Electro heads had a musical feast Saturday night at the Ogden Theater. Souls In Action Entertainment was at it again, presenting what was probably one of the wildest dance parties anywhere in the state this weekend. With MSTRKRFT on the headline, dance addicts had to expect heavy helpings of hard electro house, but by the end of the night, they got much more. Before anyone even entered the Ogden Theater, it was clear where the party was in downtown Denver on Saturday night. Channel 93.3 KTCL had a van on site, playing music for the hordes of people outside the venue eager to get into the show. Sponsors lined the streets handing out freebies to the patient masses in line. There was already a heightened sense of energy, and that was before I even ventured inside.
Soon it was time for the show to begin, and Denver's own boyhollow got the night started with a bang. The last time I saw boyhollow (aka Michael Trundle), he switched up his style a bit, favoring laid back grooves to fit the theme of that particular night. But for this show, boyhollow was back to what he does best; take various styles of music, add generous helpings of electro house, sneak in dashes of hard-hitting womp, and blend them together, serving up a full course meal of audio delight. Being the opener, he had the challenge of getting the audience present and engaged. He started with a near empty dance floor, but it didn't take long before he had a large crowd eating up what he was cooking.
This resident Lipgloss DJ unleashed a steady flow of pumping beats to entice bodies onto the dance floor. He got the temperature rising early by laying down a lot of heavy hard house and electro. As he went from song to song, he knew how to keep the intensity high, with each subsequent track drawing more energy out of the dance hungry people in the building. What I like about boyhollow is his ability to mix in unexpected variety. He kept the crowd on their toes by sneaking in electro remixes of songs from many different genres, including John Denver's "Country Roads", Band of Horses' "Funeral", Passion Pit's "Sleepyhead", some N.W.A., and even Tool's "Sober". He's a DJ for those that appreciate a lot of music outside the realm of electronic dance, and his style could probably convert non dance music fans into regular dance floor ragers. You can check him out most Friday nights at Lipgloss at La Rumba.
Next up was a duo I'd been eager to see and another up and coming Colorado project, 2DUBAII. Chase Orrick and LuOui Vandenberg have been making a name for themselves by consistently laying down floor shaking mixes, and Saturday night they gave electro heads an unrelenting attack of hard house. These masked avengers of sound kept the crowd of people roaring on the floor, smoothly transitioning out of boyhollow's set and into their own string of bangers. I like that about the Souls In Action shows that I've seen; they really know how to minimize downtime by having each next act blend into the ongoing mix. 2DUBAII dropped in and kept their set uptempo as if to test the endurance of the crowd.
That was only the second course, and the crowd was ready for their third helping of sound. Steffi Graf came out on stage, ready to switch it up a bit with some smooth mid-tempo house and nu-disco goodness. The last time I saw Steffi Graf, it was a pure DJ set, but this time Latane Hughes and Antone Proler had a few extra tricks up their sleeve. Along with turntables and mixers, there was a keyboard synthesizer, two separate standalone percussion sets, and a large hanging gong.
Steffi Graf kept the party going with a great mix of obscure funky and soulful disco house that would keep even a seasoned record digger guessing their material came from. Hughes and Proler's fingers must've gotten very dusty finding a lot of the rare tracks they were playing for the crowd. They also mixed in a few familiar favorites after giving them a Steffi Graf twist, including Lykke Li's "I Follow Rivers", Daft Punk's "Around The World", and Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough". The best part of their set was the addition of live drumming. Their percussion sets added a new dimension to their already captivating sound, and it blew just about everyone away each time they wielded the drum sticks. It was easily the most visually entertaining thing to witness up to that point, but this show still had more to offer.
The crowd was practically in a dancing frenzy the entire time MSTRKRFT was up on stage, moving furiously to each pulsing beat of their signature dance-punk sound. They kept their set mostly instrumental, dropping heavy dance tracks like "Vuvuvu" among others. They even teased the crowd with what's to come, hitting everyone with the electric guitar laden single "Beards Again" from their upcoming third album. They did mix in some vocal tracks, like the classic "Easy Love" and the Laidback Luke remix of "Heartbreaker", which got the entire crowd doing their best John Legend impression as they sang along. MSTRKRFT extracted every last bit of energy from the audience with their heavy electro dance set, and by the end of the night the collective sweat lost by the crowd could have been measured in cubic feet.
Saturday night was an intense dance party - a continuous flow of non-stop beats that kept the crowd moving tirelessly from head to toe. Souls In Action Entertainment did a great job bringing in acts that kept the dance flow churning. If you are into dance music but haven't been to a show presented by Souls In Action, you haven't seen some of the best electronic dance music concerts Denver has to offer. MSTRKRFT is the epitome of hard electro, and Steffi Graf keeps a steady smooth groove. I'm very glad they came to share their music with Denver. If you want to get your dance on but can't wait for those imports to come back to town, keep your eyes open for 2DUBAII, check out boyhollow at Lipgloss, and look for the next Souls In Action electronic music show. All are sure to satisfy your craving for dance music.
See more pictures from this show in the Facebook photo album. Like the Concerted Effort page and stay updated!