On Saturday night, the Hypercaffium Spazzinate Tour awakened Denver quicker than a double shot of espresso. Along with support from Denver’s very own In The Whale and Los Angeles champions, The Bronx, influential punk phenoms, the Descendents‘ stop in the Mile High City shaped up to be one of the most fun shows thus far in 2017. That night at the Fillmore Auditorium, everything began to suck a lot less, and rock a lot more, as the room went absolutely bonkers for a ticket that gave us that wonderful feeling of being a kid again. Relive the insanity that went down at this legendary event, and check out our photos of their lively performances.
In The Whale
“Do you like breakdowns?!?! We do!” hollered out In The Whale‘s Eric Riley. He was preparing us for what was to come, but it was clear that we had no idea what we were in for as a cataclysm of sound and a deep roar absolutely destroyed the room around us. Shock painted the crowd’s face, but turned almost immediately into pure, unfiltered joy. That reaction right there is what it’s like to see In The Whale in the live setting. It was also in moments like these where you questioned how you could go all this time without seeing them and/or hearing of them, but if you didn’t know, you for sure knew now.
Even though there are just two members in the band, their presence on stage made it feel like there were five. Nate Valdez was all over the stage. One minute he’d be at his mic stand, the next he’d be on top of Eric’s drum set. The ultimate jam sesh was unfolding in front of our eyes. Although their set was solid and cohesive, it wasn’t rehearsed, and that made their performance that much more compelling. Unhindered and completely driven by emotion, these two guys absolutely tore down the stage and gave their hometown everything they had. And that’s saying a lot, given that they flew in from their individual tour in Austin just to play this show. Talk about dedication. If that doesn’t make you like these guys, I don’t know what will.
At the end, Eric called out enthusiastically, “Tell ’em what you saw!” But we were already on it. In The Whale are one of those bands that only come around every so often. With the energy of a grunge band and the heart of a punk, In The Whale are one of those bands that are highly underrated, but destined for greatness.
“Those Bronx guys are crazy!,” exclaimed Milo Aukerman during the Descendents set Saturday in Denver. He was absolutely right. What unfolded that night in the Fillmore Auditorium was pure and utter chaos, but I’ve come to expect nothing less from The Bronx. Within the first song, their recently released, “Sore Throat,” Matt Caughthran jumped ship to hangout with the sea of people in front of him. He would stay there for quite some time, running in the pit and reveling in the moment with the crowd. With new material, it seemed that the energy on stage increased ten fold, but things clearly weren’t slowing down anytime soon. You were in The Bronx’s world now, where the beat kills and the music shows no mercy.
Though we were in the Fillmore Auditorium, The Bronx made it feel more like an intimate club. It goes to show that no matter where they are at, and no matter how big of a venue they play, they will always make it an inclusive experience for everyone in attendance. They hit us yet again with songs like their knockout of a track, “Heart Attack American,” off their 2003 release, The Bronx (I). Their set would continue to spin gloriously out of control with songs like, “Rape Zombie,” “I Got Chills,” and “Glue Factory” composing the setlist. The songs chosen provided an all-around look into The Bronx’s career, and proved further that they are an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.
The Bronx’s shows are crazy like Milo stated, but they are insanely fun to be a part of, let alone just watch. At most shows, the crowd is just along for the ride, but not at this one. Everywhere you looked, people were seizing the moment along with The Bronx, who gave us a true hardcore punk experience we’d not soon forget.
The Descendents are vital as ever, back after twelve years with Hypercaffium Spazzinate, and now out on tour in support of their 2016 release. They stopped through Denver Saturday night to perform a clash of old favorites and new hits for their fans, who have stuck with them full-heartedly over the years. It goes to show that Descendents fiends, despite the band’s moments of inactivity over the years, will always remain active in their love and devotion for the band. Here we all stood at a Descendents show, most of us reluctant grown ups, feeling like a bunch of kids again. These pop punk pioneers aren’t just a successful, iconic band, they have also, over the years, become something of a Fountain of Youth for the many that have come to admire them.
The musical themes themselves, which readily stem from the gripes and woes of teenage life, are enough to make one reminisce on their youth, but Descendents are by no means past their prime. It’s clear now more than ever that they are just getting started, hitting the Fillmore Auditorium stage Saturday night with a crazy amount of energy. Kicking the night off was the feverish and adrenaline-inducing, “Everything Sux.” Milo Aukerman was already nervously, yet excitedly, bouncing back and forth as he sang out over the crowd. A sea of smiling faces ardently sang along with him, clearly holding an immense amount of respect for each and every word. It felt like more than just your everyday concert sing-along, almost like a celebration. He was hollering out adamantly, “Everything sucks today!,” but absolutely nothing sucked about that day.
The setlist was lengthy, but full of songs that commonly last under a minute and sometimes two to three. They played everything from “Hope” off Milo Goes To College to “Full Circle,” off Hypercaffium Spazzinate. Ironically, we had come full circle with their discography, which refreshingly didn’t skip a moment in the Descendents career. With only seven albums under the belt in such a long span of time, it makes sense that they paid homage to every single record in their discography, but it was interesting nonetheless to see that not much has changed. Their songs, though characteristically short and sweet, are still as potent as ever, and their presence is still just as catching. For anyone who’s never seen the Descendents live before, it’s a strong lesson into just how influential of a band they are. For any longtime fan, the setlist will greet you like an old friend with favorites like “Suburban Home,” “Myage, “Pervert,” and many more rounding out the set.
Descendents shows always give you this calm sense of familiarity, almost like home, and that was no exception this time around. Their stop in the Mile High City gave everyone in attendance that night hope that more good, good things are to come from the band in the future. Beyond the music, they’ve given us so much to hold on to over the years, and that, above all, is something we’ll never be able to thank them enough for.
Were you at the Descendents show in Denver? Comment and let us know!
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