The musical portion of this night at the Gothic, prior to the one-two punch of the headliners was, with no disrespect, a mere warm-up.
When the 4-piece (guitar, drums, bass, and vocalist), major label Californian band Under The Influence of Giants hit the stage prior to Colorado’s own 3OH!3, the Island Def Jam group thrilled the crowed with their throwback vibe; a kind of Doors tribute, replete with psychedelic lights and all, although their lead singer Aaron Bruno looked more like a young Pete Frampton than a tired Robert Plant.
However, it wasn’t long before UTIOG’s true disco mashed colors shown through. The third song of their set unleashed an effects driven guitar that got the kids going and allowed David Amezcua (bass) to funk out a solo towards the end.
Another winner of the set was the Euro-synth electronica of “Ah Ha.” Having gained the trust and energy of the audience, UTIOG continued to offer up big theatrical, almost stadium-like sounds much to the delight of the crowded venue, who at first seemed skeptical.
The only complaint that could be leveled, as the group completed their high powered, crowd approved set with their current single, was that you couldn’t entirely understand the singer. It didn’t seem to matter, though, as many in the audience mouthed the words in his place, and UTIOG ended their set amidst golf claps and sweaty torsos.
This led the way for highly anticipated hometown headliners 3OH!3, who did not disappoint. The evening’s local heroes hit the stage with a bang, and a rousing “3-O-3” hand sign, the groups band logo (see www.myspace.com/3oh3) from the rabid fans that came out to the Gothic on this chilly night to support them.
Replete with big beats, fueled by Lil’ Jon southern-booty bass, various genre-influenced singing, and at times, daffy-but-appropriate choreography, the boys of 3OH3! got everyone open. Fan favorite, “Bang Bang” set it off, while “Not Your Boyfriend” brought forth the inner rock star of the fab four, as they traded fancy dance moves for actual instruments.
“Shake It Shake It,” hit the high powered dance note, and “Key To The City” slammed the kids with a raucous rock anthem. The group’s “Rock With Me” introduced a mean synthesized backdrop as the chanted call to arms was widely approved by the converted.
3OH3! may not have an album yet, though they assured us that one is forthcoming, but their savvy marketing—made evident by the branded logo t-shirts that dotted the faithful crowd and the constant hand-sign used by fans throughout the set—more than makes up for that little oversight. This was a true rock show, with fans jumping and singing along from the start to the finish as Beastie Boy-esque antics were performed with big beat, southernized planet rock musicianship.
For a rousing good time, there’s hardly any group finer; in this state, or any other. 3OH3!