If I told you that a puppet show will be the headlining act at the Flux Capacitor, and this performance will likely draw a huge crowd, I'd forgive you for being incredulous. But it's not a children's performance, like the one that upstaged Spinal Tap on that fateful day in Stockton, California, nor is it Jeff Dunham, mercifully.
The truth, as with most things, is much stranger. David Liebe Hart, a musician and performer who rose to notoriety with his performances on Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim's various Adult Swim comedies, makes his triumphant return to the Flux on July 31.
Like most of the supporting cast members in the Tim & Eric canon, it's hard to tell if Liebe Hart is always in on the joke — his songs about religion, UFO experiences, life lessons and love are delivered with plenty of sincerity, even if the various puppets he duets with aren't always in synch. But the comedic value in his act, which Liebe Hart is perfectly happy to mine in service to the shows, is giddily surreal, and the music possesses the same outsider, goofball charm as the late Wesley Willis' output.
Just as you're never too old for a puppet show, never let anyone tell you you're too old for the Van's Warped Tour. Sure, it may be a pop-punk festival sponsored by various shoe brands, but who among us has not nodded along pleasantly to a pop-punk song, nor worn shoes?
The Denver stop of the tour lands at the Pepsi Center Sunday, July 31, and features a lineup heavy with acts that evoke the last few decades: Good Charlotte, Less Than Jake, New Found Glory, Sum 41, Yellowcard, and many more.
Honestly, the biggest disappointment for me, personally, is the news that Atlanta emcee and erstwhile presidential hopeful — and oh, how we need him now— Waka Flocka Flame will not be appearing on the tour until the Aug. 5 San Diego date. I can only hope that by the time this issue goes to print, Mr. Flame will have made some exciting announcements at the Democratic National Convention.
On Wednesday, July 27, you can catch Seattle's Tacocat at the Black Sheep, along with local punk standouts Cheap Perfume and Shiii Whaaa.
Also on July 27, Arizona-based quartet Doll Skin brings their "glitterpunk" stylings to the stage at Sunshine Studios, joined by Fall From Silence, Seven Days Lost, At Your Worst and Limbo.
For a change of pace on an otherwise punk-dominated July 27, the U.S. Air Force Academy Falconaires make an appearance at Gateway Park as part of the Wolf Ranch Summer Concert Series.
On July 28, the "spirit-filled" Minnesotan hardcore act Conveyer plays the Black Sheep, joined by Prophets, High Hopes and Dead Set.
At the Triple Nickel Tavern, local punk heavyweights Nobodys are joined by Iowa's Rabble Rouser and Nashville's El Escapado on July 28.
July 29 brings a night of heavy rock and metal to Sunshine Studios, featuring Oklahoma City's Kirra, Denver's My Own Iris and locals Beatgrinder and Sabbatar.
Meanwhile, at the Black Sheep on July 29, the Common Vision Tour makes its local stop, featuring Massachusetts' The Acacia Strain, Chicago's Oceano, Kentucky's Knocked Loose, Florida's Culture Killer and like-minded Coloradans Casket Path.
On the dancier side, Brazilian DJ/producer duo Tropkillaz hits Rawkus, joined by ATOWN SOUND, Snipes and Re-know.
Finally, on July 29, an eclectic and surely delightful evening awaits you at the Flux Capacitor with Montreal's Lost Love, Georgia's New Madrid, Denver's Filthy Hearts and talented locals Eros & the Eschaton.
And finally, the annual Blues Under the Bridge Festival will take place on Saturday. You can find interviews with performers Booker T. Jones and Shemekia Copeland in this week's cover story, which begins on p. 26.
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