“It was my senior year of college. I was balancing two jobs, writing a new EP, and experiencing my first heartbreak. This show was a distraction — and a catalyst to take my career seriously. I then woke up with no voice, body aches and a fever. I anxiously warmed up my voice to see if I had any range to sing with; luckily, most of it was still there.
“As I got ready, my DJ told me that the boy I wrote most of these songs about was going to be there. I was so not ready for that! I hadn’t seen him since he brutally dumped me. Now he was going to be at my first show?! Hearing songs about how he hurt me?! I cringed! I tried my best to avoid him, but of course, like all stories, I saw him right before I went up.
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 wondered whether I should perform those songs. They were so personal. I honestly felt embarrassed, but music is therapy, right? And what better intervention than crooning my sorrows to a crowd...and the one person who never really cared about how he hurt me. I brushed off the doubt and sang my heart out.”
Editor's Note: The Denver Bootleg is a series chronicling the history of local music venues by longtime Denver cartoonist Karl Christian Krumpholz. Visit Krumpholz's website to see more of his work.