I always do my best to research a show before I preview it, but sometimes I get it wrong. There were plenty of errors in my pre-examination of last night's show at the Hi-Dive, so now that I've attended the concert, I can make a few corrections. Beforehand, some of the information was hard to come by, so forgive me if you will.
Yesterday, I provided the wrong band lineup. I thought Glowing House would start off the night, but instead, it was John Davey. John Davey is an Indiana native who began playing the guitar a little over six years ago. He originally intended to be a drummer, but upon receiving a hand-me-down guitar from his brother and learning a few chords, he found himself immediately composing and performing songs. He brought a handful of those songs with him last night to the Hi-Dive, and performed a very good, heartfelt set.
John Davey has a very comfortable and friendly stage demeanor. He'll crack a few jokes to warm up the crowd and when he starts strumming his guitar and singing his songs, he'll create a cozy atmosphere like you've settled around a campfire to hear some of his stories through folk-style song. A couple of Davey's good friends, Ethan and Lauren, accompanied him at times as The Heartwarmers, and you couldn't help but feel that these guys weren't just performing as if they were playing in front of any old crowd, but instead were trying to gather the audience in and treat them like a part of their musical family. I loved Davey's sense of humor and he is great at storytelling, making the entire Davey package a very entertaining one. If you are into folk or singer-songwriter music styles at all, I would reccomend you keep an eye on John Davey.
Next up was Denver locals Glowing House, whose performance and style couldn't help but transport me back into time. Once the trio of Jess Parsons, Steve Varney and Patrick Kline took the stage and the music began, it was like viewing a window into another place. I saw rolling prairie hills surrounded by wildflowers and tall grass with the moon, perched high in the sky, gently coating the earth with soft dim light. I imagined soft breezes stirring up small clouds of dust and leaves as they danced around the calm night air. Alone on a hill is an illuminated house, the sole beacon of life in this otherwise untouched country, radiating with the sound of sweet music.
Glowing House has the ability to take their poetic words and give it sepia tone charm through folk-style music. Although I've never seen this band before, I immediately felt a sense of familiarity when they began to play, like I've known them forever. It's as if somehow their performance of music touches the human spirit in such a way a personal connection is born. I was amazed how much I enjoyed their performance. Glowing House has a way to comfortably draw you in. If you missed this band, they will be performing again tonight as a duo (sans drummer) at the Meadowlark or on Saturday night as headliners at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. See them and be swept away.
Paleo took the stage last, and although the band performed well, they couldn't quite enthrall me with any sort of powerful energy. Paleo is often described as folk-rock, but after the two prior acts, the music did not have the same past-time charm, and instead came off more modern. (Not that that in itself is a bad thing) The music was unique, but without the same character. The toll of touring heavily since spring of this year seemed to weigh the band down, and Paleo's delivery of songs seemed awkward at times. Still, I enjoyed the music, as Paleo was able to take the combination of David Strackany's distinct voice and layer it over the traditional band setup of guitar, bass and drums and produce a few memorable songs. I don't think that particular night was Paleo's shining moment but I'm not willing to write off the band completely. I will say perhaps the Paleo experience is suited for a very specific crowd - one that really wasn't there last night. The way the last set went made it a somewhat disappointing way to end the night - I didn't feel captivated but more like I was going through the motions.
Last night was my first time to the Hi-Dive, and it is a great small venue. There is no backstage, so you will see band members wade through the crowd before they go up to perform. It allows the concert-goer a very intimate setting you can not get at many other venues. There was a decent turnout at the small venue, slightly more so than at the Larimer Lounge the night before, but there was still much space to be filled which I think would definitely have enhanced the atmosphere and overall experience for everyone - band members and audience members alike. If you see anything that piques your interest at the Hi-Dive, I highly reccommend it.