The air has gotten crispy, and the first snow fall has fallen blanketing South Broadway and the rest of Denver. I am excited! That means it’s time for Lola Black’s annual XXXmas show. Within minutes of doors opening, the venue began to quickly fill up.
21 Taras were up first. Alaskan born Julian Perron, their vocalist climbed onto stage and quickly captivating the audience. As the women swooned, guys raised their beers to the crunching guitars which featured multiple face melting solid by James ‘ Randy Rhoads’ Steinbach. James is quickly clutching a top spot as one of Denver’s premier guitarists.
Larissa Vienna and The Strange were next. Those familiar with Larissa Vienna know that her vocals are haunting, while her presence is that of a lioness making the stage her prey. She’s not one of those vocalists that just hugs the mic stand for security. Vanity Welch adds violin to the mix creating a sound that is unique and daring but also stays in rhythm to the drum beat laid out by Luke Wolfe. Against Himself is newer as far as local bands go, but they have certainly paid their dues. They’ve played alongside bands such as Snot and Sevendust and seeing their intensity live, it’s easy to see why. Vocalist David Hunt holds a gaze that pierces your soul, while his vocals pierce your ear drums. Seriously, watch for these guys to blow up in 2017.
The first time I saw In The Whale was opening up for High Elevation Fest. Though I wasn’t sure what to expect from them at first, they quickly showed why they were selected for that festival, and now why they are playing the most prestigious local holiday bill. Very few bands have the energy that In The Whale have which considering they are a two piece is amaze-balls. Vocalist/String man Nathaniel Valdez and drummer Eric Riley do so much with just the two of them that I am actually reminded The White Stripes with rock, metal and jazz influences.
Finally, you know them, you love them, and they are one of the crowned jewels of the Denver music scene. Lola Black started the night debuting the video for their newest single ‘Last Breath’ that contained a montage of footage from their summer shows including their stint at High Elevation Fest. Opening their set with ‘Self Medicated’, they threw down with newest additions Taylor Steele on guitar, and Kyle Ayervais on drums. Paige ‘Bird’ O’Meara and Chris ‘Crispy’ Dellinger round out Lola’s army of badassery. With their next album in the works, this is only beginning!