Scary Drugs have proven themselves over the last couple months as one of Denver’s youngest and most formidable live acts. This show was no exception. Cascading guitar lines and vocal melodies swirled around the band as they delivered another spot-on performance. Mathrock, emo, postpunk—Scary Drugs wrap a ton of influences up in a delightfully listenable package. Unfortunately, the Hi-Dive crowd seemed largely uninterested in the band. Nonetheless, Scary Drugs was a solid opener for the evening and I’m sure they made some impressions with their performance tonight.
Freaky North also served as an excellent addition to the line-up. The band began their set with a number of largely instrumental compositions. Three members share two guitars, a synthesizer, and a drumkit, and their musicianship is apparent through every moment of the set. Freaky North’s energy was notably lower than Scary Drugs, but their oddball musical composition and demeanor made them quite enjoyable to watch. The highlight of the set came at the very end in the form of a haltering, crashing piece that ceased the Hi-Dives background chit-chat and started a couple new conversations. Check this band out the next time they come around—you’ll be in for something quite different.
Flaural took the stage at around 11pm. The excitement (and confusion) in the room was palpable. Across the stage, dozens of stuffed animals of different sizes and shapes were scattered. I thought the decor might have been leftover from a Halloween show, but it soon became clear that Flaural themselves had brought the toys. Frontman Noah Pfaff began the show with an offhand joke about the animals, but held off on mentioning them outright until later. Flaural blazed through songs off of their new EP as well as premiering a new song. Packed to the walls, the Hi-Dive was crowded but unenergetic.
I’m not sure why the audience refrained from dancing and moving throughout the show, but ever-yone certainly seemed appreciative of Flaural's special brand of psych-pop. The performance was solid, but I would have liked to see a little bit more energy from the band members. After all, the venue was filled with people stoked to see Flaural, but the performers seemed largely dismissive and aloof. Flaural are headed to Salt Lake City tomorrow and will finish out their 9-date tour through November. Be sure to download their new EP “Thin King” online or in person.