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Music, Fashion, and the Underground Music Showcase Days 1 & 2

I spy with my little eye, paparazzi in the background!

The Underground Music Showcase (UMS) is probably the coolest music festival here in Denver.  It's a four day event in the Baker/South Broadway neighborhood of Denver (my personal favorite neighborhood) and it's comprised of mostly local acts but also has major national headliners.  I went in 2013 and had a blast, but took 2014 off.  In 2013 the two headlines that I saw were both bands that I had already seen, Cults and Mudhoney, but it was awesome to see them again.  A slew of my favorite local bands/acts were playing (I like a lot of fake bands/comedic musical performers a la Total Ghost and Magic Cyclops so I always struggle with the wording when including them haha) so it was a ton of fun.

First off, a disclaimer!  This is going to be the least "musical" Music and Fashion post ever.  Meaning that the first two nights of the show I didn't see any acts I was jazzed about.  Not that I hated everyone, I just was indifferent to most of the things I saw.  Because I am not a music critic per se, I don't enjoy or intend to bash musical acts, so the first half half of the UMS Music and Fashion post is going to be a little musically barren.  I considered not doing the first two nights entirely and waffled between splitting up the four nights as planned or putting it all in one post, but one post seemed like a potentially long read.  And fashion is apart of this segment, so for that alone it's worth it.  I guess this is more of a "Fashion Diary" or two nights out, but oh well.  I hope you enjoy regardless!
Also, I was behind speakers and whatnot for some performances so being able to take quality photos was an element to contend with.

In part the first two nights were a little more dead because everything that I wanted to see was the second two days.  But, also...a funny thing happens when you decide to take a year or so off from going to see live music due to health reasons: you have no idea who the local acts are anymore!  My favorite local acts have either disbanded or were MIA from the line-up so I was flying somewhat blind in regards to the local acts.  One of my friends I had mostly lost touch from last year (another causality of taking it easy for some time) hit me up right before the festival to make sure I was going this year and started rattling off bands that he thought I should see and kept referring to a band he was in without that being super obvious that he was in it.  I had to be like, Zach, slow down.  Is this your band?  I haven't seen you play since the band after your Iron Maiden cover band...I'm out of the loop, remember??  It's amazing what you miss!
Before I go into the antics, or somewhat lack thereof of the first night, let's talk clothes!  I mentioned in this post about this skirt that I was super stoked to wear this Mary Blair skirt to a concert because it was true to my vintage loving style but also edgy enough to wear to rock concerts.  I got to make this happen on this night!  It was perfect because the showcase started on a Thursday night so wearing a longer skirt was justifiable as it would be comfortable to wear as the sun went down and I could save sundresses and such for the weekend when it was an all day thing.  I paired it with my ModCloth world geography necklace that I'm borderline obsessed with and a black crop top (not that you can tell it's a crop top with how high my skirt goes haha).  I've worn this skirt a few times and always paired it with fun colors.  But this skirt is begging to be worn with black so I figured a music event was the perfect time to do so.  I took a risk and wore my black Steve Madden wedges and I'm happy to report I have no regrets.  While I will always suggest that you wear comfortable flats to concerts, sometimes you can get away with wedges.  They put less pressure on the balls of your feet and have ankle support, so usually wearing them here and there to shows isn't a terrible mistake.  
Funny story time!  From having compounding health issues for around 3.5 years I have some memory issues.  In part it initially stemmed from being anemic under the radar for some time; when you aren't getting the correct nutrients in your bloodstream none of your organs work right, including your brain.  Right before my diagnosis I remember repeatedly complaining to my mom on the phone that it felt like I was losing my mind, which was a little scary for a control freak like me.  Add that in with other serious medical issues, or really any form of prolonged stress, and most people's short term memory gets shaky at best.  Though I have been healthy for pretty much this whole 2015 year, I have to say that when I get too busy my brain just kind of goes into shutdown mode.  I think it's a conditioned response/auto pilot thing that will go away sooner than later (there are tons of signs that I am getting better with this stuff), but weird stuff still keeps happening.  Mostly I just forget to text people back or comment back on Instagram, like if I'm busy when I see a message and can't respond right the second...there's a good chance I will not be responding.  (Sorry).  BUT I did the dumbest thing ever on the first night of the festival.  I went to a place called the Irish Rover for a quick dinner with my friend Jeanice before it all started.  My friend Brett wanted to join us.  So naturally I told him to go to a restaurant...but not the one we were at!  I think I was distracted when I was texting and another place we mentioned twice while debating where to go got stuck in my head or something.  So I told him to go to a place called Illegal Pete's.  The place we were at is an Irish pub, Illegal Pete's is a burrito joint.  They are also quite a few blocks away from each other, and unlike some places on the strip, they do not have a similar layout.  #fail  Though it was amusing to text him when I realized that he was at an entirely different establishment looking for us, "So...I lied.  When I said "Illegal Petes" I totally meant Irish Rover," and to get the response, "I'm glad I'm not crazy wondering why I can't find you but that's not even fucking close, Blair!"  Hehe.  Naturally I welcomed him to "Illegal Pete's" when he got to the Irish Rover and thus a new inside joke amongst my friends has been born.

