Concert Reviews

Ten ways Communikey was a music festival done right

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Extended Sets For Artists: With ninety minute sets on Friday night and two and a half hour sets on Saturday night each artist could stretch out with the music. Fortunately this did not translate into the same vibe, texture, rhythms and sounds for the duration. Sure, it was a sort of chill environment if you wanted it to be and the music accommodated that but it was also energetic enough to be something people could dance to as enthusiastically as they wanted to. The music evolved and progressed without obvious cues, which meant it was easier to take in on your terms.

• Rich Visuals: The 3D mapping and unique projection screens meant there was plenty going on visually as the music was flowing but in a more organic rather than fast and busy. It was dynamic and stimulating without being obtrusive.

The Organization of the Space: Yes, there was a main dance floor where the speakers were focused, but you could hear the music well pretty much everywhere. Whether that was in the place near the front where you could get a drink, water or otherwise, or on one of the platform spaces to the side you could dance or just take in the sounds in a more quiet way.

Glow Poi: A couple of guys were spinning, one with a more orange light like a flame the other a more multi-colored set. It added to the feel of a rave and they were remarkably careful in their spinning and even let a women stand in for a moment and show off her skills. Made for some other kind of more visceral visual stimulation and like an old rave feel in a modern context and very welcome. Were they official practitioners of poi for this event? Probably not, but that it was welcome made it better.

Not Everyone Dressed the Same: There was no uniform. People dressed up, some not, some specifically to dance, others not and most in a way that didn't indicate any kind of subculture. The fact that there wasn't a dress code, explicit or implicit, made it a more welcoming environment than some dance clubs in Denver.

Critic's Notebook

Bias: I've enjoyed the types of music and the diversity of the events on offer at Communikey.

Random Detail: Ran into Westword scribe Matt Miner at Apex on Saturday.

By the Way: East Boulder seems like the land that time forgot after 10 on a Saturday.

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If you'd like to contact me, Tom Murphy, on Twitter, my handle is @simianthinker.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.

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