CU Denver Block Party turns the volume up

Photo: Bobby Jones

Photo: Bobby Jones


For its sixth annual year, the CU Denver Block Party featured a lineup of up-and-coming local bands to rally students for the new academic year. The Aug. 24 event saw headlining acts Wilderness and Edison each bring their own interpretation of contemporary folk to the Lawrence Street stage.

Hopefully, CU Denver students who attended the Block Party will remember how lucky they were to see these bands for free. Having opened for Bleachers and Blink-182 at Big Gig earlier this month, Wildermiss’ ascension in the local scene is especially impressive considering that their first EP isn’t even out. Likewise, Edison is only one LP deep into their career, but their current tour-which included a stop at Red Rocks—has no end in sight.

CU Denver’s own Wilder- miss opened the party with a bouncy, indie rock sound that immediately turned the dial up on the crowd’s energy. Their new single, “Carry My Heart,” shows off all that the quartet can do—sometimes it’s stripped down to empha- size lead singer Emma Cole’s powerful vocals; sometimes it’s a rousing anthem that could get anyone in the mood to dance. Other tracks spend more time in their quieter moments, but through it all, the band always offers a cheerful, buoyant style that’s fit to headline any show.

Edison self-describes as “a lysergic twist on modern folk,” and they delivered an appropriately bold performance on Thursday. Their acoustic-driven set displayed the full range of their 2016 debut LP. Edison boasts poignant lyrics and a full-bodied indie-pop sound it’s no wonder Westword honored them as Denver’s Best Folk Band in 2016.

Their success has kept them busy—the band is about to wrap up the west coast leg of their ongoing tour. “We don’t live anywhere right now because we’re always touring,” said guitarist Dustin Morris. “But we’re glad to be back in Colorado today.”

As students moved around activity booths, they provided face painting, caricatures, and full-body massages. Wildermiss and Edison kept attendees returning to the stage. For those who Wildermiss will play a release show for their upcoming LP at Larimer Lounge on Oct. 27, and Edison will be performing at the Royal Gorge Festival in Canon City on Sept. 9.

Taylor Kirby
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