Yo, first of all shouts out Goodwill. Everybody go there, give them your old crap you don’t need anymore, and pick up some gently used clothes or furnitures.
Now, let’s get on with the preview. Let me get you right for the last weekend in July, and the best weekend of the year on South Broadway.
There’s quite literally fifteen different acts you are forced to choose from at any given point during the showcase. Fifteen different experiences you can have from 5pm until 2 in the morning. How can any mere mortal choose to be in just one place at a time?? Rest easy, my friend, your official guide is here.
Friday, July 27
5:20pm – Overcoats – Goodwill Stage
This seems like a band that I should like. Related artists on Spotify include Maggie Rogers and Sylvan Esso. Plus they’re a female duo which means this should be right up my dang ally! But for some reason it’s just not doing it for me. I hope the live performance changes that. Here’s to hoping and here’s to the first beer of the weekend!
6:20pm – Escort – Goodwill Stage
Hope you’re warmed up by now, because Escort is gonna get down. I’m mostly familiar with ‘Cocaine Blues’, and honestly what more do you need besides that? It’s funky and fun and groovy and good.
7:20pm – Frankie Cosmos – Goodwill Stage
Did you think we were changing venues?? No! Stay right where you are, at the Goodwill Stage, and check out underground indie hot band, Frankie Cosmos. I know the song ‘Young’ and it’s pretty dang good. I hope they play that. Frankie Cosmos has a cool name and released a new album this year, Vessel. It’s all very hip and cool and new and downright popular with over 500k monthly listeners on Spotify.
8:30pm – Digable Planets – Goodwill Stage
Wrap up the evening with some classics from Digable Planets. They peaked in the late 90s but have had a bit of resurgence via the live show lately. People love nostalgia, and people love dope beats. Digable gets you both. Boogie down.
1:00am – CRL CRLL – Illegal Pete’s
If you’re still not tired, guess what, there’s more music to be consumed. Seeing as UMS is most definitely a competition to consume the more music in a 72 hour span than anyone else in history, you better check out CRL CRLL and his funk inspired electronic DJ skills which should fit in well at this hour and in this local music supporting burrito joint.
(Unrelated bonus event: Bo Burnham is doing a Q&A after a showing of his movie, Eighth Grade, at the legendary Mayan Theater at 7:15pm, on South Broadway if you’re interested. You should be. I saw the movie last night and it is very, very good.)
Saturday, July 28
12:10pm – Robby Peoples – Sesh Stage, Fentress Architects
Music on Saturday starts right around noon for you early risers. Robby Peoples promises to wake you the hell up in the lobby? of the architecture firm’s office. I’m not sure how the Sesh Stage is gonna work, but I think you’re required to blaze an ounce with your bros for the entirety of your time there. Chill brah. But not when you’re listening to Mr. Peoples. He is rock and roll. He is raw and loud and fun if you really squint your ears.
12:00 – In/PLANES – Skylark Lounge
Another early start is swing swong doo-op husband and wife combo in/PLANES at Skylark Lounge. You might consider this as a more relaxed way to start your day at UMS. I really enjoy the swingin rhythms and support vocals on these tracks. They also play at 9:00pm at Illegal Pets’ if you can’t catch the early show.
2:20pm – Strange Americans – Goodwill
Bruce Springsteen inspired type of rock. The familiar sound is welcoming and soulful. I haven’t heard much about these guys but they could tickle your fancy as you continue to warm up on day 2 of UMS.
[Don’t forget: if you’re ever not sure about what to do or where to go this weekend, there’s always the comedy stage out on the patio at Illegal Pete’s. There’s aren’t a whole lot of notable names to be shared, but I would expect nothing less than comedy greatness nevertheless.]
2:15pm – Panther Martin – Skylark Lounge
Denver legends, Pather Martin, are back for another year of rockin the South Broadway suburbs. I see big things in the future for this four piece grungy rock band. Their defining feature has to be the vocals effect, which comes via old timey telephone microphone in their live performances. You won’t wanna miss it.
2:20pm – REYNA – Imagination Stage, Import Mechanics
Yes, there are options at midday Saturday if you can believe it. REYNA is a hip pop sister girl gang. So if you’re in the mood to bop and groove, move on over the Import Mechanics, a brand new venue this year, and get on down with the Milwaukee-by-way-of-Texas girls, Victoriah and Hannah Gabriela.
3:00pm – Slow Caves – 3 Kings Tavern
I’ve been slow (ha) to come around to this Fort Colins, CO based band, and I can’t figure out why. They play slow indie rick jams that really aren’t tough to get into. They have a solid following in the area, so if you need a slice of up and coming local talent in your Saturday afternoon, check out Slow Caves in the dungeon that is, 3 Kings Tavern. I saw Colfax Speed Queen in there last year and it was kick ass.
TAKE A LUNCH BREAK. DRINK WATER.
(Mutiny Cafe is a lovely spot to do this btw)
4:20pm – Brother Tiger – Imagination Stage, Import Mechanics
Another returning act to UMS this year, Brother Tiger remains the underground king of indie electronic grooves. Despite his disappointing show at a disgustingly overcrowded Irish Rover last year, I’m anxious to see a better set up and follow through at the Imagination Stage this year. Imagine the possibilities.
