Sunset over the AT&T LoDo Music Festival.
|For two days every summer the streets of downtown
Denver are alive with sound of music and partying. This year, in the shadow of Coors
Field, the AT & T Lodo Music Festival reigned supreme. Four Stages, numerous food
booths, and performances in the street as the sun set marked this as an unforgettable
The stages were filled with everyone from the Violent Femmes, and Medeski, Martin and Wood, to Trish Murphy, Corey Harris, and local legends Opie Gone Bad, Sherri Jackson, and Zuba. Friday night, July 16th began the festival. Sadly if you were there to see female performers this night was not for you.
Friday's performer without a doubt was Sherri Jackson. Sherri is a national performer whose roots in Colorado hold true. Among the crowd members of numerous other bands watched and partied. Sherri was dressed in a white tank top, and khaki pants, and held her acoustic guitar as if the world could not trouble her.
Sherri performance had the crowd dancing as far as the eye could see. Her set included "Hail Mary" a powerful love song, "I'm Just Fine," "Moonchild," and "Jay" about the person we all know. As the lightning flashed in the distance beyond stage Sherri continued with a song about New Orleans, and inserted the age old cover, "That's Right The Women Are Smarter." As Sherri ended the night gave whispers that this might be the biggest Lodo Music Festival.
Saturday the sky was clear, and the doors were reaching capacity early. Everyone streamed in to see their favorite act. A surprise to FEMMUSIC.com was Deep Banana Blackout. This seven piece Connecticut band ruled from the AT & T Main stage in the afternoon. Surprisingly, the amplifiers were up so high; Kansas could have heard them. Deep Banana Blackout includes incredible horns (sax and trombone), and female vocals that would make Janis proud.
Their set included all originals. Among them were "Deeper Than A Blackout," and "Walkin' Like A Dog." These songs were ten minutes or more each and held stories within stories within stories hidden in the lyrics. The audience that danced and throbbed around the stage heard as much of the rhythm as the lyrics..
Next up was Trish Murphy. Trish Murphy is an Austin based singer-songwriter, and Lilith Fair performer. Her set included songs from her new CD Rubies on The Lawn. Her set began with an intro of just instrumentals of the song, "Vanilla Sun." Then Murphy and her band took to the Miller stage, and the party began.
Murphy was dressed in a yellow outfit that blended with her blonde hair. Her bassist, Tom Witt, was dressed in a black and yellow shirt with a black bowler hat. Her guitarist, Billy Harvey, was dressed in a purple shirt and multicolored vertical line pants. The drummer , Nathaniel Horton, sidesaddled the drum kit in the background wearing a blue shirt and black pants.
Murphy's set included songs about war, taking control of your destiny, and addiction. Her song "Me Behind the Wheel" was for all the women in the crowd. It is about controlling your own life. She followed that up with, "Johnny Too Blue" about a Vietnam veteran whose life becomes a mess. "I Know What You Are" is about recovering addicts to any addiction.
Muphy's set was on fire. The crowd grew steadily as the set progressed. Although the Miller Stage was in its own enclave, the audience spread well into the adjoining street. When Murphy sang "Boots," her cover of "These Boots Are Made For Walking" the audience joined in chorus, and dancers emerged from everywhere. Muphy's set ended with the single to be released from the album, "Outsider." "Outsider" is about not fitting in.
As the night continued the crowds jumbled around stages watching the Violent Femmes and Cowboy Mouth. FEMMUSIC.com ended the night watching one of the last performances of Zuba. Zuba was at the Local Stage. Their fans were high on the night, and thronged around the stage. They would not be disappointed.
Liza Oxnard, Mike & Wallace controlled the night from first song to last. The audience filled the street so much that the rest of the festival faded from existence. Liza's fiery performance on electric and acoustic guitars meshed perfectly with bass, and drums to make the set a funk masterpiece.
Zuba's set was filled with all their best. "Imagine Freedom" about self-release, and "Trippin'" started the set. Liza continuously asked the typical rock and roll question, "How is everybody?" Everybody was watching Zuba.
Zuba played on with "Home for My Heart" a beautiful love song. They followed it up with "Spinning" and Liza's Women From Mars song, "Fooling Myself." After that it was on to "Future People." The set ended with a screaming crowd with "Disconnect Me." Zuba has only a few shows left before they disappear for a sabbatical. Take a look at their website at www.zubalove.com to see them.
The AT & T Music Festival is an annual ritual of summer. It brings in some of the best artists in the nation. Performance International also sponsors the Denver Blues and Bones Festival. This non-profit organization should be saluted for their wonderful work. GRRL ROCK joins the chorus in thanks for another amazing festival.
Sherri Jackson Fiddling at LoDo
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