Music News

The ’80s are alive at the Roadhouse

A strong police presence near a bar definitely makes you think twice about drinking too much. It can also make you feel safe — or make you mighty suspicious of a saloon's clientele. Particularly when three squad cars are constantly circling a place, as was the case at the grand opening of The Roadhouse, at 701 Carbondale Drive in Dacono, a town of roughly 4,200 folks that's named after three ladies: Daisy, Cora and Nora.

Granted, this was the Friday of Memorial Day weekend (when the heat was obviously on), and hard-rock legends L.A. Guns were playing. Still, while Dacono is only a half-hour north of Denver on I-25, it feels like it's in a different state. And inside the Roadhouse, I felt like I'd stepped into another era, circa 1981-88.

While some people might embrace a certain culture — e.g., hair metal — for only a short time, others not only embrace it, but grasp it firmly, holding on tight until more than two decades have passed since the era's heyday. Looking around the Roadhouse, which had obviously had a lot of work done to it, I could see that the new owners were aiming for the '80s hair-metal crowd. The Dean guitars hanging over the bar and the KISS memorabilia on the wall were dead giveaways.

So were the bands booked that night. Open Fire opened with '80s hard rock, followed by Romeo's Delight, one of the state's finest Van Halen tribute bands, and then the main event: L.A. Guns. From the looks of the massive stage, sound system and professional lighting rig, this giant place was made to rock, and rock hard. There were easily 400 people packed into the club and onto the outdoor patio, basically a fenced-off section of the parking lot.

When the music ended and my buddy and I stepped back outside, the cops were still making the rounds. I was glad I'd been drinking Coke all night, even if it's not a very hair-metal beverage.

Club scout: The biker-friendly Wide Open Saloon (5700 Lincoln Drive) is now open in the back of Top Gun Motorsports, just a few blocks north of the Grizzly Rose. The place has a huge patio and plenty of bike parking, and bike night starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Wide Open brings in live rock, blues and country bands Wednesday through Sunday — and on Saturday and Sunday, it serves breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m.

Lincoln's Road House (1201 South Pearl Street) will celebrate its tenth anniversary with a lineup of local blues acts on Saturday, June 6, starting at 1 p.m. On Sunday, June 7, Shotgun Willie's (490 South Colorado Boulevard) is throwing the Sahair Salon Beach Bash, with a Hautees Couture fashion show and $2 you-call-its on drafts as well; gals can also get free hair and makeup makeovers. The Robusto Room (9535 Park Meadows Drive, Lone Tree) just started Flippin' Wednesdays, when you can order a drink, flip a coin — and if you guess the outcome right, you get the drink free. DJ Brandon Lee will spin rock, '80s and electro that night as well.

Three bars recently introduced reggae nights. Sengers on the Fax (3014 East Colfax Avenue) now offers Sunday Vibrations from 2 to 10 p.m. on the patio; Owsley's Golden Road (2151 Lawrence Street) brings in live reggae bands and DJs on Thursdays; and the Tabor Center Purple Martini (1201 16th Street) has a dancehall night with DJ Bush on Fridays. And Kazmos (1381 Kalamath Street) still has its long-running dancehall and reggae night on Saturdays.

One more bit of news: DJ Brian Howe now has a Friday-night residency at Lure (1434 Blake Street).

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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon