The season of festival live streams during quarantine definitely slowed down, but everyone’s itch for live music has not stopped. We’ve recently seen an increase again in virtual events, just in time for the end of summer. The most recent we’ve seen is Virtual Roo-Ality, presented by Bonnaroo.
This event is planned to take place on September 24-26th this year, and just like the festival itself, there will be something happening for everyone. It’s also streamed on youtube, and it’s free. So get pumped.
The full schedule is coming soon, but this is what we’ve gotten so far:
There’s a combination of prerecorded sets, from the Bonnaroo archives such as iconic performances from Beastie Boys, James Brown, The White Stripes, and more, as seen in the “From The Archives” section.
On top of those incredible performances, we’re getting live appearances by incredible artists such as Billy Strings, Boogie T.rio, Hayley Williams, and Tramples By Turtles. These will all be new sets and appearances, not pre-recorded just for our viewing and experiencing pleasure.
One of our favorites from Bonnaroo is the Sanctuary of Self Love curated by Hayley Williams. They are also bringing this to Virtual Roo-Ality with discussions on mental health, wellness, and diversity in creative industries. They’re also bringing in a few other surprises for viewers, to bring it more of an actual virtual festival feel instead of just live streaming sets.
You can catch it all for free, live streaming on Youtube September 24th-26th – and keep us updated on your fav sets! We’ll be watching too.
This week, we caught up with KIIRA, a 23-year-old Swiss-American singer, about her two new singles, “After Hours” and “Porcelain”. Born in Paris and raised in Zurich, KIIRA has spent the past few years working alongside multi Grammy-nominated producer Justin Trugman (Eminem, Wu-Tang, Ice Cube).
“I remember being so in love with listening to music and singing from a very young age,” KIIRA expressed. “I live and breathe music”. Some of her all-time favorite artists that she is inspired by are Lorde, Ella Fitzgerald, Lana Del Rey, Frank Ocean, Amy Winehouse, Daughter, and Ben Howard. As far as her current top artists, “My top influences are Dominic Fike, Billie Eilish, and Labrinth”, she stated. She’s currently evolving and perfecting her unique sound through her laid-back vocals and catchy melodies. Her two new singles “After Hours” and “Porcelain” redefine her sound, pushing boundaries in the chill-pop space.
After listening to the new singles, we were interested in her writing process and how exactly she’s finding her own sound. “The writing process is such a magical part of it all,” she explains, “Whether it is me alone on the piano or in a room with other people, bouncing off ideas… it’s pure magic!”
KIIRA keeps a journal with her throughout the day and takes notes as thoughts and ideas arise. Once she gets home, she will sit at the piano and make sense of it all. “Honestly, I just go with the flow and try to let things come out naturally,” she describes, “I feel like when things are forced, they are never truly authentic.”
She feels most in her element while recording, just her and the sound engineer making music together and zoning in. “There are absolutely no distractions, just me in my element. I am truly the happiest version of myself when I am in that zone.”
Since she recently released two new singles, we thought we’d get more details. “Love can be a scary thing because if you fall so deeply, you can become blinded and not see any of the red flags,” KIIRA explains, “These songs hold a very special place in my heart.” While spending the last few years working on herself as an artist, these two singles showcase how she has evolved to find her sound. Find KIIRA on Spotify and all streaming platforms to listen to her new singles! As far as looking towards the future, she has stripped versions of “After Hours” and “Porcelain” that are coming out this month. “I am constantly writing and will have new music coming out in the near future,” KIIRA says. We’re excited to keep an eye out for what comes next!
Have you heard of Wave 11? If you haven’t, chances are you will soon. This trio of insanely talented friends, currently based in Grand Junction, CO is one of the groups we are keeping our eye on. We got to catch up with them and see where they’re heading next!
Wave 11 consists of Zack Couron (Strings/Vocals), Derek Suiter (Drums) and Charles Walker (Keys, Vocals).
Here’s our interview with Zack, Derek and Charles!
What made you guys want to get into music?
“I had a really good friend from Hawaii that was super good at guitar and it inspired me a lot to pick one up and learn from him.” – Zack
“My father was a state organist of CNW NorthWest, a church organization that is widely recognized. With him having to travel to a lot of musical events, many styles influenced my spark into singing and playing.” – Charles
“My family made me want to get into music. Majority of my family plays an instrument or sings and it was just always around me.” – Derek
Elaborate on your writing and/or recording and/or playing a show process.
