A few weeks ago a tragic event happened. The skies darkened, hearts were broken, and the world weeped. Of course, I am talking about Justin Bieber canceling his world tour. This left four women from the Pacific Northwest with a weekend in Denver without the Biebs (he was scheduled to perform at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 12th). The Beliebers were determined to make the best out of this catastrophic event. Dressed in Justin Bieber and Calvin Klein wear (he is their underwear spokesman), the heart broken music fans attended Strange Americans Album release party. Apparently bearded guys playing roots rock is the closest thing Denver has to Justin Bieber.
|Murry Mercier and Trent Nelson|
Unlike the instant YouTube success of Justin Bieber, Strange Americans have been a hard working Denver band since 2009. They consistently perform in the Rocky Mountain Region. Strange Americans played Red Rocks in 2015 and opened for the indie Rock Gods The Old 97s last year. Their new album Borrow You, Brother took three years to make. Their recording process consisted of living together in a single apartment, a fire, and four separate trips to Denton, Texas. After some record label juggling, the album consisting of 48 minutes of rock anthem goodness has been released into the world.
|Strange Americans – All Photos taken by
The Rock and Roll Princess
The majority of the album was performed to the crowd that consisted of friends, family, and four Justin Bieber fans positioned in front of the stage. Matt Hoffman wearing his signature trucker hat and flannel shirt led the band through songs about the struggles of striving for the American dream with Big Black Car and No Punches. Trent Nelson took over lead vocal duties for Riverside with amazing harmonies from the band and his trademark leg stomp. Older material was played throughout the set including the Springsteen like Blood in Gold and Rocks/Rolls featuring Murry Mercier pounding on the keyboards. The night ended with Places II with Hoffman signing with raw emotion, “Remember when we had nothing at all.” The audience congratulated the band with handshakes and hugs and quickly purchased the album. The Justin Bieber fans walked away with a high from the power of Rock and Roll or second hand pot smoke.
The opening band Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts played infectious songs and created a party like atmosphere. Strange Americans were their supporting act for a few weeks during their recent summer tour. The band was returning the favor for Strange Americans album release party. Miles Nielsen is the son of Cheap Trick’s guitar player Rick Nielsen (the eccentric Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member). His brother Daxx Nielsen is currently Cheap Trick’s drummer. Dear Kentucky (You’re Killing Me) a love song about a city with a warning label was a crowd favorite. Shine Your Light made the audience stop talking and notice the gospel inspired song with multi-instrumentalist Adam Plamann playing an amazing clarinet melody in the background.
|Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts
with Strange Americans Dance Troop
When Miles Nielsen stated special guests were joining him for Start Me Up, Matt Hoffman, Trent Nelson (no relation, different spelling), and Murry Mercier came on stage and danced during the chorus. The crowd went crazy and the Justin Bieber fans were just confused. Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts later joined Strange Americans for a jam session. The Rusted Hearts’ Daniel James McMahon guitar skills were awe-inspiring.
See you at the next show. I’ll be one impressing the masses with my new Strange Americans‘ dance moves.