Every year at the Westword Music Showcase, we enlist our army of Backbeat wordsmiths to host various stages. In addition to their emcee duties, we ask them to pull double duty by submitting a travelogue of their individual stage. Robin Edwards hosted at 100 % De Agave this past Saturday. Keep reading for some of the highlights from that stage.
The day kicked off with the guitar rock of Strange Americans, whose polished, well-executed Americana songs drew a crowd to the restaurant. Noon can be a tough time slot to get people stoked for, but the band pulled it off with a high energy set that ended in two of the members jumping down off the stage to rock out on the floor.
Joshua Novak, up next, has the kind of smooth, angelic pop voice that could surely win him some kind of accolades on one of those silly reality TV singing competitions. Luckily, he hasn't yet cashed in on that, and he graced the Showcase with his catchy acoustic guitar tunes set to beats played off an iPod. He won over the crowd with his sweet pop songs, which are perfect for moments of feeling particularly emotionally tender (which I almost always am).
In one of his first performances in a long time due to his battle with cancer (which is currently in remission of, as he announced to a cheering crowd), Mike Marchant regaled audiences with tales of being in jail in Mexico while he played an intimate set of electric guitar songs to a rapt crowd, who, at one point, he implored to "post something fucked up about him" on Twitter. Quite few took him up on it. His set ended in a wondrous version of Daniel Johnston's "Funeral Home" that transitioned into the eerie "In Heaven" tune from Eraserhead.
Glowing House followed with that kind of music that people in Colorado love. You know the kind: banjos, soaring melodies, beautiful harmonies, lots of people onstage. The crowd really got into the well-crafted folk songs performed by the group of clearly talented musicians.
After CacheFlowe's first song onstage, which included drum machine beats and the sounds of telephone ringtones, he said he was sorry. "We seem to have lost all the folky folk, and for that I apologize," he announced. The new sounds were actually a welcome change from the guitars of the first half of the day, and the electronic musician shook up the crowd with his danceable beats, leaving the stage advising Showcase participants to drink water and wear sunscreen. Very considerate.
Tommy Metz continued the electro beats with what he introduced as "some songs I wrote in my bedroom." His hopeful, pop-influenced blend of giddy 8-bit conjures that feeling of winning your favorite video game, getting all the gold coins and power-ups and saving the princess.
Following the optimistic tunes of Metz, option4 really got the dance party started. It's definitely no small feat to get a crowd dancing in broad daylight in the afternoon (thought the booze aplenty surely helped), but the house tunes of the Denver DJ and producer certainly lured people out of their complacency and onto the dance floor.
The day at the stage ended with the high energy performance of H*Wood, who inspired an intense fervor in his dancing day-drinking fans. H*Wood and his backing band, the Elevation, got the enraptured audience to throw their hands in the air, participate in a call and response and rock out while he performed his high intensity hip-hop.