Concert Review: Gus Dapperton w/ Spencer.

Spencer., photo by Auguste Voss

DENVER – Bedroom-pop sensation Gus Dapperton made a stop at the Gothic Theater earlier this month, accompanied by Spencer., and blew us away with soaring, emphatic vocals and dancing so spicy that it should have been a fire hazard.

Starting the night off with groovy neo-soul and hip-hop-infused jamming, up-and-coming R&B artist Spencer. had our hips swaying in no time. Spencer. hails from Rochester, New York and – at only 19 – is far beyond his years. His rich, deep voice takes center stage in much of his music, and – paired with lively guitar riffs and nifty basslines – Spencer. cooks up a delicious lo-fi aesthetic that feels intentional without trying too hard. As the band jammed and Spencer. sang from behind pink, retro shields, I couldn’t help but dance along.

Gus Dapperton, photo by Auguste Voss

After a set break that felt like forever (as they always do), Gus Dapperton sauntered onstage with a big grin and his own pair of tinted sunglasses. Donning his trademark baggy pants and a (presumably thrifted) sweater, he wasted no time, jumping right into “Verdigris” – the first on his most recent album Where Polly People Go to Read. 

Gus Dapperton, steadily picking up steam since the success of his 2017 single “I’m Only Snacking” and its endearing music video, has created an eccentric and captivating character. His music provides an intimate and emotional catharsis, with raw, seductive melodies and bouncy synth grooves that practically make you get up and dance along.

Gus Dapperton, photo by Auguste Voss

He kept the room dancing all night, occasionally pausing his songs to give the crowd an ear-to-ear smile, playfully tease his guitarist Yendawg, and chat with the audience in a sly, puckish tone that was the cherry on top of an already masterful persona. 

Where Polly People Go to Read is a chronological, revolving account of love and heartbreak, and the intensity was evident onstage as Dapperton belted out ballads like “My Favorite Fish” and “Coax & Botany.” 

Gus Dapperton, photo by Auguste Voss

Dapperton’s performance was a perfect mix of the raw, heartwrenching bellows characteristic of his most recent album and the goofy, endearing antics that populate his music videos.

His performance was engaging, energetic, and chaotic in the most satisfying of ways, leaving the audience clapping for more – and myself with sore calves from so much dancing.

NEW PLAYLIST: LIL MAMA Radio

In search of a new hangover fix? Check out DJ Lily Roth’s new playlist from this Thursday’s feature of LIL MAMA Radio. Her playlist includes a mix of jazzy, smooth, and funky instrumentals that she claims can cure any hangover. Be sure to give this playlist a listen to hear artists like Knxwledge, Khruangbin, and Swell do what they do best.

Tune in to LIL MAMA Radio every Thursday night at 10:00 pm !

Mediocre Kids: Review of Black Lips Concert at Globe Hall

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Image courtesy of Black Lips. Cover art for their most recent single, Odelia.

20 years after their formation, the Atlanta flower punk band Black Lips are back on tour for their most recent album, Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art?, released in 2017. On Monday, October 21st, the group performed the second night of their Denver shows in Globe Hall, a self proclaimed “unpretentious saloon” for live music and Texas-style barbecue.

Denver based girl pop-punk trio, The Corner Girls, took the stage first. The trio delivered catchy, but ordinary tunes, most comparable to Cherry Glazerr, except much less original. Most noteworthy was The Corner Girls’ last song, in which front woman Breanna Ahlgren encouraged the small audience to chant the lines: “Who’s a better kisser? Me or my sister?” Howled in ironic beach grunge fashion, the lyrics came off especially ghoul-y. Just in time for Halloween!

Next up was The Blue Rose Rounders, a traditional country outfit from Los Angeles, California, who have been touring across the United States with Black Lips. The four piece group performed traditional country ballads in impeccably styled retro cowboy looks. Singer and songwriter, Emily Rose Epstein, fiercely crooned sad songs and traditional waltzes, pausing only to take swigs of her bourbon. The band performed several of their own songs, such as desperately love sick “December” as well as some covers, like an even more sarcastic version of Ernest Tubb’s “Thanks a Lot.” The group was also joined for a song by Black Lips drummer, Oakley Munson. The ballads were both sweet and gothic and they set the tone for the headliners.

Dressed in costumes ranging from puffer coat to leather bikini, five piece set Black Lips traipsed onto stage and opened without an introduction to a dazed audience. Although early on in their career, Black Lips made a name for themselves as an in-concert “performance art” piece, with live shows often including acts ranging from vomiting to making out, their Globe Hall performance was very muted. They alternated songs from 2017 record Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art? and more popular melodies from their earlier days, such as “Raw Meat,” “Family Tree” and “Drive By Buddy.” Songs from their newest album were less known and received with little enthusiasm. Even during their hit songs from their more hardcore days, the mosh pit was minimal and unemotional.

While the front-line of the audience repeatedly called out for Black Lips’ most popular track, “Bad Kids,” the group delivered a performance that veered off the flower punk path many seemed to anticipate. Instead of the grungy tunes they are known for, Black Lips continued the traditional country theme introduced by The Blue Rose Rounders with emphatically twangy versions of most of their songs, especially those off of the Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art? album. The band highlighted guitarist Jeff Clarke and Saxophonist Zumi Roscow in their slower, country songs. In these songs, the performances were exceptionally stellar.

At their Globe Hall concert, Black Lips’ younger and more chaotic punk energy seemed shifted to a mellower and more sorrowful country sound, signaling the band’s evolution. In interviews, group members have spoken about an upcoming country album. Black Lips’ Globe Hall performance was not thrilling and yet it was not disappointing. It was exciting to witness the group as they move on to a new genre.

New Playlists from WORM Radio

DJs Mia Zuckerberg and Carol Holan have been busy curating playlists for their show, WORM Radio, every Tuesday at 8:00. Their first playlist focuses on songs for when you have a gay crush, but don’t want to ruin the friendship. Listen to hear some great songs by Mothers, Fiona Apple, and Mazzy Star.

If you’re not feeling that, check out the playlist from their second show about driving alone for the first time. This playlist features an amazing range of artists that include Nina Simone, Perfume Genius, and Franz Ferdinand!

Make sure to tune in to WORM Radio every Tuesday from 8-9 for more good tunes!