It’s springtime again in the Rockies and FoCoMX is here to kick the season off with a downbeat! With so much amazing talent to choose from, how does one make a list and stick to it? It’s like being in a candy store with only 50 cents in your pocket and a gigantic sweet tooth to indulge. However, I cannot think of a better way to spend the weekend then to feed the senses. Some of my favorite local bands are Michael Kirkpatrick and the Holler! Their charismatic stage presence and booming vocals are both powerful and provocative. Add to the list Mama Lenny and the Remedy, a band that gets the soul grooving with their funky rhythms and salutary sounds; Stelth Ulvang whose fun, frenzied energy is contagious and charming and Musketeer Gripweed, a band that brings down the house with their high-energy beats and crazy antics. Musicians that must not be left out are the elegant and soulful Dave Beegle, the haunting The Raven and the Writing Desk, the acoustic-folk band Pandas & People and the funky, bluesy band Better Than Bacon. So, have a blast, be safe and enjoy the sounds of Colorado! Michael Kirkpatrick 3:30pm Equinox, Pandas & the People 7pm Aggie, Dave Beegle 6pm Everyday Joe’s, Stelth Ulving 9pm Aggie, The Raven and the Writing Desk 8pm Hodi’s, The Holler! 11pm Aggie, Mama Lenny and the Remedy 10pm Aggie Theatre, Better Than Bacon 11:45 Pateros Creek, Musketeer Gripweed 12am Aggie.
It seems as though every year presents new challenges to creating the ideal FocoMX schedule. Talented new artists have entered the scene, and the perennial favorites have only gotten better. Like last year, I’ll be starting my Friday at Equinox. Michael Kirkpatrick and a Space Ghost IPA on the patio is the best way start out one of the best weekends of the year. Afterwards, I’ll look to bike over to The Boot to catch some high energy ska from Rawtune. The guys are young, but their charisma and chemistry is unquestionable (and Seb’s vocals will give you the shivers). To change up the mood, I’ll head over to Hodi’s for the always-intriguing Echo Chamber and their mindbending light show. At 8pm, I might make the tough call of skipping the crowd at The Burroughs (Aggie) and heading a few doors north to Cache to slow down with singer/songwriter Justin Roth. Later, it’ll be a tough call between the indie hip/hop of Wasteland Hop (Aggie) and Maxwell Hughes (Everyday Joe’s), arguably one of Fort Collins’ most talented guitarists, and then choosing between the funky soul of Mama Lenny and the Remedy (Aggie) and my favorite local bluegrass group Blue Grama Bluegrass (Avo’s). As the night comes to a head, the competition doesn’t subside (with sure-to-be incredible shows from Good Gravy and Von Stomper), but I won’t be able to justify missing the gritty, badass rock and roll of The Yawpers and the midnight dance party of local favorites, The Patti Fiasco. After some Saturday morning recovery, I’ll drop by Illegal Pete’s for a burrito and The Gremlins before heading over to Pateros at 4pm to catch Dee Tyler. Saturday afternoon is certainly a time to explore a number of less-known artists and venues, such as the Lineage Music Project at Compass Cider or Andrew DeCarlo at Blue Skies. By nightfall, however, the big names are back out, and the schedule again becomes hectic. Ambassador Wolf will be a hard-to-miss show at Everyday Joe’s, and by 9pm, the crowd at Hodi’s will certainly be ready for the innovative, Julian Casablancas-inspired sound of Slow Caves. The following hours are an onslaught of chaos, attempting to choose between the gypsy grit and zombie outfit The Widow’s Bane and Qbala’s incredible lyricism, and later rushing from The Holler! to the Lindsay O’brien Band or perhaps to James Yearling’s guitar shredding for Better Than Bacon before finishing the night out at Musketeer Gripweed. However you do FoCoMX, be sure to listen, dance and don’t be stupid.
One of my favorite FOCO events is right around the corner, The FOCOMX, and my schedule is printed and ready. First on my list, The Echo Chamber at Hodi’s. What can be more fitting for a music experiment than an experimental music group that mixes rock and electronic into a unique music experience? Next up, Elise Wunder, who always offers a soulful and raw performance, so be sure to check this wonderful lady out at La Luz. At 11:30pm, I’m throwing on my dancing shoes and heading over to see DJ iLL.Banks mix some awesome beats at Old Town Distilling Co. Aggie will be my final destination to see The Patti Fiasco who was featured on the front-page of Scene in February. ZARO (3pm) will start my Saturday off just right with some groovy, soulful funk. I will find myself wandering throughout most of Saturday afternoon, but once 8pm rolls around, my schedule is set. Beginning with The Epilogues at Hodi’s Half Note (8:00pm), straight to the adorable Danielle Ate the Sandwich at Everyday Joe’s (9pm), onto Qbala at The Whisk(e)y (10:30pm), and back over to Hodis for some Post Paradise (12am).
Friday: 7pm- The Echo Chamber, 8:15pm- Elise Wunder, 10pm- Rudie Clash, 11:30pm- iLL.Banks- DJ iLL., 12am-The Patti Fiasco. Saturday: 3pm- ZARO, 8pm- The Epilogues, 9pm- Danielle Ate the Sandwich, 10:30pm- Qbala, 12pm- Post Paradise. Hometown heroes Musketeer Gripweed take the Aggie stage at midnight to put the final touches on an amazing weekend.
