Margo Price and Particle Kid at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, CO on 2/20/18

Margo Price

A few years ago Margo Price and her boyfriend (now husband) Jeremy Ivey found themselves living in Colorado in a tent performing for spare change on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall.  She now lives in Nashville (assuming not in a tent) as a successful musician.  She has performed with her idols Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, and Willie Nelson. Price even played with my Lord and Savior Jack White (she is on his Thirdman Records label). Her Nowhere Fast tour is currently traveling the world supporting her second album American Made.

Margo Price – All photos by
The Rock and Roll Princess

The show at the Fox Theatre was sold out despite it being on a cold snowy Tuesday night. Before the performance began, a roadie placed burning incense on the stage.  The smoke lofted over the crowd (the smell is still in my clothes). Price came out wearing a fringe jacket, bellbottoms with rose embroidered patches, and a big floppy brown hat (I almost wore the same exact outfit).  Her mustached bass player Kevin Black held up the band’s country music reputation by donning a black cowboy hat.

A large majority of the set list were songs from her new album.  They were political (Pay Gap, Heart of America), philosophical (A Little Pain, Loner), and confessional (Wild Women, Weakness). The few songs performed from her debut album were reworked from their original version such as the haunting Four Years of Chances.

Margo Price

Margo Price played shakers, tambourine, guitar, keyboards, and drums throughout the night.  Many singers just stand awkwardly while each member solos.  Not Price.  She played a small drum kit right next to Dillion Napler’s normal size drums.  Price banged along with the band with a giant smile.  One of the most impressive moments of the night was the song All American Made.  The band left the stage leaving Price behind the keyboards. Gut wrenching lyrics poured out, “All the Midwest farms are tuning into plastic homes/And my uncle started drinking when the bank denied the loan/But now it’s liver failure and his mad cows being cloned.”  The band came back to play her signature song Hurtin’ on a Bottle combined with Willie Nelson’s Whiskey River.  The show ended with Credence Clear Water Revival’s Proud Mary (Ike and Tina Turner’s version). She pranced around the stage and encouraged the crowd to sing along.  The Retro-Country artist transform into a Rock and Roll powerhouse.   

The Particle Kid

Particle Kid opened up the show.  I discovered a few things during his set:

  • Particle Kid is not a kid or particles, but a twenty-seven year old man.  
  • He had chess pieces on his socks (one had a hole in the toe)
  • His real name is Micah Nelson. 
  • He is Willie Nelson’s son. 

Nelson shared his concern about sneezing outside in the cold.  “Frozen boogers might become destructive missiles.”  Being from California, he was excited to be experiencing inclement weather (he got to wear a stocking hat).  His set consisted of steam-of-consciousness songs about Hollywood, the ocean, and how the reality of the world is out of control. Nelson used looping and foot petal effects to create a fuller sound.  The Particle Kid came back during Price’s set to sing the duet Learning to Lose. His father sung with Price on the original recording.  The Particle Kid captured the tone of Willie Nelson perfectly while guitarist Jamie Davis recreated Willie Nelson’s playing (it was like Willie and his legendary old beat up guitar Trigger were there).

See you at the next show.  I’ll be the one in the fringe jacket lighting incense on stage.

The Killers, Albert Hammond Jr., and Amanda Brown at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, CO on 2/5/18

The Killers

The flu was slowly working its way through members of The Killers crew for weeks during their Wonderful Wonderful Tour.  The morning of the 1st Bank Center performance, front man Brandon Flowers awoke with the sickness.  The audience was surprised when he confessed he was under the weather in the middle of the show.  Flowers sang, danced, and occasionally played the bass and keyboards while channeling Tom Jones, Elvis Presley, and Bruce Springsteen. I can’t form complete sentences when I am sick never mind performing a high production rock show.  And it was a SHOW with incredible video images that appeared to be popping out of the screen, lights probably stolen from an alien spaceship, confetti cannons that covered the entire arena with …. confetti, and sexy scantily clad background singers.

