Lists

The Ten Best Secret-Identity Bands in Denver — 2016 Edition

Denver has been home to many musical acts that perform in costume or under an alias, personas that inform the aesthetic of the songwriting and performance. Sometimes the disguises are meant to take the emphasis off of a specific identity. Sometimes they're used to create a sense of something special and unique to heighten the impact of the music. But whatever the reason, Denver hasn't been short on artists who either completely hide their identity or adopt a persona to make the music more fun for themselves and anyone who happens to be there for a show. Here is a list of active local bands that operate under secret identities. Catch them if you can.

10. Boba Fett and the Americans

This marching band that performs cover songs, led by a figure wearing a Boba Fett mask covering the entire head, has been an on-again, off-again fixture at local small music venues and at the UMS.

9. Itchy-O

Probably the most well known and bombastic in-costume project with a 32-plus member lineup, Itchy-O developed as a kind of experimental marching band. But the project has since dropped the “Marching Band” from its moniker because the music has moved beyond that, and the act has become an informal tribal phenomenon with a national presence.

8. Little Fyodor & Babushka Band

Not in disguise so much as in character, Little Fyodor & Babushka is one of the longest-running bands in Denver. Some may see the schtick as pure gimmick, but Fyodor's songwriting weaves together punk, pop and the avant-garde music of his early days as a musician. Completely unique, with hooks for days.

7. Longmont Potion Castle

LPC rarely performs live but he does so without costume, even though his identity has been a bit of a secret for decades. He performs not his signature prank phone calls, but the music heard between phone calls on his records.

6. Magic Cyclops

Once the darling of karaoke-loving hipsters, Magic Cylops has pulled any number of stunts to stay relevant, including doing Kiss covers at a Devo convention, a live performance on American Idol in 2012, winning air-guitar championships, faking his death in 2011, and recently re-emerging in 2016 to perform live.

Read on for five more of Denver's best secret-identity bands.
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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.