After we were all accounted for, and at the correct place (ahem) and such, we trolled on down to some of the local bars to check out the bands.  I wanted to see this local band that seemed interesting, Science Partner, but getting out of the (correct) restaurant took longer than expected so we missed most of their set.  My friend Brett had friends playing at the bar next door so we went there.  We met up with some of Brett's friends, people I have heard about for years but hadn't actually met, and I was thrilled to find that they were super fun people!  We went to two different venues to see two different bands play.  Honestly, both bands musicianship were great.  The thing is though, they are folk bands.  I know this is a WILDLY unpopular thing to say in 2015, especially in Colorado, but I just can't get into folk.  I'm not knocking it, it's just not my jam.  After the first two acts I vetoed going to another folk band, which was a bummer because I actually had an acquaintance in that band and I've been meaning to see them for years...but I had reached my folk threshold for the evening.  Jeanice was somewhat in the same boat as me so we picked a bar at random to find that there was an Amy Winehouse cover band playing (Winehouse).  They sounded fairly good, we think, but the sound guy was messing it up big time and it wasn't enjoyable at all so we left.  We then went to Illegal Pete's (the real one...) to see what was playing there.  I liked the band (sadly I forget their name...whoops!) but I think my comment to Jeanice mid-show sums them up perfectly, "I feel like we're at a battle of the bands in 1993," to which she laughed because it's kind of true.  They were grungy and felt reminiscent of all things radio rock in the early to mid 90s, which I totally dig.  Their musicianship was also amazing too, so hooray.

So...the first night wasn't stellar.  But it certainly wasn't bad either because I had fun.  And I knew going in the first night could go either way because there really wasn't a concrete plan of bands that we "had to see," so when you play Russian roulette with which bands to see and take your friend's lead for part of the evening, things can go a myriad of different ways.  That said, we opted to not stay for the final hour of sets (11PM) as we were both a little sleep deprived and by that point I was turning into a pumpkin.  If it had been great show after great show I think my energy would have stayed high.  That said, after getting to the car and driving away we passed a venue (Gary Lee's) that was blasting some real rock and roll.  I was totally bummed because I was hoping to catch at least one act like that that night!  Oh well, three more days...!
Day two of UMS was somehow even slower, despite that it was on a Friday.  The long and short of it is basically that Jeanice wanted to see a national act on the main stage, so we did.  Frankly, I disliked them the most out of any act I have seen, so I'll not add their name as I have nothing nice to say at all.  We then joined our friends Brian and Elexis at (again, the real) Illegal Petes to see a band that they wanted to see.  I liked them quite a bit.  They were loud and fun and had a synthesizer, so that was kind of fun.  After we just kind of trolled the streets hearing the bands from the windows of the establishments.  Friday night was PACKED and we lacked an agenda, so it was kind of nice to not be in a crowded bar but still be enjoying the music.  Plus, the crowd watching was A+.
What I wore was a somewhat last minute decision.  Ahead of UMS, I made sure I didn't get stuck on outfits that I wanted to wear ahead of time knowing that the weather was a little back and forth here this summer.  It was raining and got "summer chilly", meaning it wasn't actually chilly but it wasn't sundress warm either, so I decided to wear my rainbow maxi dress.  A LOT of you asked about it on Instagram so here's where it's from etc: It was on ModCloth for some time but eventually it sold out.  I had always wanted it and eventually it popped up on eBay this winter so I snagged it (and for a fraction of the price!  Yay!).  I like maxi dresses but I really don't wear them a ton.  That said I have them hanging in my closet for these exact kind of nights because they're stylish and keep your legs warm.  I paired it with a purple Banana Republic cardigan in case it got colder (it did at times) and my Bongo nude wedges.  Honestly, but the end of the night my feet were hurting after walking around two days in a row in heels.  But I've worn these particular shoes for 12 hours straight while walking through airports and exploring Catalina Island two years ago, so they really are good heeled shoes to wear for long periods of time otherwise.
Watching from the sidewalk through a window

