Shogun – Denver – The Spot, CO – 2000-02-26

Where: Denver – The Spot, CO.

When: 2000-02-26

The problem with seeing a show at a youth center is that there’s bound to be a lot of youth. The benefits are there will be no smoking and the bands are likely to be completely sober. The Spot is apparently a youth center in Denver, and this show was supposed to raise money to send people to Honduras for charity work. Fine local hardcore/emo bands for $5. Good deal, despite the venue. There were just too many kids who acted like they’ve never been to a show before, prefering to talk to each other and thrash around in the audience rather than just enjoying the music.

Shogun, the first band, looked like frat boys, all wearing button-down shirts or polo shirts. But they were definite hardcore, more of a metal style similar to Coalesce or Converge. The music was good, and some of their newer songs slowed down enough to let you hear the melody, but the vocals were all the “raa-raa-raaaa” style. I have to admit, they had a lot of energy, the singer all over the tiny stage and even shoving the guitarists off the stage (they never missed a beat). Plus, they had a following in the crowd, and people were leaping up to scream along into the mic.

Still Left Standing are apparently the golden boys of Denver right now, opening for just about ever emo/hardcore/alternative band that comes through. If I didn’t know they were local, I definitely would have said they were from Gainesville, Fla. They had the Gainesville sound down pat, and at times I thought I was listening to Hot Water Music with different lyrics. Granted, the singer didn’t sing like HWM, but the music was similar. Very tight, very clean, very precise, very melodic hardcore rock with good but not great vocals. I definitely heard a Jawbreaker influence too, especially in the vocals. Again, their newer songs were much better than their older ones, so I will keep an ear out for a Still Left Standing release soon. These guys are going to be big.

This was only the second time I saw Eiffel, but I was very impressed with their first show, and this one didn’t dissappoint. Eiffel plays a style of emo-core that I really love: long – almost 10 minute – songs that go from loud and furious to slower and melodic and pretty. There was definitely hints of Indian Summer and Sunny Day Real Estate here, but these guys have a sound of their own, which I really enjoy. When they’re loud and furious, they remind me of Yaphet Kotto or 12 Hour Turn. When they’re slower and more melodic, they have a Penfold or Mineral or Cross My Heart sound. And they do it all in one song. Vey impressive. I have a seven-inch from them that I will be reviewing soon.

It seems that Acrobat Down have gotten over losing their keyboardist, who was a major factor on their last album. Playing a mix of songs from that album, all re-done with a more guitar rock feel now that the keyboards and backing vocals are gone, and new songs that seem very melody and guitar-rock based, Acrobat Down were impressive, as always. They have a unique blend of post-hardcore and emo rock with an emphasis on killer guitar riffs and heavy rhythm. If you get a chance to see them, they never dissappoint.

Planes Mistaken for Stars were the headliner, and well they should be. The last few times I saw them, they were only willing to play their newer songs, which leave out most of the emo and go straight for the screaming hardcore. But this time, the band played some of their older, more emo songs, that mix in more melody with the power riffs and screaming and hardcore rhythm. Granted, even these old songs were sped up, but PMFS manage to just ooze so much passion and power into their songs it’s amazing. And, I think for the first time, the band was sober and played an immaculate and tight show. This band is definitely incredible, packing so much power and energy into 2:30 songs. Definitely check them out, their live show gets all the energy from their two EPs and then some.