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B-Side Thursdays Smashes LoDo Rooftops

CU DENVER ALUMNI TALENT ROCKS MCA

Photo: Nicole Elizabeth

Photo: Nicole Elizabeth

On Sept. 1, local bands with CU Denver flavor, Loanword and The Milk Blossoms took to the rooftop stage at the Museum Of Contemporary Art (MCA). Both bands, known for their unorthodox approach to playing and performing music, displayed their talents to a moderately sized, but extremely attentive audience. Concert attendees mostly came for the music, although a museum pass came with their ticket. The event, part of MCA’s B-Side Music Thursdays, showed the amount of eclectic and riveting music available in the Mile High City.

MCA has been hosting a series of musicians throughout the summer for their B-Side Music Thursdays, a concert series performed on the rooftop stage every Thursday night. The summer series showcased wide varieties of local Denver bands from noise-duo Church Fire to singer-songwriter Rob Drabkin. The city landscape viewed from above 15th Street provides the perfect backdrop for a summer concert series.

Loanword, composed of Billy Overton—a CU Denver and Sentry alum—and Paul Buscarello of the band Fauxdephone, excited the crowd with their mix of electronic soundscapes layered with beautiful vocal melodies and harmonies. Their sound can be described as orchestral, less in the traditional sense of the word, but more in its fullness and sweeping dynamics. Loanword’s music is perfectly loaded to complement film as they sometimes do at live silent film events.

The Milk Blossoms began as the sun went down and their set proved they are the exactly the type of group for a rooftop concert series in Denver. The trio—featuring beat-boxer and singer Michelle Rocqet, vocalist and ukelele player Harmony Rose, and keyboardist Brent Larson—employed every possible aspect of their unique instrumentation and musicality. The band appeared at ease and comfortable in their performance. Rocqet’s beat-boxing in particular pushes The Milk Blossoms’ music into original territory but still keeps grounded in not-so-unfamiliar waters. Her vocal snare and bass hits, almost indiscernible from live drum kit sounds, lay a foundation for the melodies and harmonies of Larson and Rose.

However, the allure of the trio does not lie within their arrangements and instrumentation alone, but also in their songwriting. The songs felt well constructed and lyrically prolific in nature, rounding off the skill-set of a powerful force in the Denver music scene.

Concert event series like B-Side Music Thursdays that promote local artists are cornerstones to a city’s music scene. With the amount of music available online and on the radio, music lovers can sometimes get caught up listening to only big name artists and forget that there is a thriving music scene with some incredible, jaw-dropping artists just down the street from their homes. MCA’s event helps to make that idea accessible and financially affordable, especially for poor college students. It shows that Denver is still a contender for finding great sounds.

B-Side Music Thursdays continues with its last event for the summer on Sept. 8 with Snails & Oysters and local band DeCollage. Show starts at 6 p.m. and is $5 to attend.

Dylan Streight
Dylan Streight

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