Saturday was the culmanation of a an event that took a little culture and dropped it in the middle of small little nook of Denver, referred to as the Lower Highlands or LOHI. Despite a constant downpour all day, music lovers in Denver once again showed in full force why this is one of the best cities for music in the country. With a sponsorship that included local media outlets, local breweries, and local restaurants, and even a medical marijuana dispensary, the LOHI Music Festival hosted bands from all over the U.S. and provided a good time for families and neighbors. The festival started Friday with a lineup of Funk bands that set the stage for a weekend long dance party. (See below for Friday’s review)
The day started off with family appreciation, a free event that featured a workshop that allowed kids to start working on their future music careers by mixing beats and free-styling some lyrics. The workshop was sponsored by local band the Flobots and was a big success allowing children to tap into their musical talents or purely be curious about making sounds. The daytime family session also had a slue of bands playing including a dueling piano performance. It stayed fairly dry during the day up until the main event was about to start, and you tell it was going to be an interesting evening of Reggae in the rain.
The music started off with the Cas Haley Band, lead by America’s Got Talent runner-up Cas Haley himself. The best part about this performance was that if you had your back turned, you would thought you were in the middle of Jamaica listening to the irie beats that have been reigning from the Islands since the 50′s. However, when you turn around you realize you are listening to a real soulful, pastey white kid from Texas. It was a really refreshing way to start the day off and set the mood for more island beats to come.
Next up was the young, energetic, group Thrive from southern California performing a rock/reggae blend that really got the crowd moving to keep warm and keep their legs loose for the headliner. Once again a deceivingly good performance by what looked like a bunch of skater kids but performed like they meant it with lots a of musical passion and energy. Lead singer Aaron Borowitz repeatedly thanked the bouncing, rain coat wearing, umbrella twirling, crowd for toughing it out in the weather and praising the city of Denver. The crowd returned the favor by piling in close to the stage to absorb the energy of the last couple songs.
Upon nightfall the crowd was riddled with anticipation packed against the stage for the weekends main event, SOJA, a group of Reggae jammers from Washington DC. SOJA sings a very earth friendly set with much love being passed around via slow beats, horns, drums, swinging dreadlocks, and meaningful lyrics. You couldn’t even tell it was raining once the music started as the hundreds of concert goers were grooving in unison. The show was fresh, fun, and soulful. Afterward the band joined many of its fans inside the Highland Tap & Burger for more good times where they mingled and danced amongst the people.
As a whole the LOHI Music Festival was a great success, overcoming weather conditions, creating a happy vibe throughout the whole neighborhood. It was a great showing of local vendors, sponsors, and music professionals and local support from the city’s residents. You can be certain that Denver will continue to host these great events and you should get out and support them for the good of the community.
Click here to see more pictures and video from this event. http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/xx186/Matty_Dread/LOHI%20Music%20Festival/