On the Goe: Pair of bands bound for gigantic SXSW to appear in GJ

A trip to Austin, Texas, for the South By Southwest Music festival in March will easily set you back a grand, minimum.

Depending on how much beer you drink, a trip to the Mesa Theater and Club on Friday, Feb. 24, and to the Rockslide on Saturday, March 3, to see two killer bands that will play at the epic festival will run you as little as $10.

It’s Bad Weather California. It’s Radiation City. It’s possibly the first time in the history of Grand Junction that two burgeoning bands slated to play a major music festival will visit our little town in the time span of one week. It’s something special.

Now I’m no fool. Grand Junction is not Austin and two great shows don’t equal the 1,000 shows you could see at SXSW. If you are a live music fan though, this is a taste of the good life.

Mesa Theater is going to rock Friday night thanks to the Denver-based band Bad Weather California. Led by Chris Adolf, a Grand Junction native (!), the band has one stated goal: “we just want you to PARTY with us.”

Adolf makes it his mission each night to create a relationship with the audience, not just to perform for them. Bad Weather California does just that, worshiping their fans with group singing, choppy guitar riffs, and reggae infused bass lines, all soaked in sunlight and beer for maximum fermentation.

Fast forward to Saturday, March 3, and it’s Radiation City’s turn. Direct from Portland, this band will expose you to isotopes of awesome. The band says its music sounds like “your parents’ record collection spent some time on the Event Horizon.” I say watch the “Find It Of Use” music video for a clue on Radiation City’s sound.

As the band smashes up a piano, the camera pulls in and out of focus, echoing the band’s music. Think sweeping folk pop with hints of soul, lost in an ethereal dream world. Once you feel like you have a grasp on the direction of Radiation City’s sound, there’s a shift and you are taken to a new blissful and beautiful sound space.

Is this just a brilliant coincidence that we get to see two great bands back-to-back or are we on the cusp of a developing live music scene in Grand Junction? It all depends on you, really. Take advantage of opportunities like this and they will happen again, I promise.

The added bonus of having two nationally touring indie bands roll through town is that it highlights our local talent. Opening up at Bad Weather California show are local favorites Heavy Drags and Dreamboat. That’s a pretty solid show for just $10. Dreamboat also will open for Radiation City, which is a free show at the Rockslide.

Bad Weather California’s Adolf cut his teeth playing in the Grand Junction bands’ The Love Letter Band and V-Tech Orchid. If he can be successful playing music then what’s to stop other local bands from doing the same?

As a Grand Junction native and a member of Dreamboat, I find it encouraging to know that local musicians have and are making something of themselves. There’s good, creative, new music happening here.

It’s at the Mesa Theater on Friday night and at the Rockslide on March 3. Come. Check. It. Out.

David Goe is a programmer for KAFM 88.1 Community Radio. His show airs at 9 p.m. the first Friday and first Saturday of each month. You can email Goe at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or follow him on Twitter at @David_Goe.


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