I spent the evening of May 11th at Lost Lake Lounge in Denver off Colfax and Monroe. Don’t let the name fool you, however. Trust Google’s “Retro dive bar” description instead, because it’s not really a lounge; there is only the bar and two smallish tables to lounge at, but the atmosphere is still pretty cool. And we do like the place. We’ve seen The Patient Zeros, Ella Vos, and others here recently. We were also immediately greeted with helpful service; both the doorman and the bartenders are attentive and make sure you are tended to. I would also like to bring attention to their cocktails, in particular the broken drum kit: rum, grapefruit, and lime juice. It can put some hair on your chest. This bar is terrific… But enough of the ambience. We’re here for music and music is what we’re talking about. Tonight there’s a fun, if seemingly random, lineup of musicians here for Andy Sydow Band’s record release party for their new album, Reasons for Departure, out now.
The opening band, Kozomo, got things started at 8:30, delivering a very lovely ambience for talking amongst your friends while enjoying some chill background music. I would, however, have trouble telling you where one song ended and another began. They had a range of genres going for them, but everything started to blur together as each song was around the same tempo and dynamic (level of loudness and intensity). They played a mix of reggae, jam rock, and had a pretty fun cover of Oye Como Va. It was a solid good setup for the rest of the night.
After 45 minutes the next band, The Gold Company, began to set up for their set, and my attention was grabbed just from their instrument setup and overall vibe. A lady in a floral dress holding a bari sax, a guy in a fedora with a trumpet, keyboards, and a guy playing pick bass stands out a lot more than many bands do. They don’t introduce themselves and kick things off with a bluesy original song, and transition through many moods and emotions as they run through their set. Every now and then the lead singer/pianist would give a little introduction to their next song: on one he tell us about how mother’s day is coming up, jokes that we knew because our phones tell us, and then tells us that the song is about his mother’s mother. Each song was fairly emotional and you could see the band (and the crowd) start to get engaged by that more. Songs would have low points, but retain high energy; 1950’s love bop, blues, jazz rock, and a love ballad (that defied the laws of love ballads and wasn’t even that cheesy), which overall created an atmosphere great for blues dancing (check outColorado blues dancing on YouTube or Google and you’ll get what I mean).
Another few minutes with The Raconteurs in the background, and it seemed at first like the evening was starting to die down, and then the headliner showed up: Andy Sydow with Andy Sydow’s Band. You could tell that’s who a lot of the crowd was there for, which makes sense given that it was a record release party. Cheering, hooping, and dancing began as soon as Andy Sydow Band took ownership of the stage. Each of the band members was dancing, interacting with each other and the crowd, smiling a lot, and overall drawing the crowd in with stage presence. With a range of topics and genres, from reggae rock about destressing by being away from other people (as that’s what some people need), and rock that vibed on more classic rock like Tom Petty or Steve Miller, he managed to keep you surprised with song segments. Choruses and verses belonged with each other, but managed to change the tone of the song very well from fun to somber, back and forth. This could be worrisome for many songs and bands, yet given the atmosphere of the evening and the band’s ability, it worked out.
One aspect of their playing that attributed to that was the band’s ability to listen to each other and the crowd. You could tell that they knew exactly how long a solo should be, or when to switch chord changes to keep the song interesting, all which a quick 2 second look at each other. They played tight, the bass and drums locked in as they should and the guitars drew the crowd in fairly well. Andy would infrequently ask the crowd to shout if they were having a good time, lifting the mood of the evening. At this point almost everyone is dancing on the floor, more people are starting to fill up the area. Andy carries the energy to a nice close and the evening ends a success.
A local boy, 26 year old Andy Sydow is making Coloradans proud with his continued devotion (10 years now) to performance. Andy released his first new single “Hearts Go On” with an exclusive premiere in Boulder Beat and recently released his music video to the title track, “Reasons For Departure”, with a premiere on No Depression. Andy’s performance at Lost Lake Lounge, the one we witnessed, was to release his fourth album, Reasons for Departure (produced by Grammy nominated Colorado Music Hall of Fame Inductee Chris Daniels). We wish Andy continued success. And we’ll leave you with the official music video for Reasons for Departure. Enjoy.