Every summer there are countless festivals that occur all over the country. There are the popular ones and the not-so-popular ones. And then there are the special ones.
To help summer come to a close in Denver, Gothic Theatre talent buyer Danny Sax wanted to create a festival for a number of groups that are often overlooked.
On Sept. 1, SummerGrind brought together punk, ska, metal and grind in a nine hour extravaganza loaded with 24 bands.
Although Sax only had the Gothic’s main stage and Moe’s smaller platform to work with initially, SummerGrind was able to accommodate the large number of acts by turning an extra parking lot into a stage area complete with vendor tents and a half pipe. With three stages altogether, the set transitions were quick. One band played on each stage with no overlap.
The eclectic concert featured many local acts like The Ska Skank Redemption, Captain Blood, Speedwolf, The A-Ok’s, The Potato Pirates, Frontside 5 and more, as well as touring acts such as Stolen Babies, The Dwarves, and headliner Leftover Crack.
Unfortunately, the outside stage — which featured a lot of these bigger artists — fell silent at 8 p.m., when the Englewood police decided they had heard enough of SummerGrind and told Sax to shut it down.
Fortunately, the remaining headliners were able to play inside. Otherwise, throughout the day, each stage featured its share of said local and touring acts. Frontside 5, a long time Denver “skate punk” band, was the outside headliner and was, of course, moved inside after the police came.
Lastly, Speedwolf tore up the Moe’s stage while Leftover Crack destroyed The Gothic main. With punks packed shoulder to shoulder, ass to crotch, sweat dripping down foreheads, everyone sang, danced and enjoyed the last moments of one of the greatest Denver festival events I’ve ever seen.
With such a good turnout and eclectic bill, I hope Summergrind will continue in the future. If it does, more esoteric local acts can get a chance to show off to a fan base they would not normally reach.