Part of Aug 2010 by
Mile HIgh Music Festival 2010

Denver’s Mile High Music Festival: Groovey’s Picks

The Mile High Music Festival at Dicks Sporting Goods Park in Denver, Colorado this weekend is exactly what it sounds like. A mega two-day festival of 50 bands that at its most extreme might bend the mainstream bubble a bit but theres nobody playing that you would feel uncomfortable bringing your kids to go see — or your sister-in-law with no sense of humor, for that matter.

The MHMF festival started in 2008 where it was actually supposed to be held in City Park next to the Denver Zoo but concerns over the zoo inhabitants musical tastes won the day and it was moved 10 miles north to Dicks in Commerce City. (All I have to say to that is: Go Lemurs!!) The 2010 Mile High Music Festival has some amazing players on its roster and trust me the band that comes up when you google “Sewage Dumping Incident” isnt the best of the bunch.

Phoenix band

Phoenix (Photo: Peggy Sirota )


Performing on Saturday at 12pm is the future techno pop that is The Chain Gang of 1974 who will put the party vibe in your bones for the rest of the day.

At 3pm playing on the Cougar Stage (I dont make this stuff up) is the groove-infused rock band ALO from San Francisco. ALO are very badass and be sure to check them out.

At the Elk Tent stage at 4pm is Rusted Root. I love Rusted Root. And Im sure you do too. Remember the song, “Send Me on My Way”?

The biggest news for this festival is The Samples reuniting after 12 years with all the original members. I cant imagine this will happen too many more times so if you are a Samples fan this is your chance.

Cypress Hill is playing at 4:45 at the Wolf Stage and adding a whole bunch of cool to the festival roster. I still think Cypress Hill is very cool, but then I turn up the radio when “Insane in the Brain” comes on. So they might be a judgment call for you.

Up next is the band Phoenix from Versailles, France who are the new indie rock darlings on the block. They are playing the Bison tent at 6:45. Phoenixs big hit song is on a car commercial and youve heard it and danced about the living room a few times. (If I were an ad exec I would use songs as catchy as Phoenixs to sell cars as well.)

Now why in the hell would I put The Steve Miller Band on the Saturdays “must see” list? Well to tell a self serving story of course. Hey, at least Im honest. Back in the 80s I was working theater security (complete with flashlight and an unearthly colored uniform) at some music awards ceremony at the Oriental Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Steve Miller had won some sort of “Special Something Achievement Award” for Milwaukee musicians. The person who was  hosting the event was some big Milwaukee media meathead and he said one of the funniest things I heard that year. This event was a large flashy deal. Frickin Steve Miller was there receiving an award after all. The host (I really dont remember his name) walks to the podium, leans to the mic, loonnng pause, breathes deep, and says, “Time keeps on slippin, slippin slippin into the future.” The crowd starts cheering. “Well, no shit.” The crowd busted out laughing and so did the Steve Miller Band who were standing next to him. Go see them on Saturday and share in that joke and rock out a bit at the same time.

Danielle ate the Sandwich

Danielle Ate The Sandwich (Photo: Todd Roeth)


Colorado talent, both local and national, is represented very well on Sunday. These bands are all playing when doors open or shortly after so I would check out their web sites early to see which ones you want to see to match your musical tastes.

The Epilogues (indie rock) 12pm at the Bison Stage

Danielle Ate the Sandwich (quirky singer/songwriter) 12pm at the Wolf Stage

The Knew (badass indie rock) 1:30 at the Bison stage

John Common (indie songwriter goodness) 1:15 Cougar stage.

Matt Morris at 3 pm on the Cougar Stage. Matt Morris is a true Colorado heavy weight in the international music scene with multiple performances on national television just this year alone.

In direct competition with Matt Morris (but completely different musical styles.) is Ozomatli who are amazing musicians from Los Angeles that play a variety of styles simultaneously and are self proclaimed culture-mashers. They would be in my top 3 to check out for the whole weekend. 3pm on the Wolf Stage.

Jimmy Cliff. Main stage. 3:45pm. “˜nuf said.

For your electronica fix there is Bassnectar on the Bison stage at 7:30. Bassnectar describes his music as “omnitempo maximalism”. Uh yeah, whatever his scoop is, it all boils down to some of the most infectious beats you will experience this summer.

My number one band for Sunday is Weezer. Mainly because its Weezer. While their style of nerd rock probably hasnt changed the world or anything I have never heard a Weezer song I didnt like. They have so many good songs that their set is sure to be the highlight of the evening. Even the most jaded of radio listeners knows this one:

The last thing before I go and listen to more Weezer songs. Sun safety is being pushed hard for the Mile High Music Fest because it is a two day festival at a soccer stadium which is a mile up in the middle of August. Soccer stadiums dont have a lot of shade trees and theres no camping so its not like you can go back to your tent. Pace yourself for this one, folks, especially if youre not a music festival veteran. Theres my public service announcement for the day. And please be sure and stop by the Otter Stage where Ill be performing all weekend. Just kidding. Seriously who named these stages? Its in a soccer stadium in the middle of the worlds largest parking lot. Cougar Stage? Anyway, go see Weezer.

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