Brandon Flowers

Brandon Flowers is the youngest of six children raised in a Mormon family. After moving to Las Vegas in his teens, he became involved in the local music scene.  Two years after graduating from high school, Flowers formed The Killers.  A few years later they were headlining Madison Square Garden and Wembley Stadium.  Drummer Ronnie Vannucci, Jr. and Brandon Flowers are the only official members in The Killers currently performing.  Bassist Mark Stoermer and guitarist Dave Kenuing are still in the band, but decided not to tour (bassist Jake Blanton and guitarist Ted Sablay replaced them).  Three background singers and two other additional musicians complete the current touring line up.   Despite the band member shuffle, fans were there to see Flowers returning from a five-year hiatus from The Killers music.

The Killers – All photos by The Rock and Roll Princess

Dressed in an expensive dark suit, Brandon Flowers looked more like a 1940’s crooner than a rock star.  He took his place in back of a blue neon male symbol placed across his keyboard.  The background singers (two wore suit jackets without shirts and a lot of two sided tape) were behind pink neon female symbols.  The politically charged Run from Cover started the show with an intense energy that remained throughout the night.  One of the most memorable moments was during the song The Man (the neon gender symbols finally made sense) when tons of pink confetti fell from the rafters.  Flowers sounded like Tom Jones as he sang, “I got gas in the tank/I got money in the bank/I got news for you baby, you’re looking at the man.”  The main set ended with All These Things That I’ve Done with the crowd chanting, “I got soul, but I not a solider” when another batch of confetti mixed with red, white, and blue streamers rained down upon the masses.

The Book of Mormon/King of Rock

The encore combined Brandon Flowers’ faith and hometown of Las Vegas together in the song The Calling.  The introduction had the voice of actor Woody Harrelson reciting Matthew 9:10-12 (as he does on the album).  Flowers came out dressed in a shinny metallic gold suit dancing like Elvis Presley singing, “I walked into town with a message for my old man/I’ve got the last two chapters of Matthew in my hand.”  The Book of Mormon/King of Rock persona changed when he brought out his inner Bruce Springsteen for their anthem When You Were Young. The guy behind me was belting out the song louder than Flowers who had a microphone.  The night ended with Mr. Brightside one of the first songs The Killers ever wrote and their biggest hit.  As the band left the stage and the house lights went up, Johnny Mathis’ Wonder Wonderful played.  The audience left the venue covered in streamers and confetti hoping they didn’t catch the flu from the guy in the gold metallic suit.

Albert Hammond Jr.

Supporting act Albert Hammond Jr. (best known for playing guitar in the band The Strokes) was one of the supporting acts. Appearing in a red and black striped suit (unfortunately not a metallic gold one) Hammond performed a set of guitar driven songs featuring material from his soon to be released solo album entitled Francis Trouble.  The subject matter concerns his twin brother Francis being stillborn.  Despite the tragedy, the songs came across as upbeat.   Hammond started his own line of men’s suits (he really did) that will keep the rocker looking sharp singing about the dead for years to come.  R.I.P. Francis.

Amanda Brown

 The reality television show The Voice (the one with spinning chairs) got Amanda Brown noticed when she wowed the audience with her version of Aerosmith’s Dream On.  This led to background singing gigs with Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, and Adele.  Now she is stepping in front of the spotlight as one of the opening act for The Killers.  Brown wore all black with silver boots (unfortunately not a metallic gold suit).  Her vocals silenced the crowd who were bursting in anticipation to see Mr. Brightside.    Brown’s new single Believers could easily be played on mainstream radio, but the slow acoustic number Amen impressed me the most. Brown’s set was short, but she returned as one of The Killers background singers wearing a suit jacket without a shirt.

See you at the next show.  I’ll be the one pulling pink confetti out of my hair wearing a gold metallic suit without a shirt.