When the band arrived in Denver, they discovered there was nowhere to stay. The Outdoor Retailer Convention booked all of the hotel rooms. Instead of relaxing at an comfortable Inn before the show, the band had to hang out with Globe Hall’s patrons (they hung out with us). The musicians performed a remarkable show despite the chance of having to sleep in their tour bus.
Diane Coffee is the musical project of Shaun Fleming. After two Motown inspired albums, Fleming has now channeled his inner David Bowie. He traded his stylish suits in for futuristic glam wear. His new album Internet Arms explores how technology impacts the human experience. His dynamic stage presence and neon-yellow hair makes the rock opera concept work.
The band crept to the stage wearing sinister masks sporting silver hooded ponchos. Fleming appeared in a form fitting green superhero outfit with a clear plastic apron looking like a Progressive Insurance agent from the future. His glam make-up complete with one massive fake eyelash might have been inspired from his recent portrayal of King Herod in the Chicago production of Jesus Christ Super Star.
The track Work It was a fun synthesizer heavy declaration of empowerment or scary possibilities of the Internet. The opening act Claire George joined the band singing, “It’s Worth It/You’ve Earned It/Work It.”
Favorite Diane Coffee songs May Flower and Everyday were also performed with equal enthusiasm. The crowd was left spellbound by the songs, costumes, and energy of the performance. The band ended up staying at Shaun Fleming’s mother-in-law’s house that night. He told us that it had “many couches and plush carpet.”
Claire George’s lyrics compare personal relationships with space travel making her the perfect opening act for The Internet Arms Tour. George’s song Orbits mentions Carl Sagan’s records aboard the Voyager probes – “I always thought that when we shot a capsule into space/We’d offer up you laughter on a golden record that’s always play/That way the universe would know there’s something out there /Worth expanding for/Someone worth searching for.” Singing to pre-programed tracks her angelic voice could be compared to Florence Welch of Florence and The Machine. When George’s computer stopped working, she quickly recovered by singing The Cranberries’ No Need To Argue without any electronic assistance. When the crowd went nearly breathless, it was clear that cover was the highlight of her set. It was Claire George’s last night opening for Diane Coffee. Shaun Fleming was in the front of the stage cheering her on. Fleming later told the crowd he considers George family.
Denver band Modern Leisure started the night of music. The breathy vocals of lead singer Casey Banker took the band through a large number of tracks from their Super Sad Rom-Com album that was released last year. Your Favorite Self, the opening track on the album, started their set with dream like keyboard playing from Karl Gunselmann and worked up to an infectious guitar solo from Dean Rodgers. The band will be performing at Denver’s Underground Music Showcase at the end of July. Since they are local, the band slept in their own beds without fearing The Outdoor Retailer Convention Denver takeover.
See you at the next show. I’ll be dressed from the future talking about sleeping on couches in homes with plush carpeting.