Silversun Pickups, 3OH!3, the Hives, more at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 9/16/12 (photos and review)By Allen Klosowski | September 17th, 2012 | 2 comments
Channel 93.3′s nearly sold out “Big Gig 2012″ kicked off Sunday while the temperature lingered around the low 80s and the sun cast its last summer rays before fall takes hold. Students are back in school, the chill is creeping in, but that didn’t stop the alt-pop lineup of Silversun Pickups, 3OH!3, the Hives and the Wombats from drawing a significant crowd to nestle between Ship Rock and Creation Rock on Sunday.
Denver band Regret Night made its big Red Rocks debut to the thousands that showed up early for the occasion.
The Wombats opened the main part of the show with danceable indie-rock. A powerful and energetic trio, songs like
“Into The Forest,” “Party In A Forest (Where’s Laura?),” “This is no Bridget Jones,” “Kill The Director,” “Moving to New York” and closer “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” brought the crowd to its feet.
Later, Hives frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist exclaimed, “On a scale of one to ten, and how are we doing? 20? That’s what it feels like up here on stage.”
The Hives, a Swedish garage-rock group, first captured my attention in 2000 with its audaciously titled album “Your New Favorite Band,” and has since been critically acclaimed for its brash, energetic live shows and always matching black and white outfits (extending to the roadies, some dressed as Ninjas). Sunday night was no exception, from the opening notes of “Come On,” the band tore through hits like “Main Offender,” “Idiot Walk,” “My Time is Coming,” “Because I Wanna,” “Wait a Minute,” “Go Right Ahead” and closer “Tick Tick Boom.” Almqvist and crew ran through the crowd and, at times, spent more time in front of the stage than on it.
3OH!3 was as sugary, poppy, auto-tuned, bass-driven and loud as could be expected. The band put on a show that energized the college-aged crowd into throwing the now famous hand signal. With a fourth record coming out in October, 3OH!3 is working hard to maintain momentum with new material as well, although the crowd seemed most interested in the band’s breakout hit, “Don’t Trust Me.” Sunday’s songs included “Do or Die,” “Starrstrukk,” “Touchin On My,” “Don’t Dance,” “My First Kiss,” “You’re Gonna Love This,” “Colorado Sunrise,” “Richman” and “Punkbitch.” There was also a pretty terrible cover of Aerosmith’s “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” that was probably meant as a joke, but that the crowd took deadly serious. Nevertheless, the animatronic wolves with swiveling heads and lasers for eyes were pretty awesome.
Los Angeles-based band Silversun Pickups took the stage last in support of its new album, “Neck of the Woods.”
“Lazy Eye,” a song from “Carnavas” that made it seemingly everywhere in 2007, was joyous noise. During the driving and aggressive “Panic Switch,” Aubert sang, “Could I be anything you want me to be, if so is it meant to be seen,” and it was clear that the the Pickups were exactly what the crowd wanted them to be as they waited, and faded, and floated away.
“The Royal We,” “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings),” “Here We Are (Chancer),” “The Pit,” and “Catch & Release” rounded out the setlist.
Sarah Negahdari joined the band as bassist to replace band member Nikki Monninger, who was happily busy elsewhere expected to give birth to twins. Negahdari had never been to Denver before, and stole the show with bouncy antics and a giant “It’s my first time at Red Rocks and I’m onstage with the Silversun Pickups” grin. “I had to tell her the rest of the tour is not going to be like this,” Aubert said.
The encore included “Busy Bees,” “Out of Breath” and a rather epic and sprawling version of “Well Thought Out Twinkles.”
As a final note, a very nice addition to the show was a locals stage showcasing Nautical Mile, Host Club, Post Paradise and the Royal. Members of the Channel 93.3 staff conducted live interviews with the Hives, 3OH!3 and Silversun Pickups between sets, something that would be a great feature at all concerts.
Allen Klosowski is the social media strategist for The Denver Post. Check out his photos online.
Seth McConnell is a member of YourHub at The Denver Post and a new contributor to Reverb.