Denver Music

Elephant Revival with The Tallest Man on Earth at the Mission Ballroom in Denver, CO on 03/25/23 – Photos and Show Review

Elephant Revival

“This music is the soundtrack to our dreams,” explained violinist Bridget Law to the Mission Ballroom crowd. And just like a dream, the night began with a stilt walker, aerialists, and a drum line leading the band through the crowd. After the parade ended, The Father Time Drumline led a joyous rhythm to start the night of magic melodies.

The Father Time Drumeline

After taking a few years off, Elephant Revival was overjoyed to be taking their music back to the people. Their sound is a mix of folk, indie rock, Celtic, and sea shanties.

The last time we saw the band, we received a free intimate concert by restoring trails with the Wildlands Restoration Volunteers. The nonprofit coordinates conservation projects throughout Colorado. This time the band partnered with the nonprofit organization Conscious Alliance. They offered a limited-edition gorgeous event poster by artist Wax Wesoloski in exchange for donations of food or money with proceeds going to meals for families in need. Our print is already at the framers.

Bonnie Paine, Charlie Rose, Daniel Sproul, and Bridget Law

The Nederland, Colorado based Elephant Revival utilized the Mission Ball Room’s state of the art technology to display a rotation of video nature scenes to illuminate the backdrop of the stage. Fan favorite songs such as Petals (with falling flowers being displayed on the screen) were performed along with new material. The band even performed a cover of the alt-metal band Tool to the audience’s delight.

Bonnie Paine

Lead singer Bonnie Paine mesmerized the crowd with her haunting voice that can be described as part Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs, part Margo Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies, and part other worldly like Björk. Paine switched from playing the drums, the washboard, the cello, and the saw (yes, the saw). At times, the singer appeared to be holding back tears from the emotional night. 

Bonnie Paine and her saw

Not to be out done, Charlie Rose played almost every instrument on the stage. When he was done playing the electric theremin, Carlie Rose started setting off a Tesla Coil. Paine joked she regretted giving him that device for his birthday. Darren Garvey’s standup drumming filled the spaces perfectly with every cymbal crash and drum fill. Dango Rose, a recently appointed professor at Colorado University at Denver, switched from the standup bass, electric bass, and mandolin throughout the night. His smile never faded from the start of the show. Bringing the rock, guitarist Daniel Sproul (who has played with Rose Hill Drive, Ryan Bingham, and The Velveteers) recently replacing Daniel Rodriguez who left to pursue a solo career.

Aerialists from Denver’s Gravity Aerial Arts dropped in (literally) for a few songs during the performance. Their flowing mystical moves made the band as awestruck as much as the audience.

At the end of the night, Bridget Law confessed there are new songs in the works (maybe a new album) and a possible performance in August at Planet Bluegrass in Lyons, CO.

The Tallest Man on Earth

Dressed in all white along with his band, Swedish singer-song writer Kristian Matsson told the crowd, his band The Tallest Man on Earth warmed up the stage for Elephant Revival. Standing 5’7” it occurred to me that Matsson’s band’s name might be an exaggeration. He darted all over the stage pouring out all his emotion and energy. Between songs, Matsson breathlessly declared that Colorado is where you find out that you are out of shape. The musician switched instruments frequently to capture his unique tone. Towards the end of the set, the band performed the song The Gardener. It gave a little insight to the name of the band when Matsson sang, “I know the runner’s goin’ to tell you/There ain’t no cowboy in my hair/So now he’s buried by the daises/So I could stay the tallest man in your eyes, babe.” The band will release a new album on April 14th.

Kristian Matsson

See you at the next show. I’ll be the one wondering if the stilt walker was real or just in a soundtrack to a dream. 

4 replies »

  1. I see one very bland comment about Bridget…Very disappointed in your narrative neglecting Bridget who is the glue that holds the band together. Her fiddle playing is a highlight as good as it gets. Too bad you didn’t notice.


  2. Bridget’s last name is misspelled close to the end of the article. And I second what Peggy said 😊 glad you enjoyed their music though!! Their musicianship and stewardship for the earth and the partnerships they have with organizTions speaks volumes and reflects why they’re soooo magically spectacular.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s