Music On The Goe
David Goe on music
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By David Goe
Friday, February 20, 2015
Photos by Komorkis Photography
Zolopht has been on a pretty good run of late. The immensely popular local outfit released its best album yet in “Ph Balanced,” played to packed Ale House patios, opened for Dirty Heads (at only the second sold-out show at the Mesa Theater and Club since new owner Eric Smith has taken over) and headlined last weekend’s grand opening music festival at The Local.
Zolopht is a band on the verge of conquering Grand Junction, if it hasn’t done it already.
The band dominates in all areas. It is loaded with great tunes, backed by a legion of dedicated fans, devoted to playing spectacular live shows, and, most importantly, its members are still hungry for more.
“Fortunately, we do feel a sense of accomplishment here in Grand Junction,” percussionist Greg Indivero said. “With our fans’ support, we will continue to play hometown shows to help us grow as a family and a band, as well as nurture our live art.”
Different bands have different skill sets. Some happen to be genius in the studio, others make a living on the stage. Zolopht happens to prosper on the latter, proving to be the feel-good antidepressant its name implies.
Zolopht’s signature tight live sound comes from touring the region and the West Coast, playing four to five nights a week.
Living on the road with six band members (Zolopht currently plays with eight members) and a sound engineer, the band forged the cohesive unit that recently has been crushing local shows.
“This past tour there were seven of us on the road and we all maintained our happiness, excitement and passion. Live music is what each of us lives for. Being given the opportunity to play 4-5 nights a week naturally charged us,” Indivero said.
The energy generated from its live shows is an addicting agent for both the band and its fans. As Indivero says, “(It’s) a huge positive musical energy that moves us forward and genuinely makes us feel good about life.”
He’s not wrong. Watching the band play live you can almost see the energy Indivero talks about and how both the musicians and audience flourish. What the band gives in playful staccato guitar riffs, the audience sends back with loving carefree vibes.
At any given show, you may hear the crowd sing back the lyrics to the more popular songs. There is a certain ebb and flow that takes place between the band and its fans, which makes each show a unique experience.
It’s easy to see why Zolopht has become a favorite among college students and music fans alike.
“The energy we receive from our fans motivates us in a huge way. The energy our fans continually give us is going to keep us pushing forward to spread our music as far as possible. We have a great time if they are having a good time. Being able to genuinely connect with a large fan base is honestly very humbling,” Indivero said. If recent events are any indication of what’s to come, Zolopht is on trajectory to push its music well beyond the boarders of Mesa County.
The band is working on a follow-up to “Ph Balanced” and it continues to court new fans through a string of live shows and good old-fashioned street teamwork.
For the past five years the band has hit the pavement doing whatever it takes to get people to come out for live shows.
That early hard work is paying dividends as word is clearly getting out: Zolopht is not a normal run-of-the mill local bar band.
It is a band oozing with more style than Grand Junction knows what to do with and gives a hell of a good show.
With another fun bill planned Saturday night, Feb. 21, at Barons with the excellently named Salt Lake City folk/ punk band Folk Hogan, you can see for yourself why Grand Junction is addicted to Zolopht.
By David Goe
Thursday, February 19, 2015
For the third consecutive year Colorado musicians are well represented at the annual SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. This year Colorado will send over 120 bands to take part in the Colorado Music Party, happening March 17-21. Bands that have recently played shows in Grand Junction like the Yawpers, Rubedo, and In the Whale will take part in the unofficial party as well as Grand Junction's own Jack+Jill and Tight Thump.
