Adam Cayton-Holland, Bad Weather California at the Greater Than Social Club, 03-06-13 (photos, review)By Ricardo Baca | March 7th, 2013 | No Comments »
The idea is genius, really: Invite the cityâ€™s indie elite to perform on a pretty fancy cabaret stage for a special night of music, comedy and camaraderie.
And at Wednesday nightâ€™s Greater Than Social Club, you could feel the electricity in the air. The place was packed, with a quality standing-only scene by the back bar. Man of the hour Mike Marchant â€“ the always-liked local musician who was benefiting from the eveningâ€™s proceeds — was holding court at a front-and-center table. The underground space known as Lannieâ€™s Clocktower Cabaret and its fancy-pants environs and table service gave the hipster kids a reason to dress up.
In short, it was a celebration of life â€“ of Mikeâ€™s life, as he fights his way through chemotherapy while still looking dapper as ever, and of all our lives. We live in Denver, and weâ€™re surrounded by this crazy kind of talent 24-7.
Comedian Jordan Doll hosted the show with a self-snickering set of observational comedy. His rants about the absurdity of euphemisms â€“ â€śdying of natural causes,â€ť for example â€“ warmed up the crowd for more relevant (to this young audience, at least) monologues about the advantages of iPhone to Android operating systems.
Headlining comic Adam Cayton-Holland picked things up with a fresh set of newly written comedy. (â€śIâ€™ve been writing a lot lately,â€ť he told us later.) He chatted his way through some in-the-know local stuff before working toward a couple socially poignant cowboys-and-Indians jokes. He talked about lining up at a Parisian museum recently to see an Edward Hopper exhibit at 5:30 a.m., and he told what he called the Most Pretentious Joke of All Time. Cayton-Hollandâ€™s whip-smart humor requires a grasp on world history, and the payoff is worth all that cramming you did in college.
As Cayton-Holland riffed on the Parisians â€śoozing sophistication,â€ť it was simple to notice his own gradually gained sophistication â€“ or perhaps confidence is a better word. Cayton-Holland might have looked nervous on â€śConanâ€ť a few weeks ago, but that dude is owning club stages these days.
The eveningâ€™s band, Bad Weather California, came out and happily owned up to the teenage-hooligan moniker Cayton-Holland had bestowed upon them earlier in the night. The band, fronted by the ever-adventurous Chris Adolf, played a loose, all-smiles set of punk-friendly pop music that had some (that standing-only crowd in the back!) dancing in the aisles. Adolf has a rich history of indie rock in Colorado, and while itâ€™s easy to miss the sweet-natured hymns of his long-gone Love Letter Band, itâ€™s just as simple to admire his evolution as an artist. Not to mention: Adolf has the best song intros in the game.
â€śThis songâ€™s about being a teenage girl in the â€™90s!â€ť
Awesome. Letâ€™s do this.
Up next: â€śThis songâ€™s about hanging out at the mall. Check it out.â€ť
Well, O.K. then.