By Zack Marshall
Last night, I had the chance to see one of my favorite bands, Tera Melos, alongside Speedy Ortiz and Holophrase at the Larimer Lounge. As expected, each one of these bands delivered very eclectic, experimental, and interesting sets that still had a great deal of personality and energy.
A local act, Holophrase, opened the show last night with a sonically dense arrangement of experimental synth-pop songs. Featuring a variety of different synthesizers, an acoustic drumkit, and a vocalist, Holophrase strung together an array of ambient soundscapes, electrifying melodies, and technical yet organic rhythms. Every moment in their set exemplified their ability to tastefully combine experimental sound textures and clever song-writing to create an electronic-pop powerhouse. It was also interesting to hear that Nick Reinhardt (Tera Melos’ guitarist) produced and played on their latest record, Stay Being. Overall, Holophrase proved that Denver has much to offer in terms of excellent local acts.
Next, Speedy Ortiz took the stage and brought what they're truly known for to Larimer Lounge– quirky, precise, and energetic indie-rock. Their set lost no momentum as they moved through a variety of material from their whole discography. The energy was highest during the band’s hit “No Below” which accurately captures Speedy Ortiz’s brand of off-kilter indie-rock. It was my first time seeing Speedy Ortiz and I was thoroughly surprised with how gripping their set was.
Finally, Tera Melos kicked off their set with the title track from their latest record Trash Generator. Surprisingly, this live performance had another dimension of energy and force that was absent on the recording simply because of the sheer intensity and passion the band played it with. Next, the band hopped into the dissonant, playful, and scatterbrained track “Men’s Shirt” (another song off of Trash Generator) that also transferred very well over to a live setting. While the tracks from their latest record were excellent, the band really shined through when they performed “Weird Circles”, “Slimed” and “Westham United” from earlier points in their discography. Each one of the latter mentioned songs showcased Tera Melos’ ability to blend peculiar sonic textures and complex rhythmic syncopation while still managing to throw in a few catchy choruses and guitar melodies. Tera Melos has always been one of my favorite artists and they always exceed my expectations every time I get to see them perform.