Re:Visit - Casual Commander w/ Bailo, and Mikey Thunder, Plus Win Tickets For Mimosa!
It’s a beautiful thing when people come together for love of the same thing, something like music for example. This week at the Cervantes weekly installment of Re:Search Wednesday, provided the foundation for one of those moments. The bill was set with basically three completely different styles of music starting with the local favorite, Mikey Thunder, who if somehow you're unaware, is probably the most versatile DJ Denver has ever produced.
Mikey likely spends as much time looking for and collecting music, as most producers spend creating their tunes. His set started as what seemed like a rather experimental bass set but filled out as quickly as the crowd did. I really enjoyed hearing him scratch on top of the slower, bassy melody he started with. As his set began to change, you could tell he was priming the audience for what he knew would be a contrast in Bailo, who was to take the stage next. During the middle of Mikey’s set, I swear there was even some screamo dropped in. The guy is kind of a wizard. The night wasn’t without what we’ve really come to expect from Mikey, which is the funky, glitchy, hip hop based sound he perfected during the many years spent as the resident opener at Re:Search.
It was good to see Mikey back in action at Cervantes after a complete getaway to Jackson Hole, where he spent almost no time playing music. I caught up with Mikey for a bit and discussed his absence, which he described to me as a much-needed reset. He also expressed his excitement to be back, and you can tell he’s got some stuff up his sleeve he’s ready to hit us with over the next couple months, including a set for his side project, The Party People, at the upcoming Gem and Jam Music & Arts Festival.
Bailo was next up and with his set came the real magic of Cervantes, the diversity. Bailo hales from New York and has been referred to as “the most promising upcoming producer of trap” and yea, we see why. His beats are very high-energy and very loud. I can’t lie and say it was a show I personally would have gravitated towards, but here in lies the beauty of Cervantes. For one thing, anybody who’s anybody has either played there or desired to do so. For another, I can’t think of another venue that is willing to give its city such a diverse lineup all in one night… and expect a turnout. Along with Bailo, came the dub-step, trap loving community of Denver and furthermore one of my favorite parts of the evening, the merging of multiple fan bases, all just ready to hear some great tunes.
The main act for the night was as well-known as any high-profile artist in the city, but was without his typical cast of the popular Sunsquabi bandmates he rose up with. Casual Commander AKA Kevin the invader, AKA Kev the annihilator, AKA Kevin Donahue is a side project of the squab commander-in-chief, but that’s not what makes this act special. It’s the sound. The guitar licks sound so familiar, yet the electronic undertones and heavy bass drops give Casual Commander a feel of its own. It’s a pleasure to watch this guy take the stage, every time. You see, Donahue is a rare breed in the sense that there’s really only one thing that’s seemingly important to him, and that’s making quality music and being around quality people (ok two things). Quite simply, he’s a rock star, but he doesn’t come off that way. KD is a product of an amazing community, and that same community is always at the tip of his tongue. It doesn’t matter if there are 500 people in front of him, or 50, or even 5, he wants to perform, he wants to make music… he wants to make something memorable.
Next week brings the return of Mimosa to the Colorado stage. This artist comes with close memories, at least for this journalist, as Mimosa was one of the first large-scale electronic shows I witnessed at Red Rocks, during a Global Dance Fest many years ago. Set to play with Tsimba and GrymeTyme (Late Set), next week is set to be yet another stellar Wednesday for the books in Denver. Tickets can be found here and the main event page can be found on FB here. You and TWO friends can win free tickets to this show, compliments of the friends over at Euphonic Conceptions.