When Master Music Ninja Clayton Warwick texted me last week and asked me if I wanted to go to El Ten Eleven’s show at The Hi Dive in Denver, I jumped at the opportunity. Being a Master Ninja, Clayton knows good music, and I love getting out to shows. I checked out El Ten Eleven on Spotify during the week before the show to get acquainted with the band, and found myself nodding along to the feel good melodies while I hacked away at my office job. The music was great; really solid stuff that made tedious paperwork flow a little quicker. I highly recommend any of their albums.
But as good as the albums are do not miss an opportunity to see these guys live. Live is the way to see this band! Yes that was italics. Yes I mean it.
El Ten Eleven does so much in a live show it’s hard to catalog it all. They provide heavy shredding guitar riffs that make you want to bang your head. They blend complicated time signatures and looped melodies together seamlessly, creating songs within songs within songs. They branch out stylistically (guitarist/bassist Kristian Dunn was actually playing his guitar with what I believe was a cello bow at one point). They move the crowd emotionally with slow build ups and dramatic releases reminiscent of any good DJ. They provide a dazzling light show that impacts the performance as much as any big label band.
And yes, they even covered a Joy Division song.
So in the center of a very crowded dive bar off Broadway, surrounded by dudes with flowing beards and skin tight jeans that were at least 8 years younger than me, I stood slack jawed and bobbing next to my girlfriend and partook in some serious audio joy.
That’s really the best descriptor I can come up with for the music Kristian Dunn and Tim Fogerty create. Audio joy. Tunes that just make you happy, regardless of if you’re a music nerd or just someone that knows good tunes when you hear it. And apparently, tunes that make reviewers write in sentence fragments!
Check these guys out live and see what I’m talking about. You’ll be stammering too!