Here is the complete list of announced performers:
3Two, Albny, Altas, AMZY, Andy Sydow, Aspen Hourglass, Babah Fly, Ben Marshal, Better Than Bacon, Birch Street, Branded Bandits, Brett Jarnagin, Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, Calder’s Revolvers, Caramel Carmela, Carson Block, Cobary Jam, Cold River City, C ōvergeist, CRL CRRLL, Disguise the Silence, DOUBLEWIDE, Dr. Death + Mr. Vile, Edison, Eldren, Elise Wunder, Facing West, Filthy T, From Thin Air, Grim&Darling, High Five Hip Hop, Indigenous Robot, iZCALLi, Jack+Jill, Jesse Manley and His Band, Jilly.fm, JiM ChieF, Jordan Igoe, Kind Dub, Lisa Bell Band, Lissa Hanner, Matt Mahern and Constitution, Maxwell Hughes (formerly of The Lumineers), Montoneros, No Fair Fights, OKO TYGRA, Open Space, Palace Brands, Poor Me, Post Paradise, Professor Fox’s One Man Band, Qbala, Red Fox Run, RipRats, Robert Cline Jr., Rocktin Grove, Rootbeer & Mermentau, Rumours Follow, Ryan Chrys & The Rough Cuts, Rubedo, Sarah & the Meanies, SarCa$t*, Sexy Ester, Shaley Scott Band, Shatterproof, Shelby Britton, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Slow Caves, Sound of Ceres, Steele & Colfax, Stella Luce, Stephen Langstaff, Strawberry Runners, The 14ers, the B.A.B.E.S., The Covz, The Cumberland Collective, The Echo Chamber, The FAMM, The Left Ready, The Lindsey Saunders Band, The LoLos, The Patti Fiasco, The Railsplitters, The Rayo Brothers, The Robby Wicks Band, The Royal, The Seers, The Sweet Lillies, The Wendy Woo Band, Thunderthief, Tight Thump, Tommy Metz, Travellers Music, Von Stomper, Wandering Monks, Wasteland Hop, We Are Not a Glum Lot, Wild Wombat, Wiredogs, Write Minded.
For more information about the Colorado Music Party visit coloradomusicparty.com
By David Goe
Friday, February 13, 2015
Here's your complete Valentine's Day Weekend show rundown:
Friday, February 13:
Saturday, February 14:
By David Goe
Monday, February 9, 2015
Photo by Kristin Mercer
Meet Devin James Dean, the owner of The Local. With the official grand opening happening later this week I interviewed Dean to get the scoop on Grand Junction's newest music venue.
1. Why did you decide to open The Local?
The Local started out as a community not an establishment. The downtown Grand Junction community is very tight but welcoming at the same time. We knew we wanted to open a concept but we didn't want the gimmicks. We wanted a place where people could relax and know it is their place. The Local is filled with familiar faces and we feel it gives visitors a great first impression of western Colorado.
2. The Local seems to focus on homegrown products (food, drinks, art, music). Explain why focusing on local products was so important to you when opening the business.
We do try to focus as much as we can on Colorado products. We can't do everything that way but we do try. We rely on volume to support all of this by keeping our prices realistic. This is the only place in town where you can get any Colorado liquor for $6.50.
Our art is local to Grand Junction and will be revolving. We do not take a commission on art sales and we also pay any credit processing fees associated as a thank you to the artists who have taken so much time creating what are, in my opinion, masterpieces.
3. The eastern half of the state is blowing up with strong music/art and foodie scenes. Are you sensing that western Colorado is starting to catch up to the rest of the state? What is the energy like in Colorado right now?
Oh yeah, the energy in Colorado is climbing like crazy. We all know we live in the best state and we are a proud group of people for a good reason.
4. The Local has been open for just a short time but already people seem to be into the place and I’ve been hearing a number of good comments. What’s been the most exciting part about opening the Local?
Music is the heart beat of the vast majority of our team, we have musicians from different bands that work with us as. Grand Junction has an overwhelming amount of musical talent and the downtown community thrives on that. We have the largest budget for a venue our size when it comes to entertainment and I plan on blowing that the first chance I'm allowed.
We host live art shows, vinyl brunch Sundays, live original music 2 nights each week minimum. Live poetry and soon to come will be live theater. We were not joking when we said this place belongs to the community. When people tell us they want events done we make it happen. That is our passion.
5. The official Grand Opening is just a couple of weeks away and you’re throwing a huge two-day party with a number of Grand Junction’s best/favorite bands. What do people need to know about the grand opening? How did you narrow down the music lineup for the grand opening?
The grand opening is Friday and Saturday and we are doing it festival style. We have Palisade Brewing company all night Friday with a tie-dye stand, and pear blossom fans are giving donations for raffle as well. We will have a paid raffle where proceeds will go to Partners and we will also have a free raffle with tons of prizes.
