Photos (taken at Boulder Theater on 10/26/13) by Kirsten Cohen – kirstencohenphotography.com/
Review (of Ogden Theater 10/27/13) by Miranda Brooks
Dressed in dark rinsed Wrangler’s and Levi’s and perhaps ‘on an upswing, looking up and out’ was Austin-based White Denim who played to a full house at Ogden Theater Sunday night in Denver. On stage, the quartet set up in close proximity to one another and played with speedy amped energy, full of surprise. The band was heavy, yet proportionate, with double guitars (James Petralli also on lead vocals and Austin Jenkins) sandwiched around bassist, Steven Terebecki whose fingers looked like a tarantulas legs on the frets as he played center stage. With elements of math rock as the underlying foundation of White Denim’s sound, the dissonance and transition within and between songs was a friendly reminder that music should make you think. With vocals distant, inches away from the microphone, Petralli provided pauses of silence mixed with intentional nonsensical mouth sounds that provided space-y noise at times, before the recurring and ever noticeable themes of Texas dreams were brought back around. White Denim provided an almost pop vibe with brief times of jazz and unexpected punk funk.
Psychedelic experimentation set in heavy and early with headliner Tame Impala as the Australian band humbly took the stage. The visuals alone were enough to make me wish I had done drugs; elementary crayon-like swirls of scratchy circles mesmerized the eyes which left a focus-forward, simple artistic approach of the show. At one point the video morphed to a live shot and projected the men on stage onto the dropped screen behind. Balloons floated amongst the crowd and stage alike. And then there was the music. The trance- dance was easy to feel as the band personified progressive indie rock, deliberately understated. The distortion and looping effects from lead singer, Kevin Parker, did not negate his apparent vocal range. The keys and synth anchored either side of the stage. Songs from Innerspeaker were met warmly by listeners who were eager to melt. To say that Tame Impala has a layered sound would be to put it mildly, and the patches and pauses and dream-like sequences of their sound made an ideal prescription for internal dissection of the songs with no true external expression other than full awareness and presence.