“You’re my heroes. And some crazy mother f*ckers to risk your lives to see a rock and roll show,” said Clay Rose lead singer for Gasoline Lollipops. A mighty snowstorm came roaring into the front range hours before the entertainment started. Sound minded individuals decided to stay home. They avoided the dangerous icy snowy roads, but missed the alt-country band’s performance. Nevertheless the band’s heavy promotion on social media, radio stations, and even a bowling party made “some crazy mother f*ckers” brave the elements to witness the GasPops make their soulful noise.
Starting out with the title track from their latest album Soul Mind, Rose used a distorted microphone which sounded like an old megaphone to preach, “It’s been a long time digging in the soul mine/Looking in the dark for something that shines/All I found was coal/All I felt was shame/When I heard that devil calling my name.” They sounded like Tom Waits backed by a rebellious country band. Rose explained his frustration with individuals that have so much, but are never happy with what they got. That’s when he sang Come Here to Die – “I hate my job/I hate my wife/I hate my children and I have my life/I ain’t looking for no answer or fix/Cause if there’s one thing I don’t hate/ Is my right to bitch.”
Around that time, Clay Rose, bass player Brad Morse, and guitar/mandolin player Donny Ambory went into an acoustic set. It made Rose’s voice even more impactful echoing off the Gothic Theatre’s walls while the snow kept falling outside. The band changed their set list last-minute to accommodate a song request from a fan named Melissa. She traveled all the way from Wyoming for the show (Rose later found her to make sure she wasn’t driving back home during the storm). After taking a selfie with the crowd, Rose ended with a perfect song that captured the night – Me and Your Ghost – “All this longing keeps me high/I dreamed up all them stars, could’ve been bright/Like Orion thrown from a winter’s night.”
The night’s second billed band Strange Americans celebrates their ten-year anniversary this month. Lead singer Matt Hoffman recalled traveling an excessive amount of miles to perform at a festival. They ended up playing on a trailer bed to eight people (six were too intoxicated to even stand). Experiences like that have made their songs like No Punches contain beautiful harmonies and impressive extended jams. Their cover of Tom Petty and the Heatbreakers’ Learning to Fly was flawless. Trent Nelson nailed the guitar solo that would make the Heartbreakers’ guitar player Mike Campbell proud and drummer Michael John McKee even replicated the song’s unique rim hits. Their next show is the Denver Day of Rock on May 25th.
The night’s opener Foxfeather played to a sparse crowd because the snow storm was delaying almost everyone’s arrival. Singer Carly Ricks Smith and guitarist Laura Stratton led their band through a bluesy retro feeling set. Their latest single Come and Get Me has been getting attention recently because of their charming video featuring the band roller skating. Click here to watch it. Their Pretender’s cover of Brass in Pocket suited Smith’s voice and attitude perfectly. I later saw Smith watching the Gasoline Lollipops in the middle of all the crazy mother f*ckers or like Clay Rose called us heroes.
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one in a snow suit ready to battle through the next storm.