6:20pm – Classixx – Goodwill
Arguably the biggest act to play at this year’s UMS, Classixx will be of course at the main stage (behind Goodwill, who can do no wrong). Personally, I can never get enough of their Psychic City remix, which is far and away their most popular song. Classixx is sort of known for their top quality remixes, but they have some of their own groovy tunes too.
6:20pm – Duckwrth – Imagination Stage, Import Mechanics
If you’re not into the electro pop scene at the main stage, there’s another opportunity to see an up and coming offbeat hip hop artist in Duckwrth. Duckwrth was recently featured on the Berlin based Youtube channel, Colors. Which tells me he’s internationally known, and hip and young and undeniably cool.
8:00pm – Colfax Speed Queen – Hi-Dive
A must do at UMS is seeing punk rock in a dive bar, and it doesn’t getting any spot on than Colfax Speed Queen at the Hi-Dive. It’ll be dark, sweaty and loud, which is perfect because by now you’ll be buzzed off the 7 modelos and lime you’ve taken down since noon. The crowd will be ready to go for their local legends, there’s no doubt in my mind.
8:30pm – Deerhunter – Goodwill
Another main headliner of the weekend is guitar plucking indie band, Deerhunter. I feel like they’ve been around for forever, but the groove hasn’t ever struck a chord with me personally. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a big crowd for these guys though, with over 700k monthly listeners on Spotify.
11:00pm – High Plains Honky – Baere Brewing Company
A fine taste of honky-tonk western country music, High Plains Honky represents for the cowboy in all of us. Check out one of the most respected bands of the genre at the new UMS venue and brewery.
12:00am – Wheelchair Sports Camp – Gary Lee’s
When I heard this gang while listening to the UMS official playlist on Spotify, I was immediately interested. Self described as Denver’s biggest smallest band, Kayln leads the band from her mobile chair with a sassy style that is gaurenteed to peak your interest. WSC has got to be one the must see acts of the weekend.
1:00am – Rumtum – Irish Rover
It’s about time Irish Rover came up. The notorious South Broadway dance floor/dive bar/rooftop bar hosts Rumtum for your late night DJ needs. It’ll be a mad house so, you know, don’t wear open toed shoes.
Sunday, July 29
2:20pm – Casey James Prestwood and The Burning Angels – Sesh Stage, Fentress Architects
Truly the talk of the town, CJP and the Burning Angels have been a staple in the local Colorado music scene for some time now. I always like to say, if Denver had a culture (besides yuppie transplant brunch culture) it’d be country western in the style of Casey James Prestwood. You won’t want to miss the most anticipated act of the weekend at Fentress Architects.
3:20pm – Walker Lukens – Sesh Stage
Don’t go anywhere, all the action on Sunday is at the Sesh Stage. I didn’t know I knew Walker Lukens until I was shuffling the official UMS playlist by 303 music on Spotify (they aren’t paying me for this (yet) btw). Turns out, Walker Lukens is pretty bad ass. Keep rocking on at the Sesh Stage on Sunday.
4:20pm – White Denim – Sesh Stage
I told you, you can hang out here all day. No need to wander because White Denim keeps the jams coming. White Denim plays two of my very favorite songs of recent memory in A Place To Start, and Take It Easy (Ever After Lasting Love). Hoping for a good crowd for my personal favorite band to play this weekend. Also, 420.
5:20pm – Slow Caves – Sesh Stage
8:00pm – Alvvays – Goodwill
Alvvays is another one of those popular indie rock bands that everyone is looking forward to seeing this weekend. With smash hit, Archie, Marry Me, the Toronto based band has captured the hearts of jean jacket wearing cool kids across the country. I’m excited to see the for the first time myself, and get a taste of what all this hype is really about. Although, don’t get me wrong, Archie, Marry Me is a fantastic, terrific song.
Acknowledgments and Honorable Mentions
There’s tons of cool venues that I didn’t get to mention in the schedule guide above, so here goes.
SOUTH BROADWAY CHRISTIAN CHURCH
This place is cool as hell. I haven’t had enough time to identify who is best to see in there, but last year i caught a guitar drum duo who’s heartfelt songs brought me to tears. There’s nothing quite like the natural acoustics of a church. Perhaps Morning Bear on Saturday at 7:00pm. Kudos to the church for opening it’s doors to UMS.
DENVER PUBLIC LIBRARY
What does live music in a library sound like? I don’t know, but I want to find out. The public library is one of our societies greatest accomplishments. I think I like the library more than I even like Goodwill. Yeah.
BLUE ICE LOUNGE
This place is usually blasting latin dance music out the doors as you walk by on a Fri/Sat night so it seems like a natural fit really. I’ve just never been in here before so that could be cool.
New venues this year include BANDED OAK BREWING, BAERE BREWING COMPANY, and DENVER DISTILLERY. Check em out if you want.
This is the first year the UMS is being ran by Two Parts “Your Insider’s Guide to Craft Events” or so they say on their website. I attended the ASpen Beerfest, also managed by Two Parts, and enjoyed myself quite thoroughly. Although, having a craft event cultivator take over one of Denver’s beloved “underground” events, could rub some people the wrong way. Good luck to Two Parts, the bands, and all of us consumers. Happy UMS everyone!