Westword Music Showcase and his thoughts about how the Denver scene has evolved. Here's what he had to say:
Westword: What memories and stories do you have of playing the Westword Music Showcase?
Slim Cessna: I’ve been looking on the Internet for anything that can help me remember details about where we played and what years. It was so long ago. At the very first award ceremony, all the winners got on stage, and I sang "We Are the World" with Diggy Diamond and Hazel Miller.
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How has your own band evolved since playing Showcase?
We got really old. My knees hurt all the time. DBUK is our retirement plan.
Denver's music scene has changed a lot over the past 25 years. What are your thoughts on its evolution?
There are so many more people, bands and venues in this city. I’m not really sure how we’re affected by it. We still have opportunities to play fun shows. People come out to enjoy it with us. We’re very thankful we still get to do this.
The 25th Westword Music Showcase will sound off in the Golden Triangle on Saturday, June 29. Find out more about who's playing, vote for your favorite acts on the Westword Music Awards ballot, and buy tickets at westwordshowcase.com.