“The writing process for me is a tough one. I’m not one of those people where I can just sit down and write genius stuff whenever I want like Charles. I get inspired in certain moments and I have to pick up a guitar and start singing then hopefully something good comes out of that. The recording process is a bit different, we make sure we have a song locked in the exact way we want it, then we start tracking and add in anything else from there. As far as playing a show goes we usually do a couple things beforehand… For the most part we will all take a shot of Tequila to get stoked, then chant our mantra together, then rock it to the best of our ability!” – Zack
“I’d have to say our writing process comes from simply jamming. We could start with a simple bass line and continue to jam on it to a point where we start to get the juices flowing for a new song. For example, our song “GrandDaddy Funk” was purely a jam that turned into one of our most popular songs. As far as our show process, practice makes perfect and being able to bring that work to stage is all the world to me and I’m sure the rest of the band.” – Charles
“We all usually bring something to the table and everyone feeds into it with their own flare.” – Derek
What inspires you? Who are your musical inspirations?
“My musical inspirations are always changing, I constantly listen to new stuff through YouTube and if there is something I really latch onto then I will probably listen to it 45 times in a week and pick something up from it. Right now I really love the song Habit by The Movement and it inspires me every time I hear it. My long time inspiration will always be Bradley Nowell from Sublime.” – Zack
“Personal experiences definitely play a huge part. For me, I’ve lived really good and really bad. So being able to shed some light on my life story is important because it can relate to someone else that may be feeling the same way. Music is all about being able to communicate in a feeling, memory, emotion, etc.” – Charles
“Other artists’ music is what inspires me. I want to make music that will make others feel the way I feel when I hear something I can’t stop listening to.” – Derek
What’s your favorite thing about working with each other?
“My favorite thing about working with these dudes is the level of wackiness not only on the stage but off as well. It is important to have a good time with the people you work with and we are always laughing about something stupid.” – Zack
“My favorite thing about working with the boys (Zack and Derek) is being able to be myself. I’m an introverted person when I’m not on stage so it’s cool to be able to let loose and create with people like me.” – Charles
“My favorite thing about working with each other is that once we hit the stage, we are all there in the moment, to give the people a good show.” – Derek
Where was the first venue you guys played and where is your dream venue?
“First actual venue we played was Mesa Theater as a duo (Zack & Charles). However, the first gigs we were ever playing were at Applebee’s every single Wednesday night under the name Chuck Jay & Zack. We had our name on the Applebee’s marquis and everything 😂” – Zack
“The first place Wave 11 performed was Mesa Theater, when it was just me and Zack as a duo. We opened up for an artist named Mighty Mystic. And a dream venue would be either the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, Ca. or the Fillmore in San Francisco, Ca.” – Charles
“I don’t remember where we first played together… but a dream venue is Red Rocks” – Derek
What’s coming up for you all next?
“Right now we are working on new music, we have about 6 new songs in the practice routine and we are slated to release a few singles this Summer with hopefully a new album in the Winter or Spring 2021. Also, we are putting a week-long run through all the hot spots in Colorado in July so keep a lookout for that!” – Zack
“Nothing but new levels! Working on our new album and setting up a tour in this lovely state of Colorado.” – Charles
“The next move is to move. Tour a lot more, build relationships, build the brand, never stop writing music, continue to better our show for our fans.” – Derek
Make sure to keep up with Wave 11 on Spotify and try to catch a show if you’re in CO! You won’t regret it.
All across the world live music lovers can agree on the same thing. If you’re seeing your favorite artist, it will be a good show – but the venue is almost as important as the show itself.
Most people have different tastes in big venues, seating, sound quality, ambiance, refreshments, the merch table and many more different aspects of a venue because all of these small aspects add together and help shape the entire experience you’ll have throughout the night.
We’ve compiled a list of our top 3 venues in Denver where the music scene is only growing, and so are the venues! Take a look at our favorites, and don’t forget to tell us about your favorites as well!
We aren’t including this in the list, since it is a given. It’s won so many awards that Pollstar named their “best venue” award “Red Rocks Award”. We don’t need to go into detail since we have a different article written just about the venue and the shows we’re excited about this summer! Check out that article here.
