“Jerry. I’m going need another drink.” That’s what Elle King requested after performing the opening song. She also had tea, a Monster Energy Drink, and a canister of oxygen nearby (more supplies arrived later). King came prepared to entertain the diverse crowd of kids wearing ear-muffs (protection hearing gear), members of the LGBQT community, and guys in baseball caps.
The singer wore a beanie with sunglasses (the research team at Old Guy at the Show HQ have ascertained she has sported the same look for multiple concerts). If Eric Church can wear sunglasses and Zac Brown can wear a beanie, who’s to say Elle King can’t wear both.
Her new country themed album Come Get Your Wife is a departure from her previous rock influenced material. It was produced by Ross Coperman who has worked with Darius Rucker, Kenny Chesney, and Keith Urban (among many others). There is even has a duet with Country Superstar Miranda Lambert. The song Jersey Giant is pinned by alt-country legend Tyler Childers (I don’t want to brag. But I saw him open for Jack White in 2018). King has always had a countryside, but the new songs seem truer to her character than her older material. King mixed in a few classics into the set including Charlie Daniel’s Long-Haired Country Boy and Dr. Hook’s The Cover of the Rolling Stone (King introduced the song by shaking her hips and asking the crowd if she was cover worthy).
Throughout the night, audience members started pushing their way to the front of the stage. Since the venue recently issued a Fast Pass (allowing people into the venue before the general admission folks for a fee), it seemed unfair to those paying extra cash or those who waited hours in line before the doors opened. A few of these “pushers” even tried to get in front of someone in a wheelchair. Stay classy Denver.
King was handed a joint (the second of the night) and proceeded to introduce her band. She shared the Mile High Magic with the musicians as they were introduced. King hailed guitar player Joseph M. Wastaken as the driving force of the music. She confessed that he “knocks her teeth out every night” with his impressive playing.
After singing her latest single, I’m Drunk and I Don’t Want to Go Home, the band left the stage. But they returned (I guess they really didn’t want to go home) to perform America’s Sweetheart. The crowd sang along as if the lyrics were their own – “You try and change me, you can go to hell/Cause I don’t wanna be nobody else.”
The Red Clay Strays, named after the red dirt clay of south Alabama, opened the show. Lead singer Brandon Coleman was channeling his inner Elvis complete with a pompadour. He wore his guitar high enough so everyone could see his hips shake. Over half of the audience seemed to be fans (rare for an opening band). A few guys in the baseball caps were even singing along to almost all the songs. The band has a unique sound with guitar players Drew Nix and Zach Rishel switching on and off from slide to lead guitar. Coleman played a few slower tunes on the organ to show off their diversity. The band member that I couldn’t stop watching was drummer John Hall. He played with deep heart felt emotion and enthusiastically sang along to every lyric. Between songs, Hall joked around with bass player Andrew Bishop while chugged Miller Lites. The Red Clay Strays will be getting more exposure this summer when they support Dierks Bentley.
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one wearing a beanie with sunglasses chugging a Miller Lite.
Categories: alt-country, Americana, Country Music, Denver Music, Live Music, Music
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