While 2023 was a busy year for Washington-based Seven Lions, Colorado fans missed out on seeing the genre-bending EDM producer. After playing Colorado multiple times the prior two years, he had other plans last year. Fear not, as he returns on September 27th. He’s playing the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre and is bringing some friends along!
After opening for rockers The Goo Goo Dolls at Red Rocks in 2021, Seven Lions headlined the 1stBank Center in Broomfield later that year. He returned to Red Rocks as the main act in June 2022, bringing his Higher Love event to the venue. He also played Global Dance Festival at Empower Field the following month. A December show at the more intimate Belly Up Aspen closed out his ’22 Colorado run.
It took much of 2023 for Seven Lions to orchestrate the final chapter of his The Journey trilogy of tours. The concept spanned seven years, culminating in The Journey III Tour, showcase of his first LP. Released in 2022, Beyond The Veil also lent its name to that third leg of the tour. When live events slowed down in 2020, it provided him time to produce the record. On the flip side, it took him longer to complete the Journey Tour.
Jeff Montalvo, the man behind the Seven Lions moniker, admitted that without the forced time away from touring, the album might not exist. “I feel like this is the most me thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “And I don’t think I would’ve been able to do that with the hustle that was happening up until 2020. The pandemic allowed me to take a minute and really think about my inspirations and what I wanted to present, and what I wanted to say.”
A Peek Beyond The Veil
More than just the name of the first Seven Lions record, Beyond the Veil is a way of thinking. “For me, Beyond The Veil is Carpe Diem,” Montalvo explained. “The lyric, ‘There’s stories left to tell till we’re beyond veil’ is the whole concept of, we don’t really know what’s next, so really trying to be present and embrace things and be in the moment as much as possible.”
The album also departs from Montalvo’s trademark collaborations. There are, of course, guest vocalists who added songwriting and lyrics to the project. Notable contributors include Lights, Dia Frampton, and Vancouver Sleep Clinic. The production aspects are all Seven Lions, however. The result is pure magic, marked by dream-pop sensibilities blending with trance and dubstep rhythms. Montalvo recommends absorbing the album in solitude for maximum enjoyment.
Over the decade leading up to his debut LP, Montalvo has produced a series of hit remixes, singles, and EPs, many of which were collaboration heavy. When touring ceased and free time opened up, Montalvo remained productive. Showcasing the work from the past, he released the 10 Years of Seven Lions compilation on Ophelia Records. He formed the record label in 2018 and has built it into a powerhouse in the electronic music industry.
An Air of Mystery on the Rocks
Montalvo has yet to announce the opening artists for his Red Rocks show in September. His Journey Tour featured various label mates, and I expect to see a few at the show. Hopefully, he brings the likes of tour companions Gem & Tauri, Trivecta, Blanke, or Wooli. With the event once again referred to as Higher Love, I expect to see Jason Ross (“Higher Love” was originally a single released by Seven Lions and Ross, featuring Paul Meany).
Perhaps Australian singer and regular Seven Lions vocal collaborator Fiora will join him on stage. She is featured on his latest single, “Places I Belong,” along with Andrew Bayer. It’s also possible that an appearance from recent collaborator Haliene, who recently announced a mysterious spring show in Denver, is in the cards. Maybe Montalvo will feature his side project Abraxis, a partnership with psytrance duo Dimibo, as an opener. Whatever surprises he has in store, it promises to be a blast!
Prepare for this epic show by adding an RSVP on the event page. If you feel lucky, you can enter to win a pair of tickets with Party Guru! You can also check out options for tickets with AXS and on the Red Rocks Fan Exchange when it sells out. Seven Lions’ only other announced 2024 tour date is at the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee, so I would not wait too long to get looking.
Main photo by Rukes.com