This year has already seen more than its share of beloved musicians passing away, which has prompted plenty of think-pieces, confessionals, acceptances of mortality and even conspiracy theories throughout the press and social media. While one could wonder in a vacuum why musicians are widely, publicly mourned in a world where atrocities and injustices have become commonplace, the practicality of human experience quickly renders that a false dichotomy. It's nearly impossible to separate the art and the artist, and it's difficult to not feel personally wounded when we lose those we admire on both counts.
Of course, it's infinitely harder to accept when you lose a local musician, and members of the community know not only the art, but the artist, on a deep, personal level. The local punk and underground music scene was recently hit with the huge loss of Andrew Denniston, lead singer of the hardcore band 1862.
"Andrew was a great kid," says Bryan Ostrow of the Flux Capacitor. "Twenty years old and gone way too soon. Andrew was dedicated to music, not partying like most people that age. He was straightedge and dedicated to the hardcore music community — if there was a hardcore show, he was at it. Andrew had so much drive and passion for our underground scene. He made me excited for this new generation and gave a lot of hope for the scene in this town."
A celebration and benefit concert for Denniston's family is taking place at the Black Sheep on Thursday, June 30. His 1862 bandmates will perform, along with Crown Magnetar, Dead Set, Remain and Sustain, Lockjaw and other special guests. A $5 donation is encouraged, but the venue has emphasized that no one will be turned away. And judging from the reaction we've already witnessed from Denniston's friends and peers, the show will be packed.
"We held a candlelight vigil at the Flux for Andrew after the news was out, and it was a beautiful thing," explains Ostrow. "A hundred people, give or take, were there with a day's notice — sharing stories and speaking. Our community really came together for someone that was always there for his community."
Even if you're a fan of the late country singer Chris LeDoux, you still may not be aware that his former backing band, Western Underground, has formed a local connection through their recurring performances at the Crystola Roadhouse over the past few years, sharing the stage with local Americana acts such as the Lo-Fi Cowboys and the Jeffrey Alan Band.
On Friday, July 1, the band returns to the Crystola as part of their final tour under the Western Underground moniker, led by Chris' son Ned LeDoux and joined once again by the Jeffrey Alan Band. If you're somehow not familiar with Chris LeDoux's musical legacy, the former professional rodeo champion (LeDoux was inducted into Colorado Springs' Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2005) forged a sound that blended traditional country, firsthand western themes, and enough live excitement and edge to win the admiration of rock fans as well as high-profile acts like Garth Brooks.
With that, some further musical opportunities for the week:
Swedish indie-pop trio Peter Bjorn and John make an appearance at Denver's Bluebird Theater on Wednesday, June 29.
A diverse night of metal and crust at the Flux Capacitor on June 30 will almost certainly please fans of the heavy stuff: Among the bands performing are American/Canadian act Castle (see interview on page 35), California's Deathgrave, Australia's Sewercide, Denver's Rotstrotter and locals HellHound.
The Flying W Wranglers make a rare live appearance at Stargazers on July 1, just over four years after the titular Flying W Ranch was lost in the Waldo Canyon Fire.
Also on July 1, the "Rock This City Tour" comes to the Black Sheep, featuring Bay Area post-hardcore act The Animal in Me and the sci-fi-minded southern California trio Set to Stun, along with October Skies, Stavesail, and Myth of Creation.
If dubstep is more your thing, you'll want to catch Mantis at Rawkus on July 1, joined by T-Wreks and Pwnage Method.
Saturday, July 2, brings Davefest 3 to the Black Sheep, featuring local hip-hop collective Clydesdale Entertainment along with BullHead*ded, who've been teasing an upcoming release, tentatively entitled Brazen. Also performing are Stoney Bertz, Night of the Living Shred and Def One.
Finally, a night of "girl-driven punk" at the Flux Capacitor on July 3 will feature Kansas City's The Bad Ideas, Denver's Princess Dewclaw and locals Cheap Perfume.
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