Just opening in 2019 with a killer show from The Lumineers, Mission Ballroom has made big waves in the Denver music scene. With Red Rocks style seating, a GA floor, as well as seating upstairs, there’s plenty of room in however you’d like to enjoy your concert! The aesthetic of the ballroom is on point, from the artwork all over the walls to the sleek, modern look of the building – not to mention the giant disco ball inside. The size of the venue is perfect, as it’s big enough to hold some big names, but still has a smaller venue feel. Outside, there’s food trucks and drinks to enjoy before a night of dancing. Mission Ballroom has brought in so many great acts, sold out shows, and incredible memories – not even being open for a full year, it’s already a favorite for the concert goers of Denver.
The Ogden Theater
An all-time Denver favorite is the Ogden Theater. This venue has an intimate setting, yet still brings in some great acts! The sound system is incredible and there’s plenty of areas to jam out to your favorite bands. Although it can get crowded near the end of the night, if you show up early and see the openers (always worth it!) you’ll have a great spot. It’s in downtown Denver and is in an area of town where you can go grab some food and drinks before the show, then enjoy the night out! Parking can be a little more difficult to find, but there are paid lots next to the venue if you don’t want to drive around for a bit.
The Black Box
We think this is one of the best venues to catch some great local sets or some more underground music! The sound is incredible, but don’t forget your earbuds when you attend shows here! The atmosphere is unbeatable, and the talent they bring in is always top notch. There are two sides at The Black Box; most nights they even have two shows playing at the same time, so you can go with a group of friends and choose who you’d like to see that night! Between the two rooms, there’s almost no sound bleed, leaving for an incredible sound experience no matter what artist you’re seeing there. This is definitely the smallest venue of the three, but leaves for a great, intimate experience with some insanely talented artists.
If you’re in the Denver area we’d love to hear your feedback on your favorite venues or your favorite shows at the venues above!
Red Rocks Amphitheater located in Morrison, Colorado has been, year by year, named the best outdoor venue in the United States. Every year, new shows and experiences are announced for fans from all over the world to come to Colorado and experience what the locals call “Red Rocks Season.” Mid April through September, with a few shows sprinkled in between, Red Rocks brings the best artists and fans to come together in a beautiful venue located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Red Rocks is the world’s only naturally occurring acoustic amphitheater has hosted iconic shows such as The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Stevie Nicks and more. The venue brings in dozens of artists from every genre, making it easy to find a show that would work for anyone in your crew.
Along with the concerts at the venue, there are numerous trails for day hikes, incredible views of the foothills and downtown Denver, as well as “the lots” – gravel parking lots that come to be full mid day of a show for the infamous tailgates. If you have extra time, there’s a museum inside that includes tons of local art and posters from years past of your favorite artists who have played the iconic venue.
After so many announcements of some of the schedule this year – we’re thrilled to share some shows we’re most excited about! I’m a firm believer that no matter what show you go to here, it will be an incredible time – just for experiencing the venue alone. For a full list of events happening in 2020 – head over to the calendar on their official website: https://www.redrocksonline.com/concerts-events/calendar
Ganja White Night’s first official headlining show on the rocks, and they’re bringing insane talent to back them up. For two nights this year in April (could be a bit chilly!) we’re going to dance the night away with some of our favorite electronic acts such as Boogie T, Dirt Monkey, The Widdler and of course, GWN. Playing two nights, the first night will be more of their newer sound and music as well as some artists that share a similar sound. Night two is specifically a throwback set, which long time fans are so excited to hear some of their favorites from back as far as 2010. This is one of the first shows of the season and is sure to bring in lots of excitement and dancing for the summer to come.
Rainbow Kitten Surprise:
After a successful show last year, RKS is scheduled to come back to Red Rocks with Mt. Joy. After night 1 sold out so quickly, they added a second date. With their popularity rising, this will be a great show to catch on the rocks. Rainbow Kitten Surprise has also partnered with PLUS1, donating $1 to every ticket towards securing Equality NC. The weather will be warm, the stars will be out and the music will be great (but aside from the weather this goes for any show you’d catch there!)
Reggae on the Rocks:
A local year-to-year favorite, Reggae on the Rocks is bringing a stacked lineup for this year. Bringing in household names to those who love reggae such as Rebelution, Steel Pulse, Innercircle, and newer names that we’re excited to learn about, this show isn’t one to miss. For two nights this year, you can go experience the good vibes of Reggae on the Rocks.
Of course there are many shows throughout the year we’re excited about, and this doesn’t even cover most of them. We highly recommend checking out the website and seeing who all is coming! There is truly something for everyone, and it’s a night you won’t forget! Local’s tip: if you’re in the area and the show isn’t sold out yet – head to the Denver Coliseum on Saturdays from 11-3 to grab a ticket without the online fees!