The band line up is insane. Luckily all of the musicians have worked with me in the past and it was very easy to make this happen. My personal motto is that if it is worth doing it is worth overdoing. I want all the bands to play in their place and be surrounded by the great talent.
It goes back to the great and wonderful Kevin Costner "if you build it they will come." Well if you throw a big as public party with the some of the best bands and keep the prices right, you have the beginning of the local music fest. This year is 2 days and next year I want 3 days.
6. The Local is open later than any other venue in Grand Junction. How’s the response been since staying open and serving food till 4 a.m.?
The late night is a big test. We take a huge risk with it but the fact is I have gotten off work at 3 am over 100 times and ended up on north Ave looking for food. Why are we sending people away when they should stay downtown and chill out and wait for a cab if need be. No need to leave. We have had people up to 4 almost every weekend and that was the goal. Breakfast or dinner it does not matter. Just relax and unwind.
By David Goe
Monday, February 9, 2015
Navigating the local music scene can be hard to do for the completely uninitiated.
There are dozens of bands in Grand Junction that go unheard by the masses simply because it’s hard to get face time with everyday folks.
Sure, there are a core group of fans who make it out to every show, but it’s nearly impossible for local musicians to penetrate beyond that dedicated demographic.
Generally speaking, the only opportunities for local bands to play live are at bars late into the night at 21-and-over venues. All area venues are fine spots to catch a local band, however, I understand why most people miss those shows.
Local shows start late, usually around 10 p.m., and for this area, that is a tough sell.
For many, the idea of working a long week then waiting around all evening just to stand shoulder to shoulder with an obnoxious drunk for a night of live music is not an appealing option.
This is a city of weekend warriors, who frankly would rather spend their free time bombing down a trail on a mountain bike or wading through a cold river to cast a fly to hungry fish than shuffle up and down Main Street in the dead of night to catch an unknown local band.
In Grand Junction, music is not a priority, at least, not in the wanting to catch a late night live show kind of way.
I’ve been on both sides of the coin as a fan and as a musician, and playing late night shows are not ideal for anyone.
The situation is just as annoying for a musician as it is for the audience.
For a musician, a 10 p.m. start time really means getting to the venue three hours early to set up the gear and sound check. Once that’s completed its two and a half hours of dead time usually wasted nervously sipping beer, chain smoking cigarettes, and hoping to God that someone, anyone, will show up to the gig.
Outside of hanging around bars and talking to musicians face-to-face, there’s not really a completely reliable, trusted source for local music in Grand Junction.
An opportunity exists for someone to come along and connect fans and musicians in a more convenient way. I think this is a music town, we just need to rethink how to get local musicians in front of more music fans.
I’ve been a big believer that a local music showcase is a key step toward bridging that gap. Thankfully, it looks like a true local showcase is finally happening.
The official grand opening of The Local, a new mixed-use space on Main Street, features a two-day music festival event with 15 local musicians performing on Feb. 13–14.
All the usual suspects are lined up to play including Zolopht and the Destroyers, Shea Bramer, Tight Thump and local super group Toaster, featuring vocalist Jamie Gaines, guitarist Kellen Michael, bassist Steve Williams and drummer Steve McGarry.
What’s immediately appealing about this music festival is that at least part of the event is for all ages and takes place before 10 p.m.
With two major barriers preventing people from catching a local show removed, this is a real chance for local bands to play for new crowds.
It doesn’t take much to convert someone into a local music fan, the hardest part is providing the opportunity for that conversion to take place. The Local has taken care of that.
It’s now up to the bands to do their part.
Ideally, someone will see a band such as Toaster play, they will fall in love and be motivated to check out Toaster’s next show. And maybe at that next show these new fans will have a great time and decide to try a similar event out, like the weekly Funk Jam. Maybe they put a sticker on their car bumper or, better yet, buy a local band’s album.
The point is, once someone finds an in to the local scene, they become vested in what is happening in their community and more likely to actively participate.
It makes sense that The Local provides this access point for musicians and fans. As the name implies, local products just happen to be its specialty. Now that the space is provided, we’ll see if the community takes advantage of it.