Review: Kitchen Dwellers at Fox Theater | 3.7.2020
Kitchen Dwellers: Fox Theater – Boulder, Colorado | 3.7.2020
Article (and in article photos) by Lesley Pollard | Featured Image by Gavin Thomas
I first caught the Kitchen Dwellers at a late-night Summer Camp Music Festival set back in 2015. The only things I knew about the band was that they were from Montana and played bluegrass. When they hit that stage and played their first song, I instantly found a favorite new band. I mean, it’s not every day you see a long-dreaded banjo front man.
From that first show at Summer Camp until now, I’ve been able to catch the Kitchen Dwellers a handful times and each time I leave saying it was the best show to date.
New to the Kitchen Dwellers?
Here’s what you need to know: from Montana, Joe Funk – bassist, Max Davies – guitar, Torrin Daniels – banjo, Shawn Swain – mandolin, formed almost a decade ago, has played alongside acts like Twiddle, Railroad Earth, Infamous Stringdusters, and played hundreds of shows including Red Rocks. Their unique sound is a mix of bluegrass and funk jams with sprinkles of metal and punk. A sound that the fans have dubbed “Galaxy Grass.”
I was excited all week and counted down the days until Friday. My crew and I piled into the Uber and headed to Boulder from Denver. We arrived shortly after the doors opened which made for an easy fast entry. We established our spots, grabbed drinks, and instantly made friends with our crowd neighbors. Opening up was Head for the Hills, the Colorado based post-modern bluegrass band who had no problems getting the audience warmed up and onto their feet.
The Crowd Goes Wild
Dwellers hit the stage and opened up with crowd favorite, Visions Of Mohr off of their 2017 LP ‘Ghosts In A Bottle,‘ (which, by the way was produced by Leftover Salmon’s Andy Thorn and also featured special guests, including Little Feat’s Bill Payne and Greensky Bluegrass’s Anders Beck. WOW!). The crowd went wild straight out of the gate. With the bobbing heads, spinning hippies, high energy, and fans singing along it was obvious they were bringing the crowd with them on this improvisional journey.
The Dwellers rocked the first set jamming a variety of 10 tunes and extended jams including an (Outkast) Ms. Jackson tease. The band then welcomed Adam Kinghorn and Joe Lessard from Head For The Hills to the stage. To end the first set they crushed New Grass Revivals Can’t Stop Now and the audience showed no signs of stopping.
They started the second set with Muir Maid (the title track off of their latest album). Muir Maid > Gypsy > Muir Maid. Woah, fire! The band was all smiles as the crowd couldn’t believe their ears. Torrin blasted us into space with his effect pedal. Galaxy Grass in full effect! Then, just when I thought the show couldn’t get any better, they busted out Pink Floyd’s Pigs – a first time played. Is this really happening?
The second set ended with Visions of Mohr. Yep, the same song they opened the show with. Nice! They just gave Boulder an unbelievable Visions of Mohr toasty jam sandwich. The encore brought two more tunes to end the show. It’s over already? I was so lost in the heady space jams that I felt like it had just started. I didn’t want it to end. But indeed it was over.
Slowly, I floated back down to Earth and headed for the door.
The crowd started dispersing and the fans were grinning from ear to ear. I heard lots of comments and conversations as I was heading out the door. “Man, they cruuuuuushed it!” “Dude! Pigs!” As we rounded up our crew and waited for the Uber, I too was raving about what I had just experienced – the best Dwellers show to date.
Uber finally arrived and we were on our way back to Denver.
Kitchen Dwellers did it again. They showed that they have definitely earned their seat at the jam grass table. This was the Kitchen Dwellers seventh sold out Colorado show in a row and the band shows no signs of that streak slowing down. They announced they’ll be playing The Mishawaka Amphitheater in Bellvue, CO on May 31. If you are seeking one hell of a rock show with bluegrass instruments, or a Galaxy Grass trip into outer space don’t wait to grab your tickets! It’s looking as if this highly anticipated summer show will proudly be their eighth.
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