“It’s just like riding a bike… once every fifteen years,” American Football vocalist, Mike Kinsella joked to a nearly sold-out Gothic Theatre in Denver on Saturday night. The band played their first show in Colorado in fifteen years, and needless to say, they had the full attention of the entire crowd, from shaky start to beautiful finish.
When the first band, Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir, took the stage, it was to a nearly empty venue, and it was almost hard to believe that American Football were to take the stage only a little over an hour after them. That didn’t stop the opening act from playing their hearts out, however. Despite the fact that much of the crowd was definitely there for the next act, Foxing, and headliners American Football, Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir received their undivided attention as they churned out plenty of catchy americana and rock-n-roll tracks, on top of their flawless cover of Fleetwood Mac’s hit song, “Dreams.”
The room was rather mellow during Blake Brown’s set, but when Foxing took the stage, the mood in the venue seemed to do a 180. Foxing’s energy on stage was just enough to keep fans interested and captivated, and on top of that and their stellar live sound, they were simply fun as hell to watch. The room seemed to explode as soon as Foxing took the stage as fans were singing along passionately with the band. It seemed that even Foxing knew they were in for a special night, as in between songs they professed their love and gratitude for American Football, seemingly just as excited to see the veterans as the crowd.
The wait between Foxing and American Football seemed a little torturous, but by the time the band finally took to the fog covered stage, it was well worth the wait. The second that American Football played their very first note, the mood in the room seemed to shift, and in the best way possible. I think it’s safe to say that I have never, in all of my years attending concerts, heard a venue as quiet as The Gothic Theatre was. Fans were hanging on the band’s every note, Mike Kinsella’s every word, and when drummer, Steve Lamos began to play the trumpet, you could hear a pin drop in the room. Not only was the crowd entirely captivated, but from the back of the room, it was easy to see a clear view of the stage, because for the first time in a very long time (for myself, at least) there were no cell phones in the air, obstructing the view. It seemed that everyone collectively decided to live in the moment and enjoy their favorite band, and the result was incredible.
There were definitely moments of shakiness in American Football’s set, but with reason, and the band simply laughed it off, making light hearted jokes among themselves and with the crowd in between songs. The venue was so silent, that even from the back of the room, you could hear the band’s on-stage banter, even when they weren’t standing in front of a microphone. The crowd’s undivided attention and the band’s jaw dropping sound were both what really made the show incredible, and well worth the long wait.