Man singing and playing keyboard onstage

It was a perfectly blissful Friday night in Colorado that we welcomed Elderbrook to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. A sunny spring day faded to a clear, calm night, and cares melted away. Each performer throughout the evening brought tranquility to the crowd across various soundscapes. Hips swayed, couples cuddled, and endless smiles shone as brightly as the stage lights.

Just a year after the release of his second LP, Little Love, Elderbrook has enjoyed a meteoric rise. The album, partnered with a full live recording from Colorado, included vistas of the Rocky Mountains. He showcased his electric hybrid live indie-meets-EDM style underneath the stars in Morrison.

Loving Life and Learning Lessons

Beyond being a producer or DJ, Elderbrook — the stage name of Alexander Kotz — is a performer. He owned the spacious stage, bouncing between live mixing, singing, and playing drums and keyboard. Captivating the crowd, he jumped around the tiers of the raised production platforms and showed off fly and funky dance moves.

Kotz has confessed that the fluid motions didn’t come naturally. Early in his career as a singer, he was often stationary onstage. You wouldn’t guess it based on his wildly entertaining antics! The mix of intensity in playing and singing along with his carefree frolicking fit together perfectly. Kotz commanded the crowd’s attention while he delivered hit songs, including “Glad I Found You” with George Fitzgerald. The recently released single is the first taste fans get of his upcoming album.

Close-up picture of Elderbrook singing
Photo by Amanda Miller

Elderbrook wasn’t the first musical endeavor Kotz pursued. Growing up around London in the U.K., Kotz experienced live music by artists from around the globe. His varied interests led to phases of playing in an indie band, crooning as a singer-songwriter, and producing hip-hop beats. Each of those experiences influenced his ever-evolving sound.

Recently, his music and lyrics have taken inspiration from his personal life. After releasing his debut Elderbrook LP, Why Do We Shake In The Cold?, Kotz and his wife were blessed with their first and second children.

It impacted his writing, and Kotz has elaborated that he sees music as a means to communicate future lessons to his kids. His expanding family also inspired the title of the record Little Love. He gave a lot of love to the audience at Red Rocks and professed his appreciation several times.

Dancing the Night Away

Performer is shown mixing her songs onstage
Photo by Amanda Miller

An opening set of entrancing house tunes by QRTR welcomed the crowd and set the mood for the evening. Based in Philadelphia, QRTR (real name Meagan Rodriguez) was enjoying herself, dancing while she mixed tracks. Playing an all-original DJ set, which included much of her unreleased music, Rodriguez exuded an infectious joy. As the amphitheater began to fill, her vibrant beats implored the audience to bop along.

Performer is shown onstage, hands raised
Photo by Amanda Miller

Carrying on the feel-good atmosphere, EMBRZ brought dreamy house tunes and a beaming smile to the stage. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, his set blended danceable club rhythms with a catchy pop sensibility.

EMBRZ, whose real name is Jack Casey, embodies the chill side of electronic music. Moving to the music as he cranked out relaxed beats, Casey had the crowd getting down. It was easy to see why he’s a favorite of Lane 8 whose music has garnered over 100 million streams. A highlight from his set was the 2023 single “All The Lights” featuring Bailey.

Cannons at The Ready, and FIRE!

Delivering an emotionally charged set, Los Angeles-based indie rockers Cannons were the final act before Elderbrook. Lead singer Michelle Joy was an angelic vision in all white, and she engaged the audience between songs. Parading the stage in six-inch high-heeled boots and a sheer, flowy gown, she showed off her whimsical dancing.

Joy’s fashion-forward attire and hypnotic vocals are a huge part of the band’s allure. Silky smooth guitar licks by Ryan Clapham and keyboard strokes by Paul Davis complement her captivating persona. Joined by Ben Hilzinger on drums for their live shows, Cannons are the epitome of dream pop.

Band shown playing on an illuminated stage
Photo by Amanda Miller

The group played songs from their new record, Heartbeat Highway, along with fan favorites. After a stirring rendition of “Bad Dream,” Joy commented that playing the venue was a good dream.

The audience sang along to “Hurricane” as she belted out the lyrics, and she asked for help on the chorus of “Crush.” Despite being a downtempo, full band set in the middle of electronic music, the chilled-out crowd cheered after each track. After Cannons closed their set with the mega-hit “Fire For You,” the entire place erupted with applause.

Floating on Cloud 9 With Elderbrook

From the start of the headlining set, Elderbrook delivered a euphoric performance. His enthusiasm for sharing his music with fans was evident.

To accomplish similar sounds from his recorded music in a live show requires something of a juggling act at times. While belting out vocals, he mixed beats and played keys. Kotz engaged the audience by descending the tiered staging platforms. Jumping his way down to the stage, he added excitement to the presentation.

Somehow, Kotz had the energy to perform an after party set at the Gothic Theatre nearby. Showcasing a more recent endeavor of performing DJ sets, which he discussed in a recent interview, helps him keep things fun and loose.

View of crowd and stage at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Photo by Amanda Miller
Man shown singing onstage
Photo by Amanda Miller
View of crowd and stage at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Photo by Amanda Miller

The most entertaining parts of the set were when Kotz let loose and got down to the music. His drum playing was action packed and often featured leaping strikes as he pounded the percussion pads. He displayed dance moves that featured hips swinging, boogieing down, and full-body swaying. Kotz getting in on the action helped encourage the masses to dance along with his songs. Images of him shaking his stuff were the screen visual backdrop for the hit song “Cola.” That collaboration with Camelphat helped launch Elderbrook to notoriety.

View of crowd and stage at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Photo by Amanda Miller

On Friday night at Red Rocks, he shared beautiful moments with the sold-out assembly. This was one of the most memorable shows I’ve seen at the venue, and a night I won’t forget. Lovely crowd vibes matched the combination of danceable tunes, a charismatic performance, and stunning imagery. I recommend showing yourself some love and checking out Elderbrook’s music and live performances.

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