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Lola Black's CD Release Party Rocks the Jail House at The Gothic
Posted on January 29, 2012
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“I may be many things…….some might call me crazy”. Those are the starting lyrics to Lola Black’s ‘Borracho’ and to be honest those words ring at least a little bit true for this Denver rock band.

Lola Black debuted in 2008 and has spent the last three and a half years kicking ass to get to the top of the music food chain in Denver. With driving punk rhythms that quickly turn to melt your face metal and back again, Lola Black has found a niche that not many other bands explore. They have been featured in many different Colorado music magazines and all those magazines said what Lola Black fans already know…..this band kicks ass! Loud, aggressive, raw, sometimes rude, and completely over the top, the music matches the band to a tee.

Lola Black recently had a CD release party at the Gothic
by Tom Walsh
Theater in Denver, and brought in a pretty good line up of supporting acts to help celebrate the release of 'Dia De Los Barrachos.'

There were five bands on the bill last Friday night for the CD release party, and to my surprise there was already a fair amount of people milling around the Gothic before the first opening band even went on.

The first band of the night was a three piece pop-punk band from Denver called Surviving April. While there were many people in the crowd giving this band praise, their overall performance was left wanting. Very few three piece bands have ‘made it’ due to the fact that it is extremely hard to get a full, well rounded sound when playing live. While this trio of punk rockers tries to get the energy up, there are just too many holes in the music for a live setting. I can see what they are trying to do, but it just doesn’t work in their favor.

The second band of the night was Calibrate Me, and they seem to be KTCL’s new golden boys. They play a catchy mix of rock and pop-punk that appeals to a younger crowd and this quartet of Denver rockers uses that to their advantage. The first thing I noticed about this band is their all-around good wholesome looks. Seriously, this band could easily appeal to the tweener, Disney crowd with their looks and their music. While they have been labeled pop-punk/rock their sound falls more on the pop-rock side in my opinion.

I didn’t want to like them…..in fact I wanted to detest them with their almost generic, radio friendly, cookie cutter sound but the more they played, the more my hands tapped on the bar and to my dismay my feet started tapping as well. Calibrate Me is infectious the same way some kids shows and cartoons are infectious. You don’t want to admit watching but once you do, you’re hooked and it’s annoying as hell.
L.A. band Warner Drive flew in to Denver for the CD release party and many people were glad they did. Lola Black’s guitarist Chris Dellinger introduced Warner Drive to the stage, but as soon as he said “band from L.A.” it was clear they needed no introduction, the crowd knew who was hitting the stage next. Interstatelive.com has covered Warner Drive a few times in the past and they have never failed to amaze. Warner Drive is a band that plays no less than 200 shows a year and it comes across in their live performance.

Their brand of hard rock intermingled with punk is what really got the crowd going for the first time that night. Opening their set with ‘OK-KGO’ the pace was set for the rest of their time on stage and they had the large crowd eating out of their hands people sang along to almost every tune.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Jonny Law is the quintessential front man both in his singing ability and his stage performance. He has a gruff ruff around the edges voice that can be deceiving. He draws you in with an almost sweet, enticing voice and then kicks your ass on the back end with a rasp in his voice that is hard rock personified. Rounded out by the ferocious duo guitars of Candice and Ryan and the driving rhythm of bassist Elvis and drummer Jonny U. this band pulls no punches, nor do they try to be something they are not. What they are is a band that knows how to write anthemic, yet simplistic hard rock songs that will sound as great live as they do in the studio.

The night slowed down a bit when The Original Bunny Gang took the stage. The Original Bunny Gang is yet another Denver band that is garnering attention for their folky, reggae, contemporary, roots rock that focuses on real world problems such as racism, the government and financial instability. Nathen Maxwell, known for his bass playing in Celtic punk band Flogging Molly comes across as a solid front man and guitarist for this Denver trio, putting his heart into every word he sings.
Sporting a thick beard and looking more like Jason Lee than himself; Nathen proved that he can sing more than just back up and play acoustic guitar pretty well. His voice is somewhat folky by nature and adds a nice element to the already well written tunes lending a very relaxed and comforting nature to the songs. Newest guitarist Nat Nelson managed to keep the songs somewhat subdued even while playing electric guitar sometimes thick with distortion and fuzz, keeping the overall feel of the set mellow. The rhythm section of Papa Maxwell on drums and Michael Peralta on bass kept the songs flowing along nicely with a deep groove that managed to sound poppy and upbeat at the same time.

In my opinion the stand out song from these guys for the night was ‘Mijo’. This song represents everything that is great about Nathen Maxwell and the Original Bunny Gang. Mijo starts out almost as a ballad with soft
acoustic guitar before launching into classic, full on, upbeat reggae with smooth flowing rhythms and an easy, sing along chorus while the lyrics are more serious than the music it’s sung to.

