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. Matt Miner hosted on the rooftop at Vinyl this past Saturday. Keep reading for some of the highlights from that stage.
Shannon von Kelly got the DJs started at the Vinyl rooftop stage at high noon, blending downtempo with house. His set was warm and appealing, but a little too quiet -- a problem that was soon rectified by Vinnie Maniscalco, who came on next and immediately took the sound up, from about a six to a nine. After adjusting the volume to his taste, Maniscalco quickly got to work, dropping a mix of hip-hop, dubstep and trap beats. He really got into his performance, making good use of the microphone to promote himself but also to elicit an energetic response from the crowd.
Raw Russ from Elm & Oak Music played a spirited dubstep set that got the dance floor moving in earnest. One big drop followed another, and Raw Russ had asses shaking and the Vinyl bass bins rattling the whole time.
Cysko Rokwel came on next, smoothly transitioning from Raw Russ's dubstep into his usual hip-hop territory. His scratching was pretty on point, and by this time, it was starting to get very busy at Vinyl.
The charismatic DJ Ktone (whom we somehow neglected to get a shot of, regretfully) came on after Rokwel, continuing in a hip-hop/R&B vein. His set largely comprised instantly recognizable Top 40 hits with some scratching, a bunch of funny sound effects touting himself and repeated shout-outs to the Showcase sponsors.
DJ Low Key was joined by friend and fellow DJ Lazy Eyez. The guys dropped deeper cuts than the other hip-hop DJs, and they displayed top-notch scratching skills. Although their mixes could have been a bit longer, these guys did it for me the most out of the various hip-hop acts.
boyhollow (aka Michael Trundle of Lipgloss) delivered some of the best music at Vinyl, as well as a moment that couldn't have been scripted any better: Just as he mixed into the Cars' classic, "Magic," Trundle received a kiss on the lips from girlfriend Kitty Vincent. With a performance that featured the Beatles, the Stones, Nirvana and Queen, the Denver indie-dance icon stole the show, in this writer's humble opinion.
Last but not least was Mile High Soul Club. The stylishly dressed collective brought with them an impressive collection of vintage Northern soul, R&B and funk 45s, and added some nice flavor to the Vinyl rooftop for the last set of the evening.