Lady Gang at the Roxy on Broadway
Talent can be found everywhere, if one only takes the time to look. One such talent, Lady Gang, could be heard at the Roxy on South Broadway on Sept. 6.
The Roxy on Broadway, a bar/ lounge combination, took over the space from the previous venue Syntax Physic Opera. The space is intimate, with a full bar in one room and a quaint lounge in the next. Tables and booths make up the majority of the lounge, with Peruvian lilies on each table. The stage takes up the front of the room. Overall, the Roxy on Broadway has a casual, comfortable atmosphere that was ideal for the Friday evening performance of Lady Gang.
Despite the name, Lady Gang is made up of a single woman, Jen Korte. Korte has been active in the Denver music scene for over a decade, having previously played in a band called Jen Korte & the Loss. At her performance at the Roxy on Broadway, she explained the name as referring to “just a lady and her gang of instruments.”
A self-defined “loop artist,” Korte does indeed surround herself with a gang of instruments, including multiple guitars, a bass machine, loop station and, of course, her own vocals.
Korte’s signature sounds encompass chill beats and rad guitar riffs put on loop, backed up by soft but strong vocals that emanate emotion, such as in her song “Simple Truths,” with lyrics like “This city don’t even know your name / Years pass, people come and they go and they fade away / Got no time to be shoving myself out the door for you / Got no time for any of it anymore.”
While originals like “Simple Truths” may adhere to what one typically expects from sentimental songs, Korte is also a highly experimental artist who is not afraid to try different things. The best example of this is her use of a vocoder, which turns her genial tone into a deep male bass, such as is utilized in “Stuck in a Groove.” The opening line of that song could not be further away from “Simple Truths” with an opening line that goes, “I don’t fuck with you” in the aforementioned deep male voice.
The first hour of Lady Gang’s two hour set at the Roxy on Broadway was rather sparse, with not even a dozen people in attendance. Regardless, Korte simply appeared happy to be on stage, playing her tunes. She gave off the impression that the size of the crowd does not matter; what matters is that she loves to play music.
In fact, she did not want to be the center of attention, evidenced by the “ocean documentary” she brought with her, and that played on a screen beside her at all times. She even encouraged the audience to look at that rather than her and, between songs, encouraged people to “just talk through [the music] and let me be up here.” Whether one looked at her or the screen, however, it could not be denied that she has immense talent.
Lady Gang is currently self producing an album that she hopes will come out in spring 2020. In the meantime, she is set to open for The Pharcyde at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox on Oct. 2.