From college town to the main stage, Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte (also known as 3OH!3) came together nearly twenty years ago. They started out in Boulder, Colorado, moved to Denver, and have continued to represent the Centennial State everywhere they go.
Breaking out between 2004 and 2007 with their self-titled debut album, 3OH!3 has cemented their own sound and grown ever since. For the first time since the pandemic in 2020, it was such a treat to be celebrating 303 Day with 3OH!3 at Mission Ballroom.
The 303 Mission
Mission Ballroom has hosted performers of all types in the venue, with 3OH!3 being one of those groups. The last time they were in the Ballroom was 303 Day back in March 2020, not long before the pandemic kicked into full swing.
It was also their last time celebrating the self-proclaimed holiday with the lOH!cals. On 303 Day 2023, Channel 93.3 brought 3OH!3 back with a big OH!, and they brought the cavalry along for the party.
Veni Vidi Vici
Starting off the celebrations with some indie rock, Wildermiss didn’t miss a beat. Wildermiss is a band that got their start right here in Colorado. Although they are now based in Nashville, they never lost touch with the music fiends of Denver. Fronted by Emma Cole, they gently warmed us up for the night ahead. They showed their love and adoration for their home state, and they have plans to release a full length album sometime this year.
The second act of the night was like peeking through a curtain into the hip-hop era of the ’80s and ’90s. Joey Valence and Braedan Lugue, better known as Joey Valence and Brae, came in hot. They brought a fire to the dance floor with their throwback to an era we all grew up in. Time felt like it was turning back to the good ol’ days some of us may have forgotten.
Jarring us back into the present 3/03 holiday, The Maine unleashed some energy of their own. The crowd bounced up and down to familiar songs, screaming and cheering in between. “Loved You A Little” started, and the crowd sang along word for word. Then, before we knew it, it was time for the main act.
One, Two, 3OH!3
The stage turned to a dark blue hue, the stage hands ran around setting up, and two brave souls dragged giant, inflated hands on the set showcasing the hand sign of the main act. 3OH!3 came out as soon as the hands were removed, and the venue erupted in excited cheers. Each bandmate was positioned around cutouts of cars, making the stage look like a junkyard of sorts. On either side of the stage stood two taxidermied wolves with laser eyes, which they showcased a little more towards the end.
Over the years, Sean and Nathaniel have put out a number of catchy hits and six albums to date. 303 Day had been completely taken over — it became 3OH!3 Day. They took a page from The Maine earlier and halfway through their performance treated the crowd a musical roulette. “The only covers we do are 10 seconds long,” Sean echoed John C O’Callaghan V’s words. Seconds later, 3OH!3 had the entire venue singing “All Star” by Smashmouth. Sean brought out a party streamer and paraded around the stage with it, drawing more attention to the wolves and the rest of the set.
They turned the tables back, and played some of other well known songs; “Still Around,” “Kiss Me,” and “Touchin on My” being just a few. John was brought back onto the stage to help the group perform a cover of “Teenage Dirtbag,” with each front-man singing different sections. With their setlist finished, 3OH!3 left the spotlight, but came back out minutes later for a two-song encore. The night finished strong with their final song, the one they couldn’t leave without playing, “Donttrustme.”
The celebrations for 303 Day had been going all day long, there truly couldn’t have been a better way to end it. 3OH!3 didn’t simply make the day theirs (they did), they made this local holiday truly a day to remember.
The love 3OH!3 showed for their hometown knows no bounds. And for their first time back to Mission Ballroom since their last hometown holiday celebration, the energy over time was delivered in one setting.
Celebrating 303 with 3OH!3 is practically a requirement for locals. They have yet to fail to deliver.
Photos by Michael Diaz
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