Elle King at Denver Day of Rock in Denver, CO on 5/26/18

Elle King and her band The Brethren

Denver Day of Rock has become a Memorial Day weekend tradition. An entire day of live music on multiple stages spread out through the 16th Street Mall (over a mile of shops on a pedestrian pathway).  It raises money for Amp the Cause that works with over 50 charities to improve the lives of local children and families. Similar to past years, it brought local and national acts to entertain the masses. However, this year the headliner was a swearing, smoking, drinking, breast flashing musician named Elle King.

Elle King – All photos by the
Rock and Roll Princess

King is the offspring of actor/comedian Rob Scheider (the Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo comedian) and formal model London King.  Her musical style is a combination of Wanda Jackson and Mae West.  King appeared on stage in a jacket embroidered with rainbows, mushrooms, and, marijuana leaves. She wore a hookah pen on a chain around her neck.  I am guessing the electronic vaporizer was full of “rainbows” that she smoked throughout her performance. The Brethren, her five-piece band, wore all white with tan jackets looking like country versions of Andrew W.K. 

After starting her show with the anthem Baby Outlaw, King noticed some young people in the crowd.  She promised to be on her worst behavior on their behalf.  King also stated, “Altitude is a thing here. And I forget that every time I drink.  If I talk some sh*t, it’s not my fault.”

Elle King and The Brethren

After playing a set of literally good songs (Good for Nothing Woman and Good to be a Man), it was time to play the blues.  The biographical Chain Smokin’ Hard Drinkin’ Woman showed off her passionate voice while The Brethren channeled their inner John Lee Hooker. During the dance/rap song It Girl, King advices, “Next time they talk some sh*t/All you have to do is blow them …. a little kiss/Or you show them your t*ts.” That’s when she flashed her pink bra to the delight of the crowd. King changed things up again with the gospel inspired Ain’t Gunna Drown from her Grammy nominated debut album Love Stuff.

That’s when some technical issues almost derailed her incredible performance. King introduced her favorite song The Beatles’ Oh, Darling.  That’s when her microphone feel apart making her sing unplugged while encouraging the audience to sing-along.  The sound guys got her mic working just in time for her to finish the classic song beautifully with amplification.  King ended with her hit Ex’s & Oh’s.  When she was leaving the stage King quoted Joan Jett, “Give them what they want and leave them wanting more.” And that’s exactly what she did.

See you at the next show.  I’ll be wearing a hookah pen full of rainbows.

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