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FoCoMX Review: Slow Caves performs lively rock concert

Fort Collins’ Slow Caves rocked FoCoMX Friday night.

The rock surf band played to a packed crowd at the Aggie Theater, one of the many venues hosting shows over the weekend to honor the talented and hardworking local bands of Northern Colorado.

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Slow Caves at the Aggie Theater. Photo credit: Jonny Rhein

After a few songs and a couple of drinks, the crowd started to loosen up. The audience danced and jumped to Slow Caves’ upbeat songs.

Slow Caves’ latest extended play, “Desert Minded,” came out earlier this year. Many people knew every word to the songs off the new release, especially the title track, a daydream-y surf rock tune that could make someone believe an ocean surrounds the inland state of Colorado.

Singer and guitarist Jakob Mueller was at a loss for words as he performed in front of his hometown fans. He addressed the audience for the first time and said, “I have no words. That’s what I have to say. How are you?”

For whatever reason, brothers always seem to have the best vocal harmonies. Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes, the Wilson brothers of The Beach Boys, the Followill’s of Kings of Leon and, rightfully in that category, is Jakob and Oliver Mueller of Slow Caves. Their voices were meant to sing together.

Oliver Mueller swapped his bass for David Dugan’s guitar and Mueller took over lead vocals for a few songs. The fast tempo of his songs really brought out his inner Julian Casablancas as his voice honorably emulated The Strokes’ lead vocalist.

Slow Caves unfairly teased the crowd with Ziggy Stardust and Red Hot Chili Peppers riffs between songs. As soon as drummer Jackson Lamperes joined in, they cut the covers right after the intros. 

The last song Slow Caves played was “Can’t Stop.” No one wanted the show to end, but they made the most of the finale while Jakob Mueller fed off their energy. He jumped what seemed like ten feet off the drum riser and fell to his knees to nail that last solo. Everyone watched in awe as Mueller tossed his beautiful, black, expensive Fender Jaguar in the air, only to heroically catch it just in time.

The members of Slow Caves have played their fair share of FoCoMX shows.

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Slow Caves performs Friday night during FoCoMX. Photo credit: Jonny Rhein

“It feels so good,” Jakob Mueller said. “It feels like home. This is our fourth one as a band and we’ve played lots of other FoCoMX shows in other bands. It feels very at home. We haven’t played in Fort Collins in a while. I guess ‘home’ is the word that keeps coming to mind. To play that show right here is kind of unbelievable.”

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Mueller was able to live out a long-time dream at the Aggie Theater that night.

“There’s this thing that happened that I’ve always dreamt of since I was a freshman in high school,” Mueller said. “In the Foo Fighters documentary, Dave Grohl talks about how he writes a song in the tempo for people to jump. Ever since I saw that, I wanted to have a song that people could jump to and that happened for the first time tonight. I felt so connected to the audience and it was a dream come true.”

Slow Caves’ fan Tucker Ewing was among the lively crowd that night.

“The show was great,” Ewing said. “I thought they had good energy. Their visual performance matched their sonic approach. Overall, it was a really good experience.”

Slow Caves will return to Fort Collins on June 10 with St. Lucia.

Collegian reporter Jonny Rhein can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @jonnyrhein.

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