The Original Bunny Gang may have slowed things down a bit they still had people swaying to the beat and rhythms of their songs which is impressive since they followed an all-out hard rock set from Warner Drive. If you get the chance to see The Original Bunny Gang I highly suggest you do. Just close your eyes, feel the rhythm and let Nathen’s voice carry you away.

For all the talent and awesomeness on stage up to this point the night ultimately belonged to Lola Black and the crowd knew it.

After The Original Bunny Gang was finished with their set the curtain was drawn and people anxiously waited to see what shenanigans Lola Black would be up to for this show. The crowd slowly disbursed from the floor in front of the stage to leave a small handful of concert goers that refused to budge from their spot front and center, but the crowd didn’t stay off the floor for long. After only a few minutes the crowd started gathering on the floor again eagerly anticipating Lola Black’s turn on stage.
As is the norm for Lola Black doing things on a small scale is a no-no. As the curtain pulled away you could see the two tall ass risers, stage left and right for the drums and keys that they use in larger venues, as well as red flashing emergency lights. Yellow caution tape and snow fencing wrapped both of the risers serving two purposes: hiding the amps and adding to the overall feel of a prison, or a prison riot. A long haired prison guard stood center stage complete with mirror glasses while all the guys in the band sported D.O.C. jumpsuits. Annie, decked out in guard garb on her perch high above the stage came across as a guard in a prison tower. That left Lola. Decked out in a sultry, sexy, dominant warden outfit, Lola stood at the front of the stage commanding respect and gaining it from the crowd almost immediately. The scene was complete. You gotta give it to this band…..either ‘over the top’ is part of their regular vocabulary or they have never heard the phrase. Lola Black also gets kudos for engineering and imagination, as their stage sets just get wilder and grander. But the stage is only a part of Lola Black.

Lola Black’s music is a wicked cross between punk rock and metal and they play it live with fervor and attitude to match. Can music be bratty? I wouldn’t have thought it possible before checking out a live Lola Black show, but it can indeed be bratty.

Listening to a Lola Black studio track is great but to get the full on Lola experience you need to see them live. The way Lola can come off as one bad ass bitch one second, a bratty girl the next and then even allowing a sex kitten to peak through are all things that make a Lola Black show great, and she exhibits these personas throughout the show. The rest of the band are no
slackers either. All of them ham it up to one extent or the other, shouting out one liners, trading instruments, and generally just being nuts on stage. All this goes on while the band is doling out an explosive set of rock n roll.

Lola’s voice can go from sweet, to sassy, to downright violent in the space of a heart beat depending on the song and most of songs they played required Lola to get down and dirty with a growl to her voice… and it sounded awesome.

As the band went into their set full throttle, movement started happening in the crowd… slowly at first with a little hesitation and then less hesitation as the band played on, especially when they played ‘Self Medicated’. You couldn’t help but get into it, to mosh, to jump up and down, at the very least to bang your friggin’ head. It’s what their music does to you. It’s loud, vulgar, aggressive and its pure purpose is to get the crowd off, and the crowd does get off.
Not only does the crowd get off on the music and stage set, but they also get off on the fact that Lola Black is also a good time party band, constantly urging people to raise their drinks, take a shot, etc. Lola herself said that they are probably the only band out there that will take a break in the middle of their set to get drunk and they do, quite often.

Because of a couple mishaps Lola Black was a behind on time and didn’t really play that long of a set. But the set they played had people sweaty and physically and emotionally drained.

The last time I saw a Lola Black show at the Gothic they played Bro Hymn by Pennywise at the end of their set and invited the whole crowd up on stage to sing it with them. This time they finished out the set with ‘Barracho’ and again everyone was invited on the stage to help end
the set and sing what is probably the most popular song from Lola Black. A massive amount of people jumped at the chance and stormed the stage to sing the song with the band. And as it had before, the night ended on a high note feeling more like a party than a show at a venue. Maybe that’s why people have so much fun at a Lola Black show, because they are made to feel a part of the show, or at least like they are all just a big bunch of friends partying.

One thing is for sure….Lola Black knows how to put on a show!!!!

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Photo by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.com
Photo by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.com
Photo by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.com.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.comPhoto by Paul Edmisson - All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.com
All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.com
Warner Drive
All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.com
Nathen Maxwell & The Original Bunny Gang
All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.com
Lola Black
Photos from the show
Lola black on Stage at The Gothic. Photos by Paul Edmisson
L.A. Band Warner Drive at The Gothic. Photos by Paul Edmisson
Nathan Maxwell & The Original Bunny Gang. Photos by Paul Edmisson
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