Local Jam 19 - 8/23 - 8/25
Striding into its 5th year, Local Jam 19 continues to grow as the primary celebration of local music on the Western Slope of Colorado. Starting as a chance for musicians to enjoy each others music, the event has grown to include fans and supporters. After two successful years at Sweetwater Farms, then two years at Edgewater Brewery, the event will now be held at Las Colonias Amphitheater on Saturday, August 24th and Sunday, August 25th. With the extra room, the roster for this year has been expanded to 40 different acts representing multiple genres of music. All bands are donating their time to raise money for Hope of the Grand Valley, a local charity that helps families on the edge get a hand up with financial education and food assistance.
To accommodate that much music, there will be two stages running alternately. Every 30 minutes a new band will be up and every single band has played multiple professional shows, if not recorded and released several albums. The first stage will be located on the concrete of the Amphitheater. Generously run by volunteers from Snob Entertainment, the setting will allow bands to play at the same location as such national acts as Gin Blossoms, Brian Setzer, and Blue Oyster Cult. The second stage will be located on the south side of the complex, with a bit more shade and room on the grass for dancing. The talent does not dip between stages and the sound will be provided by Local Jam Sound Guy Dave Brewer, just as he has for the past two years.
Before the big event gets going, the first part of Local Jam will be held Friday night in Downtown Grand Junction at Baron’s (539 Colorado Ave). For a $5 cover at 9:00, we have four great bands to kick off the weekend. First off is the hard rock duo Wrestle Mania. They have opened for many touring bands and are equal to their name in energy. Following them will be the duo Night Whip, which creates psychedelic western music. Not country western, rather soaring songs that draw influence from Western movies. One of last year’s headliners, Suckafish, takes the stage next. The group is building material for their next album, so expect to hear some new songs from the rocka-ragga trio. Closing out the night is a set from the NC-17’s. The rock group isn’t afraid to let emotions pour into their alternative/punk sound. The group has spearheaded a new wave of local bands with their hard work and unblinking intensity.
The main event kicks off at noon on August 24th with two talented solo artists. Leeunwenhart was the front man for Sleeping Giants and now supplements his solo guitar with looping. Similarly, Roy Catlin uses some looping magic to build a song solo to build the songs he’s about to release on a new album. At 1:00, Montrose punk rockers The Shmucks will take the stage with their ska-influenced, danceable music. They are followed by former Riveter guitarist Kelley Raymond, who is working on a solo EP with 970 Studios. Her solo acoustic set will feature dreamy pop and rock originals, with a couple select covers.
The day continues with bands alternating every 30 minutes, with Pasty Jeff & the Boy Toys punk rock covers at 2:00, Still House String Band’s original bluegrass at 2:30 and The Wrong Impressions at 3:00. At 3:30 Moonfarmer will expand your notion of how classic rock can be paired with stoner metal. The day continues with Local Jam 17 standouts HopeKings, legendary local rap duo The Middle Men, and The Tankerays who were recently signed to a subsidiary of Sony Music. Shea & Larren rap up the afternoon portion with a special set, as the duo have taken a break playing live for most of 2019.
The evening portion of the show gets rocking at 6:00 with Union of None’s 80’s and 90’s rock, which somehow is now on classic radio stations. Nick Pants and Jeff Lincoln form as LPB next, bringing some songs from their previous groups, including Wheel and Dualakoo, and some new funky originals. The Company will be presenting material from their forthcoming progressive hard rock album at 7:00, followed by the infectious grooves of Wave 11.
El Camino Burnout returns to Las Colonias for an 8:00 set followed by Tim + Richard for a Local Jam return as dusk sets in. Saturday night headliner Jack + Jill will return to the Local Jam stage for the fourth time, only missing 2017 due to a massive rain out as they were set to perform. The band will hopefully have all their energy, as Aaron Seibert is scheduled to play with up to three other bands over the weekend and Jessica Seibert will have provided her saxophone to the Wrong Impressions set. This will be the first appearance on bass for Taylor Riley, but he will be providing drums to the Sunday headlining set. Drummer Jake Cram will have to keep them all together, but it should build to a frantic, epic set as night sets in.
Day two also kicks off at noon, this time with the newly formed trio U4ik. While the band is new, the members have years of experience to get the day started right with some fun, jammy rock and roll. Veterans of CMU’s music program, Nick C & the Mind of 3 opens the second stage. Bassist Justin Russel is no stranger to the Local Jam stage, as he previously supported Destiny Reed as part of the Sink Creek Band. Southside Highway brings together talented musicians to support Morgan Crouse’s authentic country sound at 1:00, followed by Patrick Storm, a relative newcomer to the valley who is quickly building a reputation for quality solo shows.
At 2:00, Suckafish frontman Cameron Hawkins will take a break from running sound to take the stage. Then, at 2:30 the Landward Rogues show off their mix of celtic infused jazz. Soul Habit’s soaring horns will get things moving at 3:00, then Feeding the Monster will introduce Local Jam fans to their alternative hard rock.
At 4:00, Haven Effect will share some of the material off their forthcoming first full album. Then, things get shifted up with the crazed mind of W.ill, who will bring a full band to back up his rhymes. Co-headliner Peach Street Revival takes the stage at 5:00 to shred and wail through their psychedelic rock, including a newly released single.
After Peach Street leaves the stage, the sound will take a bit of a shift towards the harder and darker side of rock. While often relegated to genre specific shows, the post punk and heavy metal of the rest of the night is all high quality art. At 5:30, Sole Aggression will have songs off their forthcoming double album, mixing heavy guitar riffs with inward looking lyrics. At 6:00 the Truckstop Quickies bring out their irreverent pop punk that will have listeners singing and dancing. At 6:30, Cloak & Dagger Club shows off a different flavor of punk rock that will make everyone forget that this isn’t a Warper Tour.
At 7:00, local metal mainstays Sworn Us Under take the Local Jam stage for the first time, not that we haven’t asked them before. Their newest single Rorschach shows an evolution of their sound, which will fit perfectly in the early evening on the big stage. Augmented returns to the main line up this year after playing a stand out set at the Local Jam 18 after party. The group doesn’t play in town often, with drummer Kristofer Petross touring with Stone Def, but they bring the intensity when they do.
At 8:00 either the world will end or the NC-17’s will take the stage, as only the largest barrier could keep them from performing. They promise to have everyone moving and dancing. The will be followed by the post-punk jazz of Ornet, whose progressive sound will keep you enthralled as they shred time signatures and guitar riffs. Closing out the night is the mighty Awaiting Eternity. The group continues to grow in sound as they are closing in on finishing their second album. Lead singer Bradley Reed gets every ounce of sound out of his vocals as he transitions between clean singing and metal screams. With drummer and sound engineer Taylor Riley on drums and bassist Sage Gentry keeping the rhythm on lock, the guitar duo of Jalen Dalla and Daniel Lee are able to explore various sounds and genres as they swap leads. Those who have not seen the band before are in for a final treat at Local jam 19 closes out.
Tickets are $15 Saturday, $15 Sunday or $25 for both. They are available through Ticketmaster, but we suggest going to the Avalon Box Office at 7th and Main to save several dollars on fees. Especially because those fees don’t go to Hope of the Grand Valley. It is uncertain how many local festivals can boast 40 quality bands, but I guarantee none of them will cost you under $30.