FoCoMX is here and I am so excited to run all around Fort Collins listening to some of our amazing artists. When I go to festivals I try to make it to every act I want to see, but there are so many amazing acts this year I don’t think I will make it to each one. I am going to take it slow and enjoy just a few artists for their whole set so I don’t have to rush off to another venue. My musical taste is all over the place so if you want to be jarred from folk to high-energy rock to bluegrass then follow my FoCoMX schedule. Friday I am going straight to Michael Kirkpatrick at 3:30pm at Equinox, I reviewed his CD last month and I fell in love, he is an amazing solo artist. After that I am going to see the Candy Claws at 6pm at Hodi’s. I will be seeing Chad Price for a little bit at the Whisk(e)y at 6:45 pm. The Whisk(e)y is such a fun bar and they have a great space for music, I am excited to hear Chad Price live as well, his voice is so amazing. After that I am heading to Hodi’s again to hear Echo Chamber at 7pm. I will head to Avo’s to see Rich With Friends and their amazing brand of Bluegrass/folk rock. At 9pm I will be going to see Inner Oceans at Hodi’s again. To finish off the night I am going to see White Cat Pink at 10pm, (I have been meaning to go to one of his shows for a while) and then Good Gravy at 11pm at Illegal Pete’s. Saturday I will be starting at Avo’s at 2:45 pm to see the Prairie Scholars and then after a long break I am heading to Illegal Pete’s for most of the night starting at 5:45 pm to see Whisper Wolf. I have been in love with this band since our Fresh Talent Showcase; they really take me back to my high school pop punk days. After that, Marti and the Dads play at 7pm. Their sound is so different from anything around. Sour Boy, Bitter Girl plays at 8:15 and I can’t miss them. When I was a DJ at KCSU they were one of the first local bands that I really got into so I am always excited to see them play. After that I am heading to Hodi’s to see the Slow Caves at 9pm, this band is one of my favorite up-and-coming bands. At 10:30 I am going to The Whisk(e)y to see Qbala. She is such an amazing rapper and she has such a good energy. I am going to finish off the night with Post Paradise at 12am.
It’s already music festival season again?? Break out the tank tops, dreadlocks and brews. Let’s get this started. First off, I think it will be very necessary to see Michael Kirkpatrick at Equinox at 3:30 on Friday. Folksy delights at one of my favorite breweries? Yes please! Then, since I never miss an opportunity to see her perform, I’ll be seeing Fresh Talent Showcase winner Elise Wunder at La Luz. Her voice is good for the soul, and I enjoy her every single time I see her. Speaking of awesome female vocalists, I’ll probably try to catch Mama Lenny and the Remedy at 10 at the Aggie. On Saturday, I think I’ll kick it off at 5 with some 12 Cents for Marvin at Odell’s. What’s a festival without some reggae? Then, I may have to join Mikaela for Whisper Wolf at Illegal Pete’s (5:45) for the same nostalgic, bring-me-back-to-my-middle-school-years reasons. At 9pm, I hope to check out the unique and quirky Danielle Ate the Sandwich at Everyday Joe’s, but at 9:45pm I’m all about Shaley Scott at The Boot Grill. (I know, I know, I should broaden my horizons, but The Shaley Scott Band is my favorite and my priority for the weekend!) The energy and talent that bursts out of every one of their shows is what I live for. After that, I think I’ll try to catch Lois and the Lantern at La Luz (midnight), and see what other gems I can find playing around town!
Get your running shoes on and your bike ready! FOCOMX is here! If you want to keep up with me, you will have to hustle around town (and even then, we’ll miss some amazing acts with this year’s incredible lineup). This is a smattering of what I intend to attend at the 7th Annual FoCoMX. Odell & Equinox breweries kick it off early on Friday with 3:30/3:45pm time slots for singer/songwriters. Then I plan to see you at Patero’s Creek at 6:45pm for Wild Wombat’s infectious hip-hop rhymes before I stroll leisurely to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery to let my inner kid play with Jason Downing of Musketeer Gripweed during his Kids program at 8:30pm. I can’t miss The Longest Day of the Year gracing the upstairs of Washington’s at 9pm with their beautiful presence before hoppin on my bike to catch the David Ochoa Band at the Boot Grill at 9:45, meaning I will probably miss the incredibly entertaining Rudie Clash at 10pm at Wash Bar downstairs and some of the amazing talent of Shatterproof at Hodi’s, also at 10pm. My Friday night cake will be topped with the funky icing provided by Trichome at 11pm at the Aggie who will be reunited for this exclusive show! On Saturday, the music kicks off at 1pm at both the Boot and Illegal Pete’s. Andrew Vogt and Zaro will get me grooving at Patero’s Creek at 3pm, followed by the sweet, ska sounds of classic Fort Collins favorite 12 Cents for Marvin at Odell’s at 5pm. Sadly I have to choose between Poorboy at the new Cache Old Town Bar & Grille at 8pm and the Gasoline Lollipops at the same time at the Aggie. These bands include members that are near and dear to my heart and magnificently talented. The Widow’s Bane will be scaring everyone with their haunting melodies and wonderfully freaky stage show at the Aggie at 10pm. Nearby, at the Whisk(e)y at 10:30pm, Qbala’s fat beats and dope rhymes will keep me grooving until FoCo faves Musketeer Gripweed take the Aggie stage at midnight to put the final touches on an amazing weekend.