When going to big name concerts in Denver, you rarely know what to expect at the beginning. Is the opening act going to rock the house or rock you to sleep? After experiencing the same bands opening for different amazing headliners, I can tell you that first impressions are the best basis for opinion.
Incubus, whose Brandon Boyd grew up on the same block as Douglas Robb of Hoobastank, put on an amazing show at the Pepsi Center on Sunday, October 6. The opening band, however, created confusion amongst the crowd. The group, Hometown Hero, made me want to leave the venue and come back in half an hour when their annoying set was over. They incorporated shouting, unintelligible lyrics, the same three chords and inconsistent drumming. To make matters worse, every song sounded the same.
So I went to check out Hoobastank on Wednesday, October 30, and showed up a couple hours late in hopes of missing Hometown Hero. They were the second opening act, following Greenwheel, for the now headlining Hoobastank. Unfortunately I caught the majority of Hometown’s set and my disappointment and disgust for the group grew. I noticed this time, due to the close proximity to strangers in the Ogden, that no one else got into their music either. Everyone was chatting and looking around at other people, not the ones on stage. If those onstage cannot hold my attention every moment, I begin to feel like I should have just rented a movie instead of going to a concert.
After suffering through Hometown Hero for hopefully the last time, the longest intermission ever passed before Hoobastank came out and got everyone in the crowd jumping, dancing and singing along. The last time I saw them was in March, here at CSU, opening for 311. I didn’t know who they were before that concert, but after it I bought their CD and became an immediate fan. I talked to them twice at the CSU concert and was very impressed.
Outside of the Ogden in the snow and cold, bass player Markku signed autographs and chitchatted with fans. Doug, the lead singer, came out not long after and accommodated everyone’s requests for pictures, hugs and autographs. Although Dan and Chris, the guitarist and drummer, didn’t leave the nice warm bus to come stand in the snow to meet with fans, Markku stayed out there and kept me warm while Doug asked me how school was going. Haughty headliners they were not, just the same guys from California looking to have some fun.
When larger acts come to Fort Collins, local bands get an opportunity to share the stage with someone who may have inspired the group to get on stage. I love knowing that one of my favorite local bands will perform to an audience of people who possibly have never heard them before. I also know that I will get two great shows for the price of one. Oftentimes in Fort Collins I have found that going for an opening act is okay and if you don’t stay for the headliner you can leave satisfied. Concerts cost less here, and the punch to the pocketbook when traveling to Denver ends up hurting just a little more when you don’t enjoy the whole show and you drove for an hour to see it.
With this in mind, local favorite, Drag the River, will be at the Gothic in Denver tonight with Hank Williams III. This venue is gorgeous and acoustically amazing, making the drive worth it to see a big name with Fort Collins’ own not-so big name. Nice venues and big bands are what’s in store for those willing to travel to Denver for a different experience. But don’t be surprised if you have to wait longer for quality acts to appear on stage.