Fort Collins Music Experiment Review 2013

Fort Collins Music Experiment Review 2013

Arthur Stephens

There is a certain mindset to have, one that expects the unexpected, when entering into the experience of the Fort Collins Music Experiment. Fort Collins has been a growing community for music of all kinds, from the local garage bands to your mountain Americana feel good bands to your mildly hipster coffee shop singer songwriter. This event gives the community the perfect time to enjoy all of their musical curiosities within the town, and even discover something they never knew. After participating in this years concerts on Friday and Saturday, here are some of the highlights.

At Everyday Joe’s we observed the talent of singer-songwriter Amber Baack.  She soothed an audience with her genuine lyricism and the piano filling the room where a band was not needed. It was a casual and pleasant surprise before the next artist Danielle Ate the Sandwich took the stage.

Before Danielle was in our sights, DJ Scogle and I departed to Hodi’s Half Note to yet another meeting with a friend, and a meeting with cover band Velvet Rope doing a crowd pleasing cover of “Hungry Like the Wolf”. With names like Velvet Johnson and Silky Smoove Rope, they did not disappoint with their glamtastic covers of the 80’s and 90’s popular songs. At one point an audience member who happened to be a young kid boldly got onstage and promptly showed the band and crowd how to dance like a robot, or a young kid.

Only staying for a few songs the company headed back to Everyday Joes to catch up with Danielle Ate the Sandwiches set. Danielle is formerly from Fort Collins, but recently moved to Minnesota and has been touring around the country frequently. There was no shortage of love in the form of crowd turnout to her set, and she gave the love back in some of her beautiful ukulele songs accompanied by cello and violin. She kept thanking the crowd for coming out, and they ate up her quirky but strangely up front sense of humor.

Things became quickly adrenaline filled, as we caught the beginning of metal-hardcore band Awaken the Masses (Dale- the frontman of the band, is an employee of Rocky Mountain Student Media). I have never been one too fond of metal, but this show at East Coast quickly changed my opinion. The brazen, almost psychedelic quality of head banging and catching all the changes in the intensity of their show was something I caught on to, and it was refreshing to see in the Fort Collins music scene.

Moving on over to Crankenstien, where a line outside formed to get in to see Otem Rellik, well known hip hop artist and put on an intimate show with his almost confessional lyrics. The blues rock band Dinero fired up the crowed at Moes Original Barbeque with their high charged riffs. Their bio says playing music is better than joining the Elks, and I am glad they chose to.

Fierce Bad Rabbit drew the largest crowd I saw, almost filling the Aggie Theatre to capacity. Their show drew praise from the fans, and it kept up with their demands. Cranking away pop-alternative-indie tunes, they have been one of the major staples in the Fort Collins Music scene for a while. Back at Moes later in the night, punk-alternative band Shotgun Shogun delivered a set with steadfast appreciation of all things rock and roll. Hailing form Laramie, Wyoming, I even caught a hint of country influence with their harmonica and a willingness to let loose with good old ska punk tunes. “Hello, my name is Bill Smith” were the so called names of all the members of space jazz band Bill Smith at the Tap n Handle. The crowd was in a steady lean back and forth type of dance, jamming relentlessly to the electron blips and beeps weaved in with a solid rhythm section and the sprinkling of guitar effects of all ranges.

Saturday night heralded even more acts and surprises, the first being a man in a cat suit drumming and singing over groovy electronic tracks at the Lyric Cinema Café. This person, WhiteCatPink, had a posse of likewise people dressed up in costumes and dancing while the cinema played obscure 90’s music films or old film clips from the 50’s behind them. Pretty soon, the crowd took in the whole experience and either started dancing or soaked up the artsy audio assault on all senses.

At the Ramskeller, a nostalgic audience experienced New York City Cops, a Strokes cover band playing the debut Strokes album, “Is this It”, from top to bottom. The singers, who were different band members who traded off every song or so to sing, even seemed to hold that slightly drunk confusion of a face and the inadvertent hipster posture that is characteristic of Julian Casablancas (front man of the Strokes) circa 2001.

Widows Bane, a self described Zombie Death Polka band, put on one of the best shows of the night at Hodis Half Note. The lead singers tales of death and all dark things enjoyable aroused the audience to dance and sway with the quick delivery of their songs.

Gypsy’s Curse, a pirate punk band at Washingtons, entertained a casual but large crowd of partygoers moving in and out of the place with 12 string guitar punk (a first for me). Besides some minor sound issues, they showcased a dynamic range of songs from gypsy like to full on punk with elements of hardcore.

To close out our night Musketeer Gripweed more than filled the Aggie with their rock and roll jam boogie. Lead singer Jason the preacher (his costume) brought onstage an oversized representation of a giant joint, and proceeded to have it bounced around the audience like a beach ball. Plenty of getting down and dirty dancing proceeded, in what could have been described as rock music from a mountain town.

Fort Collins, like any other place, has it’s outlets for expression in the form of art. These two days happen to be one of the prominent musical outlets, where sounds from all different places, genres and backgrounds make their ways out of the cracks and fill the ears of plenty of listeners for two full days. This year was no exception to that, and as always I look forward to even more musical events, where my musical tastes can be expanded and people can just go enjoy some good old music brought to you by your friends and community members via Fort Collins Music Experiment.