When people ask me what clubs I usually play in Denver, chances are I mention at least one spot on South Broadway.
I first played the hi-dive in my early twenties with a broken foot and on crutches, the result of a drunken walk home on an icy night. I remember limping up the three or four steps to the stage and clumsily setting up my drums before my band at the time, Ghost Buffalo, played to a packed room. I was in pain, and it was awkward, but I still remember how excited I was to play there. It was a benchmark of sorts, a small dose of acceptance from a Denver music community I had long admired. Since that night, I've gotten to know pretty much every hi-dive employee, including the owners, by their first names, and consider some of them close friends.
Throughout the years, other venues on Broadway allowed me to have other memorable and important experiences. I met friends, I got into trouble and I laughed, played and screamed in nearly every intersection on the street. In 2013, I got engaged to my now-wife at the Skylark Lounge and drank celebratory champagne at Sputnik. Needless to say, South Broadway is important to me.
To show our allegiance and love for South Broadway, my friend and fellow troubadour R.L. Cole, my wife and Andy Thomas' Dust Heart bandmate Jen GaNun and I decided to do a one-night "tour" of South Broadway, starting at Moe's Original BBQ and ending at Bowman's Vinyl & Lounge. Watch the video below.
We attempted to walk the entire stretch and play as many clubs as possible in a two-hour window before ending at Bowman's for full sets. All in all, we played six venues, but missed several clubs and businesses due to time constraints (sorry, Syntax). Just like a national or international tour, we were always running behind.
We walked with a small contingent of friends and family and darted into as many clubs as we could, and played a song or two between sound checks and other acts' set times. While the crowds didn't totally seem to understand what we were doing, they were attentive and respectful, showing that the people of South Broadway rule as much as the bars they frequent.
I could go on and on about how great Denver and its musical community are, but we will start by showing you a small piece of the night while we rest up for our next massive "street tour."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
I'm looking at you, Colfax!
Thanks to all the venues that participated:
Moe's Original BBQ
Mutiny Information Cafe
3 Kings Tavern
Syntax Physic Opera
Bowman's Vinyl & Lounge