SummerGrind Music & Skate Festival on September 1, 2012 will be a day that many Colorado music fans remember. The Gothic Theatre & Moe’s BBQ put on an amazing festival with incredible bands from near and far along with various vendors. The two big headliners for the festival were Leftöver Crack & the Dwarves. Unfortunately, I was unable to get pictures of every single band, as there was just too much amazing music, and I also wanted to enjoy the day along with the experience.
The festival kicked off around 4:00 p.m. There were bands playing at Moe’s BBQ, Gothic Theatre and an outdoor stage. The outdoor bands that I caught were full of horns and energy for the most part, and I caught a band I had never heard of called The Atom Age. They are definitely a band you should check out if you haven’t heard of them. Local favorites, Elway, also rocked the stage in the early evening and the crowd was singing along to many of their songs. I also caught a couple of bands at Moe’s BBQ, including Allout Helter, which is one of my favorite local bands.
Around 8:30 p.m. the Englewood Police Department came on to the scene (their second time doing so), and shut down the outdoor portion of the festival. By this time the sidewalks and venues were full, and everyone was getting revved up to see the larger bands. I heard many people saying what a weird crowd was there for the festival, as it was a mix of ska fans, hardcore fans and punk fans, all there to enjoy the music. We made our way into the Gothic at this time to catch Synthetic Elements, Frontside Five, Potato Pirates, Dwarves & Leftöver Crack.
The crowd inside the Gothic was massive and sweaty, and perfecting the circle pit throughout the bands. The Potato Pirates were a band I hadn’t seen and had been meaning to. I really don’t know what to say about them, besides they were incredible, and I noticed the Leftöver Crack band members getting into them on the side stage. This band is taking off in Denver, and I see big things for them in their future. They are that great at what they do. The crowd loved them and knew their songs. Check them out if you haven’t already.
Now on to the Dwarves & Leftöver Crack. The crowd went wild for the Dwarves. Blag Dahlia was the impeccable front man he is every time I’ve seen them, and was in and on the crowd and everyone ate it up. The Dwarves usually play smaller venues and/or bars when they come to Denver, so it was nice for the under 21 to come out and be able to enjoy one of the best punk bands in history. Leftöver Crack was up last and the crowd went absolutely insane the minute the band took the stage. As I told Scott Sturgeon (Leftöver Crack’s lead singer) I’ve never seen a punk crowd like that in Denver, and that I had never seen a crowd that into the music. We were sitting in the balcony, so we had clear shot of the chaos ensuing below. The pit was brutal, a security guard took a foot to the face and it did some damage, and security said it was one of the craziest crowds they’ve dealt with. I laughed when one of them was reiterating this to Sturgeon and he just stood there and nicely tried to apologize for his fans.
I recall putting a picture on social media sometime during the set saying “Super proud of the punk scene tonight! No fights, lots of fun and everyone came out. This is how the scene should be.” I still think that sums up how the SummerGrind Music & Skate Festival was. There were music fans from all walks of life – street kids, little kids, 50+ year old music fans, and everyone in between. Everyone came out, supported what the Gothic Theatre put on for us, and hopefully we will have the opportunity to have a SummerGrind 2013.
Thank you to the staff at the Gothic Theatre for putting together this one of a kind event for us in Colorado. Also, thank you for letting Fortheloveofpunk.com be involved with such a fantastic day. Support your local music scene, folks!
Follow: @GothicTheatre @MoesOBBQ @TheDwarvesBand @PotatoPirates @SyntheticBand @BoldtypeRock @AlloutHelter @TheAtomAge @ElwayBand @Trkasaurus @DendritesCO