Breathe Carolina ::: Summit Music Hall ::: 12.23.11
This past Friday evening’s Breathe Carolina show functioned as a victory lap for the local kids that have been picked up by a major (read my friend Ricardo’s great article on them from the Denver Post/Reverb here). C=T contributor, Molly Müeller, traded her comfy Capitol Hill surroundings for LODO for one night.
It was a frigid, snowy pre-holiday evening, a perfect night to venture to LODO for a night of poppy, danceable and thus warm sweaty night of electro-pop with some Denver boys who are causing a big scene all over the place. This show was special for Breathe Carolina because it brought them back to their friends and family just in time for the holidays and gave them a chance to gift a live performance to their loyal hometown fans.
The mood was festive and the stage backdrop included two gigantic candy canes; similar to the ones you’d expect to be part of a Santa scene at the local mall. The crowd was very diverse as this was an all-ages show; there were people from the mid-40s all the way down to the 16-year-olds dressed in outfits that made them look like they raided my closet sometime around 1983. As I sat at the bar waiting for the show to start, Breathe Carolina’s Kyle Even came out to a group of parental types and put wristbands on all of them. Afterwards he sweetly took a moment to pose for a picture and wish me a Merry Christmas.
There were three opening acts beginning with The Spin Cycle, a one-man dance party featuring Denver’s Josh Andrews. He got the crowd going with a Mac laptop and some keyboards, finally warming up the freezing venue.The sound was pretty impressive for a one-man show. When needed, he apparently does backup work for the headliners Breathe Carolina. As an extra surprise, Josh pulled out an electric guitar and did a beautiful rendition of The Beatles “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” That pretty much satisfied everyone.
Next up was MOD SUN, a hippie or metal-head looking guy whose real name is Dylan Smith. Accompanied by B Rolla from the Baha Men (yes,he did sing an excerpt from the infamous song “Who Let the Dogs Out?” to prove his street cred) and DJ Pat Brown, MOD SUN raps catchy songs that most of the crowd seemed to love. At the end of the set, MOD SUN sincerely asked “Did you all have a good time tonight? My job is to get you ready for BC!” and mentioned he would be by the merch stand if anyone wanted to come say hello.
The third act was Kill Paradise, a dancepop duo from Denver consisting of Kyle Cocozzella and Bryce Hoops. After shouting “Make some noise, Denver!” they played “Fall From A Star” and the whole floor bounced for the rest of their high-energy set. They dedicated a song to Breathe Carolina and thanked them for putting them on the bill. This was a fun performance and I plan to keep an eye on these guys.
By now the crowd was dying for some Breathe Carolina and like a present under the tree, David Schmitt and Kyle Even delivered the holiday goods (assisted by DJ Kyle David, Luis Bonet playing a rad 80’s throwback “Keytair”, Joshua Aragon on bass, synth, keyboards etc. and Eric Armenta on drums). Storming the stage and only getting started with screamo-tinged “Wooly,” BC’s party was ON. Kyle Even dived into the crowd during “Last Night (Vegas)” and everyone in the vicinity was happy to carry, touch and/or be crushed by him just to show their love. After the third song, David Schmitt brought Josh Andrews (first act on the bill) onto the stage and introduced him as one of his best friends. By now the energy is palatable and they boys barreled into “Sweat It Out” after asking every single person “in this fucking place” to get off their feet. Following up like a true party host, David inquired “Denver, what the fuck is up? You guys sweaty? Everyone sweaty? You all look pretty and shit.” Just what any music fan wants to hear when it’s below freezing outside and chestnuts roasting on an open fire just isn’t your thing.
Breathe Carolina played songs from all of their releases, including the “It’s Classy, Not Classic” favorite “Lovely”, Hello Fascination’s single by the same name and, of course, everyone’s favorites from the most recent release, “Hell Is What You Make It.” Halfway through the show I wanted to join the floor and dance the night away but, unfortunately, my friends are smokers and I had to hold down the fort. For “I.D.G.A.F (I don’t give a fuck),” the venue was adorably filled with nothing but middle fingers. You gotta love that holiday spirit!
The band members kept hugging each other and were genuinely happy to be playing in Denver. Radio darling, “Blackout”, was the second-to-last song and at this point I made it to the middle of the floor. The band busted out a mini-remix while a mini-mosh pit formed near me. Luckily, I emerged unscathed and honestly the song sounded better live than on the radio or recording.
The performance was topped off with “Mile High Christmas”, a special song about dancing in the Denver snow and a Rudolph with eyes as red as his nose (with BC in the house even the reindeer know how to party.) The show wound down as the BC boys threw a ton of free t-shirts into the crowd and lovingly handed out appreciation. Everyone was full of smiles and, at least for this Denver girl, it was a great night of Denver-based electro-pop energy. No better way to start a holiday weekend.
Word/Photos by: Molly Müellertrackback