When preparing for a festival, there are many things to ponder.
Not only does one have to wonder which American Apparel metallic unitard will make them look most like Karen O or which neon sunglasses to wear, but most importantly, what bands to see. Let this playlist be a useful guide to some of the smaller, but important, bands when the Monolith Festival returns to Red Rocks this Saturday and Sunday.
“The Rat” by The Walkmen
Even though The Walkmen have released music since 2002, they are often overlooked. With its driving beat, incessant garage guitar and singer Hamilton Leithauser growling, “can’t you hear me, I’m calling out your name,” it’s hard not to love “The Rat,” a song that is so joyfully aggressive that you can’t stop screaming along with it. Be sure to catch the band when they play their set on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on the Southern Comfort Stage.
“Stay Alive” by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Truly the indie darlings of the past year, New York’s The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are a mish-mash of everything that made 80s alt-rock good. They’re a little bit Stone Roses, a lot of The Jesus and Mary Chain, with just a pinch of The Smiths. “Stay Alive” blends this mix perfectly and is enough to make any indie-rock geek nostalgic for the 80s. Sway along to their Saturday set at 4 p.m. on the Southern Comfort Stage.
“Die Slow” by HEALTH
Every festival itinerary needs a little chaos and HEALTH provides just that. A tangle of drum, guitars and synthesizers fill every song, but the sweet melodic vocals brings everything together (think Animal Collective meets an atomic bomb). HEALTH manages to meld noise and beauty into something truly interesting to hear, and no doubt intense to watch. Watch out for the guy thrashing around next to you when HEALTH plays Sunday at 5 p.m. on the Radius Earphones Stage.
“It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning” by We Were Promised Jetpacks
Like European bands but wish the Arctic Monkeys were better? Well then look forward to new Scottish-quartet, We Were Promised Jetpacks’ set. The band is a blend of 90s’ hardcore angst and indie twee pop that’s both a slap in the face and a breath of fresh air. Some songs scream with hostility and others croon you into submission. “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightening” fits the former, with driving guitars and singer Adam Thompson wondering “how to work things out.” Fans can enjoy their set on Sunday at 1:40 p.m. at the Woxy.com Stage.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jenny Gumbert at firstname.lastname@example.org.