If last weekend’s theme was country music and bluegrass, then this weekend’s theme is hardcore rock. Load up on ibuprofen now because the next 48 hours is all about aggressive guitars and banging drum rhythms.
This Saturday, June 29, there will be two ear-splitting events featuring some of Grand Junction’s best bands. First off, the No Coast Sushi rockers Loaded .45 are throwing an album release party at the Mesa Theater and Lounge (doors open at 7:30 p.m.).
Leading up to that event is a local Battle of the Bands competition at 4 p.m. Saturday at The 4th Door, 400 Grand Ave.
Designed to help promote local bands to a larger audience, this Battle of the Bands is going to be a slug fest. With Forsberg, Dirtylektric, Zolopht and the Destroyers, Dinosaur the Musical, Obtuse, As-If, Murder Cafe, The Tankerays and Anywhere But Here, the real question is, does the all ages, non-alcoholic venue The 4th Door have enough power to keep all those amps humming?
I’m glad I’m not playing bookmaker on this one because I really have no idea who will come out on top. I’ve had the chance to see most of these bands play, and it’s hard to compare them side-by-side.
If I were to wager a guess however, I’d lean toward Forsberg taking home the title as it’s easy to see why Grand Junction has embraced this band. On “Killer Miller,” Derrick Sorg’s screamed lyrics are balanced out nicely with Mike Flenniken’s clean vocal chorus. Forsberg is a true hardcore punk but with enough pop edge to win over casual fans. The band also features an impressive power drummer in Joe Foelker, which only helps their chances of winning this event.
Directly following the Battle of the Bands, both Forsberg and As If head over to the Mesa Theater for the night’s big event: Loaded .45’s album release party. With Augmented also joining the lineup, this is the perfect capstone for an already heavy day of rocking.
Loaded .45 is making a lot of noise in the punk rock world. Recently returned from a 20 shows in 20 days tour of the United Kingdom with Scottish punk band and label mates Uniforms, Loaded .45 is back in Grand Junction and ready for a party.
The band’s album release party is for two records, really. The first album is a split, four-song 7-inch recorded with Uniforms. For the split, Loaded .45 recorded two songs: “Foyeurism” and “Joe.” Both songs feature a lot of power chords, fast drumming and whiskey breath lyrics, pretty much everything that makes punk rock music so punk rock.
The party also celebrates “Making Enemies Not Memories…,” Loaded .45’s full length album.
“It’s going to be fun to play for the hometown crowd again,” lead singer Josh Roberts said. “It’s been a long time.”
Over the past year, Loaded .45 spent most of its time on the road, only playing a couple local shows. For fans, Saturday is a can’t miss event.
“We always try and raise the bar,” Roberts said about Saturday’s show. “For our first album release party we had a marching band introduce us. This time around you can expect something even more exciting.” The band is keeping what that certain “something” is under wraps, but I’m guessing it will be big.
Between these two Saturday shows one thing is certain, Grand Junction’s punk scene is on the uptick. With the likes of Loaded .45 and Forsberg leading the way, I expect the punk scene to grow and develop.
The thing about all-ages shows, which both of these are, is they get the next generation of fans hooked early. Who knows, maybe our next big local band will meet each other in the pit at Mesa Theater or the parking lot of The 4th Door.