Dance party at a storied venue

Electronic artists reflect on what it means to play at Red Rocks

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P.J. Nutting
The Glitch Mob

Red Rocks Amphitheatre is about to host a slam that will leave electronic music fans, and their glowsticks, spinning. The Glitch Mob
is coming to take over with an all-star lineup Saturday, July 2,
bringing together friends and sounds that range from psy-dub to
post-rock.

As Red Rocks welcomes newcomer and synthophile Com Truise
to the glorious amphitheatre, it also says goodbye to others — this show
is the last chance for fans to catch The New Deal as they swing through
Colorado on their final tour. The established instrumental trio has
earned massive amounts of love from both the electronic and jam scenes
during nearly 13 years of playing.

“It feels appropriate that we’ve played all the places
that are close to our hearts,” drummer Darren Shearer tells Boulder
Weekly. “We feel good about where we’ve been in the last 13 years, and
we feel good about leaving it where it is.”

All the groups at the show have fond memories of playing
at Red Rocks, and for The New Deal, this weekend’s performance, their
second at the amphitheater, will be especially poignant.

“The fact that one of our last Colorado shows is gonna be
at the most beautiful venue in the world is not a terrible thing,”
Shearer says.

Justin Boreta of The Glitch Mob, the San Francisco-based
trio responsible for establishing glitch-hop as a prominent genre of
electronic music, cites Red Rocks as critical inspiration for its
upcoming album, to be released July 12.

Boreta has toured with the group the world over and still
believes Red Rocks is “one of the most beautiful, majestic venues in the
entire world.” It’s also the place the Mob got their break — Sound
Tribe Sector 9 believed in their music and teamwork mentality enough to
book them during one of their set breaks at Red Rocks in 2007.

“It was life-changing,” Boreta says. “And now, to feel
that we took the momentum that they handed to us and ran with it, took
inspiration from people we look up to and now we have our own show
there, it’s just truly mind-blowing.”

Boreta says Red Rocks is the focal point
of their upcoming 35-show tour, the only chance they will get to fully
flex their muscles and play completely through their upcoming album. One
of those tracks, “We Can Make The World Stop,” is Boreta’s choice for a
symbol of how it feels to stand midway up the stands, where the
majestic red rocks and the Denver skyline are both visible.

“It’s really coded into the whole thing;
we can’t help it,” he says. “It’s playing outside in a beautiful spot,
and you really feel like you’re sitting on the edge of the world when
you’re at Red Rocks, and you’ll hear that.”

Boreta says the headlining gig will be a mind-blowing and humbling experience.

“Underneath the stage at Red Rocks, there’s a tunnel that
goes from the main stage to the center of the crowd, and all the greats
of music have signed on the wall,” he says. “So I’m walking on this
stage thinking, ‘I’m just some guy playing music on my laptop, and here I
am signing the wall next to Ziggy Marley.’”

Glitch Mob fans should also like the set
from MiM0SA, the wonky stage name of Tigran Mimosa, a Los Angeles-based
producer whose darkly psychedelic instrumentals draw from glitch-hop and
West Coast influences to create a fresh take on dubstep and glitch.

Mimosa first played Red Rocks last year, when he opened for Pretty Lights. His first Red Rocks show, predictably, blew him away.

“It was really warm,” he remembers of the Pretty Lights
show. “It rained a little bit, but I also remember seeing stars at one
point. It’s just amazing to look up and see the big, red rocks and a
crowd of 10,000 people.”

Longtime Boulder favorite Lotus will
bring added balance to the evening as an instrumental group that has won
followers with a balanced mix of uplifting melody, a textural approach
to sound and geometric guitar solos. The lounge-tech sounds of Nomad
launched them as reliable jamtronica artists, and they have continued
further into a rock-informed Chemical Brothers approach with the more
recent Hammerstrike and Oil On Glass.

Lotus member Jesse Miller alternates rocking the bass and
samples/keyboards, as well as co-writing Lotus’ songs with guitarist
Luke Miller. Red Rocks means many things to Luke Miller, whose high
school graduation was held at the venue.

“It’s very beautiful, but it has a lot of personal connections,” he says. “It’s like a look back, almost.

“I feel like any time you play Red Rocks, it’s a
celebration, not only of the music but also of the naturally incredibly
beautiful spot.”

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