W.ill at Copeka Coffee

W.ill at Copeka Coffee

Move Your Feet
By Greg Hartman

Spearheaded by Mutual Friends and Badger: Badger front man Sean Simpson, a new group has been founded to help support and unite local musicians.  Dubbed “DIY Noise Collective”, the group is working with local independent artists, venue owners, and musicians to help build a united arts scene.  The first event to support the group was held in May.

Dubbed “Move Your Feet”, the show was split between Mutual Friends and Copeka Coffee, two venues separated by just under a mile.  From 3:00 - 7:00, bands played at Mutual Friends, then from 8:00 - 11:00 at Copeka Coffee. Said Simpson:

“The goal of the Move Your Feet show was to connect and support local artists and small business owners through music. Scheduling bands at two separate venues gave local residents the opportunity to  get to know their community better.”

Leeunwenhart started at 3:00, the current project from former Ascending Giants front man Heath Jensen. For the first time, he was backed up by Cameron Hawkins on drums and Stephen Mann on bass. Despite the group only practicing for a week, they helped flesh out Jensen’s fast paced acoustic rock.  After his set, Hawkins moved to guitar and Derek Suiter swapped in his drum set for Suckafish. The group’s rock is flavored with pop punk and reggae, along with equal parts sunshine and sarcasm..  Their second full album is on the horizon later this year.

After a gear swap out, veterans of the mountain town music scene, Primal J & The Neanderthals played a variety of genres.  The indoor quarter pipe was a novelty for the group, who generally play bars, including Cruisers in Grand Junction. Closing out the first stop of the show, The Truckstop Quickies took the stage, hitting many of the tracks off last year’s self-titled album.  The daylight didn’t slow things down, as the group put together a blistering set that did Sterling’s Black Flag shirt proud. At 7:00, the first leg of the show was over and bands packed up to move over to Copeka Coffee. I don’t know if anyone else walked, but after a great burger and sweet potato fries at Feisty Pint, I made the mile trek to get the full experience.

The event resumed just after 8:00 with a hip hop set from W.ill with Ash McCall on drums.  While he hoped to reveal a new mask for the show, it unfortunately broke just before the performance.  Back in his plague doctor visage, W.ill climbed his signature stand, started beats on his laptop, and rapped, yelled, and sang for his unique take on hip hop.  He was joined at times by Benny Boom and Tim Jennings, adding in verses for the songs they’ve collaborated on.

Badger : Badger followed with their mix of keyboards, snyths, electric and acoustic guitars that takes the best parts of 80’s music, cuts away some of the cheese and updates it for modern indie rock.  Their first recordings are available on Spotify, although they only provide the outline for Sean Simpson’s frantic live performance. After a truck full of keyboards were moved, the NC-17’s got up for a memorable performance.  Their debut full album had just hit Spotify and the energy and caffeine levels were high. Copeka also offers Palisade Brewing ales for their shows, although coffee seemed to be the most popular choice.

Lead singer Ryan Harrison left nothing back and the band seemed determined to push him even further. Three coffee shop sized mosh pits broke out, most notably during the second part of “Cashed Out”. While other bands are pushing different limits of the DIY scene, The NC-17’s seemed determined to show who helped spark the current fire.  Smiles were on every face as the celebration of local live music hit a peak.

When The Company closed out the night, that plateau continued, but went around many wandering paths as a near complete vision of their next album was performed.  Years in the making, their album concept travels our immediate universe, exploring different sounds and beats to explain each planet’s “pulse”. The crowd wasn’t jostling each other, but instead stood close together in rapture for the journey - with plenty of cheers for impressive segments of progressive hard rock.

Each act had their own sound and attitude, but one thing in common for this current DIY wave is their work ethic.  Many people, myself included, have wondered when more people outside of our valley would discover its deep musical talent and creativity.  It seems that the DIY Noise Collective is taking the first big steps to stop wondering, and push forward towards making it happen. The next scheduled DIY Noise Collective show is July 6th at Mesa Theater with The Soltones from Denver, Night Whip, The Company, Badger : Badger and W.ill.  Keep an eye out for more shows and organization for this up and coming group.