The Marquis Theater in downtown Denver is home to three of my favorite things in the world: live music, booze, and pizza. Two of the three are unfortunate fatalities of my self imposed April diet, but my friends, Wiredogs, needed someone to sling tee shirts and so I had to nut up and deal. The thought of spending a sober evening running a merch booth 30′ from a pizza oven was never a concept that ranked very high on my bucket list, but I suppose there are worse fates. I could’ve been running merch at a Taylor Swift concert. No amount of booze could dilute that pain.
The Friday evening that was to host the show happened to also be the day of the Colorado Rockies home opener. The streets of Denver were flooded with purple, and general drunken douchbaggery abounded. The Rockies had won, so at least they were happy douchbags. I found parking about 300 blocks away, and made my way through the madness.
Wiredogs were direct support for Dead Sara, and I’d be a liar if I said I knew who they were. Ok, I did know the bands name, and I’m sure I’ve heard them on the Denver rock station, and I had a nagging sense that I for some reason SHOULD know them, but I know I couldn’t name a song of theirs if I was being Guantanamo’d. I debated on checking them out on Spotify, but decided to stick to my usual M.O. of, if possible, catching the live show and then seeing how they decided to go about it on the record (if I like the band, that is!). Going into a show with no preconceived ideas about the music frees my mind to make a first impression in the moment.
Dead Sara came out of the gate kicking and screaming, then refused to be quelled as they sonically fused an almost old school punk rock vibe with modern metal riffs. The energy that the band exuded permeated the crowd, and was reflected right back to the band. Vocally, I was surprised at how well the singer was able to switch from soft melodic tones to guttural metal screams, and back, without a falter.
That’s when it hit me. Back in 2012 I HAD seen them open for The Offspring and Neon Trees at The Fillmore in Denver.
Thinking back, I don’t remember being blown away by Dead Sara at that show. I’m not sure if the band has gotten immeasurably more kick-ass in the last few years, or maybe the smaller room of the Marquis was just unable to contain them, so that the roof just HAD to be blown off. Then there was the fact that the Marquis show was the last night of a month long tour for them, which, in my experience, usually places a band in their “A game” zone. Or maybe my musical tastes are just in a different place than they were 2.5 years ago. Whatever it was, Dead Sara’s Marquis show hit me in a completely different way than the Fillmore one. I guess sometimes you do get a second chance at a first impression.