Denver may be known as the Bass Capital, but this weekend’s Dom Dolla lineup proved that the Mile High City gets its feet shuffling and shows out for all types of house music as well. The two-night Dom Dolla show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre this last weekend was full of thick kicks, breakbeats, funky bass lines, and artists from across the globe who opened up the 2023 Red Rocks season in style.
House fans found their way to the legendary Red Rocks venue in droves. Night one sold out as fans were excited to be back at the legendary venue once again. Ladies of Leisure were responsible for getting the crowd moving at the beginning of each night, and the Ladies brought incredible energy. Their combination of breakbeats, acid house, and R&B throwback vocals kept the crowd enthralled and singing just as the night was starting.
option4 brought the deeper side of the house world to the forefront to keep the night’s energy just right. Heavy kick drums and a flare of soulful vocals carried this set from the Denver local and set the stage for LF System. The Scottish duo sent disco into the air with a groove that could not be matched. The crowd singing along with “Music Sounds Better With You” by Stardust marked the peak of the energy this house duo brought from across the pond. LF System let their top track, “Afraid To Feel,” play through the mountain air to keep the disco grooves going throughout their set.
As the sun was fully set below the Rocks both nights, Torren Foot came to the stage. The Australian house artist brought some of the most fun and wonky tunes to the venue. As he tore through club hit after hit, tech house had officially taken over the bodies of those dancing together. The eruption of cheers as he played his track, “New Bottega” featuring Azealia Banks, brought a smile to the artist’s face that showed just what dance music is about. He showed love to the crowd and they continued to throw it back to and for him.
Between the two nights, Patrick Topping played two very different sets. The first night’s tracklist relied on soulful vocals and downtempo melodies as he worked up into more energetic tracks. He set up these emotional house builds with acappellas ranging from Lil Uzi Vert to Imogen Heap. His night two set, however, was full of more club-style house tracks and hard-hitting techno. The switch-up in styles truly showed his variety as an artist and DJ.
Finally, the night hit its crescendo as the stage turned dark and a booming voice came over the speakers to say, “Den-vuh.” Dom Dolla (real name Dominic Matheson) had taken the stage to an eruption of screaming house heads. The crowd, many of whom donned a combination of fake and real mustaches, were ready to be taken away by the Australian producer. As he cycled through hit after hit, the set of night one felt like a club atmosphere. He teased tracks such as “San Frandisco” and “Pump The Brakes” into heavy-hitting, bass-filled house beats as the crowd was taken aback by the sudden switches.
Before night two, Dom Dolla tweeted: “A great melody is real-life magic”. What he described was the outcome of night two’s set. His Sunday night performance was led by incredible melodies across tech and progressive house.
The three-track stretch from his own “Miracle Maker” into Calvin Harris’ “Miracle” followed by “Moth To A Flame” from The Weeknd perfectly summed up his stance on melodies. After starting at a slower pace, his set peaked later on as “Rhyme Dust,” Dom’s most recent collab with MK, played out to the joy of all those in attendance. The tech house anthem couldn’t have gotten better until Sean Paul’s vocals to “Get Busy” began to accompany the monster house tune. Dom proceeded to end each night playing out some drum and bass to the delight of the Denver crowd, including a remix to his popular song “Miracle Maker.”
Dom Dolla once again showed that house has its place in Denver right beside heavy bass music.
Photos by Sammantha Drake