Monolith 2008 | Festival Preview

Though my end of summer extravaganza started last week, I must digress that I haven’t really gone anywhere yet. There have been a a number of shows here in Chicago and there will be more on that later. This weekend is when things really get started when I travel to Denver for the second year of the Monolith Festival.

Monolith really upgraded the lineup this year with at least three bands who are on the verge of elevating to pervasive name recognition. For me, this is the first time I will get to experience a Red Rocks concert and I have been fascinated with the venue since the Dave Matthews live album. I really cannot wait for Sunday night when Justice hits the stage and lights up the beautiful natural amphitheater. It’s gonna be a special weekend with some really good friends. Read on for some can (and can’t) miss shows.

The lineup this year is really strong but there is an interesting dynamic where the side stages are really strong on Saturday while the main stage is great on Sunday. There are a few overlaps that I’m not too pumped about, like scheduling Holy Fuck, Cut Copy and Chicago’s own, The Hood Internet, all around the same time — come on!

I’ll get to all three anyway (with pictures to prove). Here are my other picks for the weekend, organized by stage.

Saturday, September 13th

Can’t Miss

Foals, Esurance Main Stage 2pm
Talk about a talented, energetic young band. Foals debut,Antidotes, is a filthy blend of post-punk and math rock that plays well from start to end. I caught these guys at Lolla this past year and they made my Saturday. Strong live, strong in the studio and young; that’s what I call a triple threat. Really excited about seeing these guys this weekend.

Cut Copy, Esurance Main Stage 4:30pm
I was forced out of seeing Cut Copy at Pitchfork earlier this summer by the worst impromptu jam session ever — thanks Bradford Cox and King Kahn. Luckily I caught them when they last hit Chicago and it was downright amazing. This band just finds the perfect balance of rock and electronic to bring the party. I’ll be the guy dancing in the photo pit.

Side Note: The Hood Internet and Holy F*ck are both playing around this time as well. If Cut Copy is not you thing, go check out two of LMB’s favorite acts.

White Denim, Stage 8:30pm
After Justin discovered these guys down at SXSW, he demanded that all of LMB listen. We did and now dig this band as much as Justin does. These guys just rock. I really can’t wait to catch White Denim live because I’ve heard too many great things about their show. Take me back to when rock was God.

Can Miss

The Fratellis, Esurance Mainstage 5:45pm
Could the Fratellis be any more like the Arctic Monkeys yet be that much worse. Do you think they got together and said, “Lets make music for commercials and sell out immediately.” Go catch the end of Del tha Funky Homosapien’s show.

Mikey Avalon, New Belgium Stage 6:30pm
Come on, really? I thought this guy was a joke, like Spinal Tap, when I first saw that Boost Mobile commercial. You could do an experiment though and see Mickey Avalon and then Atmosphere to contrast the extremes of backpack hip-hop.

Devotchka, Esurance Main Stage 10:30pm
I’ve really got nothing against Devotchka’s music but this time slot is not right. Saturday night headliner! Yeah, they are from Denver but come on. I’d much rather see TV on the Radio in this space.

Sunday, September 14th

Can’t Miss

Side Note: I know it boring to pick the three last shows on the main stage but they are my top three for Sunday and nothing else comes close.

Band of Horses, Esurance Main Stage 7:15pm
Ben Bridwell & Co. are known to put on an powerful live show. The sound is such blend of their Seattle days and South Carolina roots its almost scary. The music should be the perfect fit for a setting Colorado sun.

TV on the Radio, Esurance Main Stage 8:30pm
My favorite band of the moment. TVOTR has a balance that few bands ever achieve. David Sitek’s is a genius producer and Tunde Adebimpe belts out the vocals with intense emotion. They have all of the pieces to become a huge force in rock music, if they aren’t already. And on top, they put on a great concert.

Justice, Esurance Main Stage 10:30pm
Its Sunday night and a band that sports a glow in the dark cross is gonna drop the heat on 8,000 strong. If this isn’t some form of church, then I don’t know what is. It probably won’t be the religious experience that Daft Punk was last summer at the same venue but it may come close.

Can Miss

I really can’t take a stand against any of the bands on Sunday. Until Band of Horses the schedule is pretty much yours to follow. Some others that I like though are the Handsome Furs, Akron/Family and CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy). Have fun this weekend everyone and I’ll see those of you attending Monolith in Denver!