‘Get Launched!’ showcases diversity in the local music scene

Joel Thompson

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of the article featured a misspelling of Xavley. It also said it was every performer’s first live performance when it was actually just TARO’s.

Alternative music heads and folks who still fetishize 90’s California skate culture had a pretty eventful weekend.

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Band performs
Jaas Tyler, lead guitar player of the band The Tight performs during the sold out show at the Get Launched concert event at Launched indoor skate park in Fort Collins March 8, 2019. (Matt Begeman | Collegian)

The “Get Launched!” concert on March 8 included four local bands from all different genres playing a DIY concert at Launch Skatepark. The show was headlined by community-nominated artists, including surf punk band Bitter Suns, and Xavley, an alt-R&B artist and senior CSU student. Opening for the concert was psychedelic rock band The Tight and electronic duo TARO, both chosen by KCSU.

This is the first concert organized by KCSU, and the second concert held at Launch Skatepark. Volunteers from both organizations coordinated all aspects of the event.

“Get Launched!” was sponsored via a grant provided by The Bohemian Foundation. The Bohemian Foundation is Fort Collins-based and family run, with one of its primary focuses including supporting the local music scene.

An essential aspect to the production of the show was the promotion of the local music scene in Fort Collins and the surrounding Northern Colorado region.

“The goal of the DIY concert is to give a voice to self-made local bands of Northern Colorado and represent the diverse genres that KCSU proudly represents,” said Julia Battagliese, the station manager at KCSU and one of the organizers for the concert. Our whole goal was to try to find four bands that we thought were, at least by KCSU DJ standards, were really interesting (and) really diverse, so that can be by genre or people in the band, just to try and be more representative of the Fort Collins community and Northern Colorado community.”

Different people can make different kinds of art… and there are people in the community that are gonna support it.” -Larson Ross, an organizer of “Get Launched!”

One of the unique traits of “Get Launched!” was the diversity of both the genres of music and the artists themselves. Within the broader DIY scene, lineups often consist of a similar type of music, generally leaning towards styles near punk. The diversity of the “Get Launched!” contrasts those norms and is a more accurate example of the Fort Collins music scene in general. 

The musical styles for the acts were out of the norm for traditional punk DIY shows, with Xavley being an R&B artist and TARO being an electronic artist. This concert was also the first live performance for TARO.

Larson Ross was one of the key coordinators of the concert and has organized local shows in the past. One of his goals was to create a multi-genre show.

“I thought it was really important to try to make sure that we were showcasing all the different kinds of music that are made in this community, instead of the usual white dudes in a punk band,” Ross said. “It’s a wonderful form of music… but I wanted to have it showcase that there’s more than that in local communities. Different people can make different kinds of art… and there are people in the community that are gonna support it.” 

TARO’s duo consists of Steve Welhaf and Cheyenne Duba, and are newcomers to the music scene in general.

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“Just being able to spread the local music scene and getting as many people involved as possible versus a sparse amount of things going on, just the togetherness and supporting each other,” Welhaf said.

Duba said the show brought in a sense of comradery between different bands and audiences. 

 “There’s definitely a big sense of community, I feel like I made friends with other bands,” Duba said. “This show is a way of promoting (local music) besides just playing it on the radio.”

Shows like “Get Launched!” and local DIY concerts are not only a way of promotion for smaller acts, but a way for acts to connect with each other. The attention for local bands and the community they form through events like these are essential to building a thriving Fort Collins music scene.

 

Bitter Suns can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, Instagram @bittersunsband, and on Facebook.
Xavley can be found on Spotify, and Instagram @xavley.
The Tight can be found on Instagram @thetightband, and on Facebook.
TARO can be found on Instagram @taromusicoffical, and on Facebook.

Joel Thompson can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @probably_joel.