Dear Denver :: Local Natives Review

Deb Lastowka is best known as the Dear Denver blogger and will be contributing as a Lifestyle Guest Blogger for Goldyn, reviewing concerts, restaurants, bars, etc. In her first review for Goldyn, Deb checks out band Local Natives at the Ogden on April 26, 2014, along with pre-show drinks at 1up – Colfax (Dry Dock Apricot Blonde) amongst the Colfax hippies and post-show pizza at Slice Works (Grandma slice and two garlic knots) amongst the drunken post-show revelers.

Quote of the evening: I love see shows. I love. (My Chilean boyfriend)

In 2008 the Democratic National Convention rolled into town, along with my best friend Bridget. I was going through some hard times; involved with a cheatin’ man, working a job that wanted too much, and wondering how I was going to make ends meet. In modern terms, I was stressed.

Bridget, being a cool girl, had purchased tickets to see Willie Nelson & Family that weekend at Red Rocks. Early on during the eve of that concert, I was complaining to Bridget about all the junk that was happening in my life, when she cut me off, saying, “Deb! Deb! Deb. Willie is a healer. He is a healer, don’t worry.”

Bridget is not by any means a hippie dippy girl, but I do believe she was right. We went to the Willie show; ate veggie sushi in the parking lot; swilled Tecate; hid organic Cheez-its in the trees, which we successfully retrieved after the show; and then peed off of a hill while we waiting for the gobs of traffic to dissipate.

And I did feel kind of healed.

Experiencing live music is good for the soul, and seeing Local Natives this past Saturday was another good reminder of that.

Yesterday was one of those days when you wanted to do EVERYTHING. It seemed that spring had officially sprung, and the air was filled with social amphetamines.

Everyone was out, trying to suck the marrow from the day and most folks’ social activities easily blurred into the night, with just enough time for a quick costume change (or perhaps not).

By the time we headed out for the show, we had had a long day of running, biking, picnicking, and socializing, and I had an awkward face sunburn that told the world, “it’s been a long, cold winter”.

After a quick pre-show beer with some fellow Philadelphian transplants at the 1up-Colfax , we assumed our position in line outside of the Ogden.

tAueF2PKXsEXsBLDnMqgUS0mlEbOfWIlQsWi48Dkx7gWhile waiting in the line that snaked down Colfax, we caught a few minutes of a performer in Angelo’s CDs, who could be seen through a smudged store window that was littered with bongs #highschool. Shortly afterwards we received the usual gruff and overly assertive greeting by the security guards, making me wish that they could just be cool.

Once inside, the Ogden was quite warm and overcrowded, yet everyone seemed happy. After grabbing canned beers, we quickly surveyed the remaining open viewing areas (there weren’t many), before Nibo luckily spotted a space for 1.5 people on the second level of the upstairs balcony – score. We all waited, watching the foggy set-up of instruments in eager anticipation.

I love the moment when a band takes the stage and people just burst with excitement. The sound is almost something you’d hear in a movie: a pause of silence before a concerted cheer: WE ARE SO HAPPY YOU ARE HERE.


Local Natives opened with Breakers and the crowd was palatably stoked. If you have yet to see Local Natives perform live, they are a band that reminds you why you go to live music shows. They seemed genuinely excited to be there, and even their most mellow songs were infused with such passion and longing, that you couldn’t help doing that repetitive air humpy thing. Plus their multiple transitions between instruments and positions on-stage made it difficult to decide which formation you actually liked best.


The band efficiently moved through their two-album catalog of songs with the audience being
quite pleased to hear Wide Eyes, World News, Black Balloon, You & I, Airplanes, and Who Knows Who Cares, among others.

They rocked out the Talking Heads’ cover Warning Sign, which involved mild crowd participation, and Out Among the Stars, a previously unreleased song by Johnny Cash.

About three quarters through the set, the band announced that after this tour they would be headed back into the studio to record their third album, but reassured the crowd that after that, they wouldn’t be neglected (the last time Local Natives performed in Denver was in 2010).

Shortly after the band picked up again, a young kid made his way through the row of people just in front of us, and announced that he was on mushrooms. He then overheard my Chilean arm candy telling me something about Salida (I actually forget what the story was) and then turned around while shouting, “Salida, bro!” After they chitchatted a bit about where Nibo was from and their common appreciation for Nicolas Jaar, the young kid asked for our roach and then left us (and everyone around us) with the parting words, “Only love in this place. It’s all we have.”


I then turned my attention back towards the show, where I noticed a tank-topped bro, heart-achingly mouthing the words to a song, another couple next to us cuddling in closer for the night, and a boy over to the left of us, searching for just the right emoticon include in his Facebook status update.

Nibo then leaned over to me and said, “I love see shows. I love.”

Me too Nibsy; me too.

The band continued rocking out through the Local Natives three-song encore, where we then
spilled back out onto Colfax, re-invigorated, still somewhat sunburned, but also kind of healed.

Parting thoughts: Local Natives singer/guitarist Taylor Rice has some of t
he sweetest dance moves I have ever seen; smoking pot at concerts will forever make me feel 19

Born in the magical town of Springfield, PA, Deb Lastowka moved to Denver in the summer of 2007 and now happily calls it home. Deb currently runs a blog called, Dear Denver, which is a blog devoted to the mile high. When she is not blogging her face off, she can be found watching movies at the SIE FilmCenter, riding her bike, riding the bus, going to stand-up comedy shows, making soup, hanging with her adorable nephews, and/or hanging at City O’ City.

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