Suburban Home’s Sweet 16 Anniversary Weekend is a real contender for ‘best weekend of music’ in what has proven to be a standout year in our Mile High City. That being said, it is also to blame for one of the longest work weeks I have experienced this year, as well as one of the least productive weeks in I Listen So You Don’t Have To‘s history. Night #2 was a week ago and I am just now getting around to posting this! Sure, I partied a little too hard in L.A. on Sunday and I was working all over Southern California all week, but I feel better blaming Micah, Shane, Lizzie and of course, Virgil for making me forget what time it was and what the week had in.
Showing up late (again), my fear of missing local (via Seattle) songstress Lizzie Huffman was quickly dashed when she took the stage with nothing more than her voice, guitar and a bench. She started out a little choked up, thanking Virgil for the opportunity before traveling back to a year ago when she performed in Denver for the very first time. Sandwiched in between the loud, rambunctious acts that were the norm for the weekend, Lizzie provided a quiet (but still punk) set of folk songs about boring ex-boyfriends, nights in the country, living in the Tenderloin and family. Her mother and brother being in the audience just added to the feeling of this being some big family reunion. Lizzie is a unique talent with just enough maturity to go along with that 22-year-old innocence. Seattle‘s loss is our gain. Raise a Washington Apple to her!
Already the hardest working man of the weekend, Micah‘s solo set solidified him as the resident ‘rock star’. There is a reason everyone wanted a little Micah in their set, the man is an incredible storyteller. And he didn’t waste any time getting into the stories. Choir Boys opened the set that took us down those dark alleyways your parents warned you about. ‘the only love song I ever wrote‘ was more a song about addicts and addiction than about those they love. Like most of the bands on Suburban Home Records, Micah‘s material paints a portrait of those on the fringe of society — those that might receive a paycheck now and then, but when they do, it goes up their nose or in their arm. If you have never seen Micah (or Two Cow), I highly recommend it, he is one of the most unique individuals I have ever seen on a stage. The guy wears his heart on his throat, what more can I say?
Tin Horn Prayer
This was my second time seeing Tin Horn Prayer and I was still unprepared for the diverse line-up presented on stage. This band is country and punk and folk and all those things that the other bands are, but they are way more punker than you are. How they can go from almost radio-friendly songs about crime scene clean-up teams (with a full professional video to go along with ’em) to straight up screamo type jams is amazing in its own rite, but to do it in a way that doesn’t suck is genius. Once again, I can’t listen to their album often, but Tin Horn Prayer is one of the most exciting (local) live acts working today and it was awesome to have them as guests for the Suburban Home party.
Two Cow Garage
12:20pm. The moment it had all been leading up to. With The Lemonhead‘s behind them, Two Cow Garage came out to do what they do best…destroy an already destroyed crowd with a live set that should be heard by thousands. They feel so lucky to be a part of the Suburban Home family and I feel so lucky to continue to see them in venues like 3 Kings — surrounded by people like Michael Dean Damron, Lizzie Huffman and Joey Briggs. They did all those great songs, they did them well and when the end came way too soon, a who’s who of the weekend’s entertainment took the stage for Ruby Soho. It ended the same way it did the night before, only this night I went back to the hotel. I had a flight to catch the next morning and another late night (this one in Hollywood).
Thanks to Suburban Home and Virgil and to all the artists — and to those of you who didn’t make it, go ahead and kick yourself while watching the videos below.