GRLwood’s show at the Denver Globe Hall theater was, to say the least, a significantly new oray of vocals, sound, emotion, and character. As a Kentucky based band, GRLwood knows how to bring the crowd alive. This was their second time playing at Globe Hall in a week and the crowd certainly was just as ecstatic the second time around.
Without surprise, GRLwood kicked off the night with their electric energy, warming up the crowd for the rambunctious, experimental rock band, Man Man.
The show began promptly at 8:00pm, with GRLwood restlessly jumping on stage ready to perform. Without any hesitation, we began to fall deeper and deeper into the lives they chose to share with us through their music. They played a multitude of songs from their albums “Daddy” and “I Sold My Soul To The Devil When I Was 12”, including “I’m Yer Dad”, “Bisexual”, and “Get Shot”; proclaiming upfront that their setlist consisted of songs they chose by googling their album backstage. As the night goes on you realize this is an example of something that adds to the exuberant personality the band brings to the table.
The Kentucky duo takes the raw, broken truth and gives a light to it. As a “scream pop” band, they experiment with the reaction obtained by high pitched shrieks, role play, and a seemingly everlasting anger for the world around them. You can not walk away from one of their shows without feeling personally connected to them. The level of pain and emotion they share with the crowd, not only through their music, but with their facial expressions and storytelling, creates a strange feeling of calmness. It is obvious how much they enjoy performing. With every tender stroke of the guitar and bang of the drums, their bodies get lighter and lighter. Feeling the crowd move freely to their music, knowing in that moment, no one is alone.
Throughout their performance, we would hear lines like “getting up here and screaming is like free therapy, y’all should try it”, and “thank you for letting me cry”. They acknowledged the fact that even though not everyone completely understood everything their songs embodied, they were still able to share that emotion with them. Something I’m not sure everyone noticed was the emotion they carried in their bodies. While one was singing, the other would rest their head or close their eyes. They each bring a different persona to share with the audience and I think taking a step back to notice that is an important part of the experience. They each give us a piece of themselves through the songs they chose to play.
As GRLwood came to a close, you could really sense the weight lifted off their shoulders after performing. They told us that by screaming their songs they are able to release the anger and tension inside of them, and it was easy to see that as they ended their set.
As the crowd stood waiting for Man Man, not a single ounce of energy was lost. People stayed talking and laughing as if that was their natural state. The vibe of the theater stayed lively and comforting throughout the entire show. While they were preparing to come on stage, a man came up to the microphone. He was a jolly man with a friendly smile. He said we were going to play a game. I noticed people looking around after this comment, trying to sense the emotion in the strangers around them. The man said he was going to ask us a series of questions and to reply with “get em out of here!” after each one. Naturally, the crowd became engaged with curiosity. The questions were all similar and they sounded something like this. He asked if anyone in the room had insecurities. He asked if anyone in the room felt alone. If anyone had a bad day at work. After each question everyone shouted “get em out of here!”. After he was finished with his questions, he spoke to us. His tone changed from blaring to soft. He said “this is a safe space. This is a place where everyone is accepted. Everyone is loved. Everyone is welcome and wanted. And no one is alone.” After this he simply walked off the stage and left us with an overwhelming sense of belonging.
When Man Man finally came on stage, the crowd grew quiet again. The group is an avant-garde rock band from the streets of Philadelphia. They specialize in abusing instrumental in their music. Their shows possess a memorable experience by formulating a never ending feeling of enchantment by stringing their songs together, not allowing for any breaks in the music. The band appeared in uniform purple cloaks with hoods up. Some held percussion instruments. All were quiet as they took their place on stage. As they began to play, the atmosphere is the room changed. It quickly began to fill with the melodic sounds from each specific instrument. They opened with instrumental and effortlessly began playing their songs without cracks in the music. Their performance included, “Cloud 9”, “Head On”, and “Pink Wonton” with an encore of three songs.
Their performance, combined with that of GRLwood, made my night one of the most quirky and colorful evenings I have had in Denver. As an out of state college freshman, experiencing new music like this is something I am very passionate about. Being able to take part in something so personal was a beautiful awakening for me. I was exposed to new thoughts and emotions that I can truthfully say everyone should take the opportunity to learn. This show was organically quirky and honest. It is a different view of the world that anyone would be lucky to be a part of for a night.