Music » Reverb

Quiet Riot: Byers says no to fest




Well, that didn't take long.

In our July 2 Reverb column, "Farmers rise up against Riot Fest," we reported on the growing battle between Riot Fest and community members in Byers, the small town 40 miles west of Denver that played host to last year's festival.

Compared to most goings-on in a town that boasts one grocery store, one general store and two gas stations, the July 1 Arapahoe County Commission hearing on the issue was a pretty big deal. And late last week, commissioners made their decision, refusing to issue a temporary-use permit for the festival, which had been planned for Sept. 19-21.

Tickets for the event, featuring Wu-Tang Clan, The Cure and dozens of other top-shelf acts, have been selling briskly since May. So on Friday, Riot Fest promoters went on Facebook to insist they're not giving up the fight, and that all tickets will be honored at an unannounced new location.

"We know this sucks, we're as disappointed as you are, but if you could be a little patient with us, we'll have more information ASAP," they promise. "Riot Fest in Denver is NOT cancelled, the show will go on, and rock and roll never dies."

Predictably, the post's comment section was flooded with anti-Byers sentiments, prompting one community member to cry foul.

"You know what? Not all [of] Byers was against this, so to say fuck Byers and everyone who lives here just isn't fair. So all of you haters out there that are saying bad things about our community, I raise my middle finger to you."

Now that Riot Fest promoters have assured us that rock and roll will never die, can the same be said for the music that spawned it? Apparently so, given that Colorado Springs' Blues Under the Bridge will be putting on its eighth annual festival on Saturday.

While headliner Sugaray Rayford, whom you may have noticed on this week's cover, is the main attraction, there's really not one weak link in the lineup.

Australia's Kara Grainger is an extraordinary electric guitarist and soulful singer who, despite her Sydney origins, manages to lose her accent the moment she steps onstage.

The Grammy-winning Alvin Youngblood Hart was in the Springs two years ago for a John-Alex Mason memorial tribute, at which Otis Taylor introduced him as one of the greatest bluesmen alive.

Rounding out the bill are Wichita's Moreland & Arbuckle, as well as Colorado Springs' own Austin Young Band.

Grainger, Hart and Young will also be giving free pre-festival performances this week at Jack Quinn's and the Mining Exchange. Find the full schedule at

OK, one more festival, and then on to smaller things. Beginning this Friday, the free Weed Pimp Rock the Canyon will feature three days of camping and smoking, as well as music supplied by more than three dozen acts.

Performers will include A Black Day, Malakai, Bullhead*ded, Stoney Bertz, Charlie Milo, Jeb Burgess, the Brontide Effect, Blighter, DJ Gravity and Grant Sabin. The celebration takes place on 50-plus acres of land on the outskirts of Fountain. Go to Weed Pimp Nation's Facebook page for more info.

Also in the week ahead, you can catch The Still Tide — a new four-piece band fronted by Ark Life's Anna Morsett — this Friday at Zodiac, where they'll be joined by local favorites the Changing Colors, Water Bear and Eros & the Eschaton.

That same evening, R&B/pop chanteuse Maxine will be performing with the band Eskimo Brothers, along with Rough Age and Wild Hairs, at Peak 31. The show is being billed as an "ELO After Party" in honor of The Orchestra, who are playing the same evening as part of a summer concert series at St. Mary's High School.

The Orchestra, as you may have guessed, features a couple original members of the Electric Light Orchestra, and goes heavy on the ELO repertoire. The band also features Parthenon Huxley, a critically adored artist in his own right, who produced two albums for Eels frontman Mark Everett, back when he was still going by the name E.

And finally, a big congratulations to the ReMINDers' Aja Black and Samir Zamundu, who opened for Lauryn Hill at packed shows in Boulder and Denver this weekend. The CoSprings hip-hop duo is clearly unstoppable, even in the most intimidating live situations. As Samir told the Indy after playing before 10,000 people at Minneapolis' annual Soundset Festival, "Once the music starts, it's second nature."

Send news, photos and music to; follow our updates at

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast