Monolith Day One (with Video of Cotton Jones & Cymbals Eat Guitars!)
*Editor’s note: we totally got hammered in the parking lot with the girls with the denim jackets in this pic. It was fun. That’s mostly why I chose this photo.
2009′s Monolith is going to be best remembered as the year that we all got soaked, rocked out to some great music, and caught swine flu. The cold, almost sleet-like rain poured down on Red Rocks all afternoon and into the night, soaking everybody to the bone. The indoor stage areas looked like a refuge camp of hipsters.
Personally, I thought the whole experience was fun – like going to see a show during a blizzard, except this time it was ceaseless freezing rain.
I was only able to catch a few of the earlier acts because all the “refugees” made it so that the fire department had to close off many of the rooms due to capacity issues. The bands I did see, however, made the first day of Monolith well worth the standing in a room full of damp music fans.
The first band, Cymbals Eat Guitars, I only discovered that morning while making my festival cheat sheet. Listening to their songs online, I thought they sounded like …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead: punched up psyche-rock punctuated by blistering guitar segments. I even felt they did Trail Of Dead one better. I’ll be sure to check these guys out next time they come through Denver.
Cymbals Eat Guitars:
The second band I caught, Cotton Jones, was really impressive. Bourbon-sippin’ music, I call it. Michael Nau’s sandy southern inflections balanced by Whitney McGraw’s angelic backing vocals created that intangible element music sometimes creates where you’re happy just where you’re at that moment.
The rest of the evening I spent hanging out with friends, trying to stay warm and dry, catching a few songs by Doom, Girl Talk and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. We danced in the rain, drank plenty of beer, and generally had a great time despite this being the second rainy Monolith.
As I write this last paragraph, the weather outside is clear and Monolith day two is only two hours away from beginning. I’m especially psyched to see Twilight Sad and locals Jim McTurnan and the Kids that Killed the Man. If you can make it up to Red Rocks – do it. Like my friend Tim from Black Lamb says, “Any show is a good show at Red Rocks – even John Tesh would be amazing.”
Keep drinking and rocking,