Denver — California’s Samiam made Colorado HQ last weekend for a mini tour up Interstate 25 from Colorado Springs, Denver to Ft Collins. They were out with Colorado’s The Gamits and Armchair Martian. They hosted a different local opening band each night from Cheap Perfume, Hotel Bar to Arliss Nancy.
It was a race up I25 pulling the speed limit North fed by a soundtrack of punk rock which made it feel faster. It was a quick weekend, playing the Black Sheep in Colorado Springs, Marquis Theater in Denver and Hodi’s Half Note in Fort Collins, three bands, three cities, three nights; Go!
Samiam played tunes mostly from their later albums Ashtray and You Are Freaking Me Out with some Clumsy sprinkled on top, but no sign of Billy. At Least no performance of “Don’t Break Me.” They did play three great sets, all different each night. Jason Beebout Samiam’s singer asked on night one, “does this band make me look old.” The answer is no, it made the crowd feel young. Their career spans three decades, the music is timeless and takes you back to some many places in your heart and your mind.
I talked to Johnny “ftlp” Wilson about playing the shows with Samiam. The founder of “For The Love of Punk” told me, “the opportunity to play with Samiam, that made us kick off the dust, practice really hard and we did have to work a bit with some late nights.” Was three shows in three nights exhausting? Johnny’s quick response, “oh absolutely.” He continued, “considering how great of an experience it was. I mean, sure, I was really tired and “real life” hits a little harder after a weekend like that, but I think we all know at this stage in our lives that we’re pretty lucky.”
The Black Sheep was an amazing show that was missed by too many, but the crowd was treated to show that felt like a listening party. The largest crowd at Marquis Theater in Denver, the longest sets, the wildest dancing and loudest sign-a-longs. Fort Collin’s show was a hometown affair for Armchair Martian. The Gamits brought power melodic punk and fun covers, they played early. Arliss Nancy was great. Night three felt the most intimate. Possibly because of Armchair Martians’ guitarist and singer Jon Snodgrass’ relationship to Old Town. I asked him about it, “I know those sound guys and that room well. We didn’t even sound check and it was the best stage sound I had all Weekend and as good as anywhere ever.” It was excellent. Jon added, “After, I just pushed my gear to Surfside 7 and walked home.” Totally DIY and amazing.
At Hodi’s Half Note the Colorado local bands tee’d up Samiam to rock and they were right at home on that stage and “native-ish” by the end of this three night race up the Interstate. I asked Jon about Armchair Martian, “we’re a band that made records between 1995 and 2001. We still play shows every five or ten years, it seems.” It feels as though that’s how often Samiam tours too, but the reality is they play shows in Europe and South America more frequently than that. Nonetheless, Colorado was treated to something very special. According to Jon, “They were great! I listened to them on my walk home from the final show. It’s true.” Three nights of shows and a race through three cities and you’re still listening on your smartphone. That’s gotta be something special. Have a look at the photos following all three nights. Hopefully, they’ll do it again, exactly the same, in another five or ten years.