When I was in Atlanta earlier this year for Shaky Knees, I made friends with Emily, who was a friend of my friend Brendan. She became my +1 for all of the shows down there, and she was an absolute delight to hang out with. So, when she said she was going to be making the trip out to Colorado to see Lifter Puller play at Red Rocks, and then see The Hold Steady play their first show in damn near two years at Riot Fest, and hey would you like to join us? I worked a bunch of overtime and booked my plane ticket to Denver, a place that I had never visited. To date, actually, Denver is the furthest i've been from home. I flew in on Thursday, we had shows Friday and Saturday, and I was on a plane back to Akron at 6am on Sunday. I normally like to spend a bit more time in new cities, but as my trip to Atlanta showed me, sometimes you don't really need any extra time when there's shows to go to.
Denver is a city full of legal marijuana and also breweries, which isn't really a bad way to spend your lazy weekend full of shows. Friday, we headed to Red Rocks. Lifter Puller was one of the openers on a show full of Minneapolis bands. The headliner was Atmosphere, who I wasn't familiar with.
It was cool to see Lifter Puller, because i've been a huge fan of all things Craig Finn now for quite a few years. I had listened to them before, but never saw them live because they broke up in the late nineties. Their set was good. I would've been fine leaving after their set, but I was with a group of people who are all from Minneapolis, so we stayed for the entire show. I enjoyed Lizzo a lot and left wanting to see her in a smaller venue. Brother Ali and Plain Ole Bill and the Last Word made no impression on me, good or bad. I also thought Atmosphere was somewhere between trite and boring. But with all of that said, the crowd was really into everyone except Lifter Puller. There were pockets of people like me and my friends, who had traveled out from various points in the US for the show.