Last Thursday I rolled into the Larimer Lounge and knew it would make for an interesting night.
Tiny and crowded with people, the venue in Denver always lends itself to an intimate concert experience. Walking through the door, I received the black mark I always get. Two huge X’s across the top of both of my hands. Yes, everyone, I am under 21.
I’m a marked man…er, woman now. Oh well, that surely didn’t ruin my night. The concert: Silver Mt. Zion along with a couple opening bands.
I was able to catch the local band Women Gathering Gems first. The sound was crazy, erratic and clearly improvisational for most of the performance. Definitely an acquired taste, but I thought it was fabulous.
Soon the Constellations came onstage, another local band containing some of the same members of Women Gathering Gems. They had a more linear sound but one that was certainly refreshing. It was meandering and experimental, but somehow I found that one could easily move to it and find a melody.
Brandon Weaver was on lead vocals, and he definitely brought the audience in closer whilst the other members thrashed about him. They surely help Denver spur a great reputation for delivering music outside the box.
Now for the best part: Silver Mt. Zion. They came on the stage and the whole crowd went silent after having waited anxiously. Lets just say that people stayed in a total trance the entire show, mesmerized by the two violins, cello, stand-up bass, percussion and two guitars played by the seven members.
Hailing from up yonder in that place called Canada, Silver Mt. Zion contains members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but unlike the latter, S.M.Z. contains vocals. Lyrically the music is fiercely political and poetic. My favorite lyric of the night: “.the quivering boughs of broken pines.”
The songs built and built until they were so full and dripping with sound it practically put me in a marvelous catatonic state. It’s simple: Silver Mt. Zion makes some of the most, if not the most, beautiful music I’ve ever heard. Not to mention that between songs, the various members spoke directly to the audience, holding personal conversations.
For one so way ahead of its time, it is the most unpretentious band I’ve ever come across. The show ended leaving everyone feeling high and alive.
Now that’s what a great band can do to ya.
Piece of advice: Get your ass out there and see Silver Mt. Zion.