This wraps of my somewhat anti-climatic first UMS post.  The next post will be WAY more exciting with WAY better photos.  Nothing inspired me to take photos band wise and in regards to outfit photos and detail shots I lost light pretty early into the event.  PLUS I even spaced on a group photo the first night haha!  Next week I'll be talking about a slew of local bands I love, plus Milo Greene, STRFKR, and Tennis.  Seriously...the next post will be way more fun!

In case you missed other concert going stories:
Music, Fashion, and The Jesus and Mary Chain
Music, Fashion, and Surfer Blood
Music, Fashion, and The Sonics
Music, Fashion, and Fitz and the Tantrums
Music, Fashion, and The Westword Music Showcase
Music, Fashion, and The Geto Boys
Music, Fashion, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Music, Fashion, and Marilyn Manson + The Smashing Pumpkins
Music, Fashion, and Death Cab for Cutie
Music, Fashion, and Jurassic 5

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Twitter: @LaurenBlair23


  1. The first skirt is amazing, and I saw paparazzi too :) I loved that skirt, but I really loved what I called rainbow maxi dress! You know I am facing eye problems, but as soon as I get better I can read more! Very nice pictures and style, always!

    1. There's no pressure!! You're so sweet to even be checking!!! Thank you, love!

  2. You always know how to have fun and your skirts/outfits are just as adorable as you.

  3. this skirt is super cute!

  4. :O RAINBOW DRESS! *Jumps up and down excitingly* It goes so perfectly with your hair and the accessories you chose! <3 I remember finding out about ModCloth several years back and putting this dress on my wish list, I'm so glad one of us has it! ;) Glad you are feeling a lot better this year, having health problems truly sucks but it does make you grateful for the little things in life!

    1. Haha, I totally should have realized you'd love this!! I hope you find it on eBay like I did!! Thanks, love!

  5. wow i love your skirt
    Posts online about Phuket, Provence, Egypt....

  6. the skirt is amazing so look adorable

  7. Love your cool skirt. You look soooo pretty. Love your blog :)
    Great work.

    Kisses from Germany

  8. Your skirt is so awesome!

  9. Love that long maxi dress on you. Glad you had fun!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  10. This looks like a blast! Absolutely loving that rainbow dress! So fun and colorful!

  11. wow i'm so in love with your skirt! I'm sure you had so much fun :)

    Check out my blog if you want:

    Tamara xxx

  12. You always looks su fun and cute!
    Love your dress, that skirt is so fancy! :)

  13. I'm so bad with directions that I constantly direct people to the wrong places! Glad that all was sorted out! Love your bright dress. What a beautiful piece!

  14. Love your styles darling, all so cheerful and colorful!
    It was interesting to read about your experience! Wishing you great weekend!


  15. You and your skirts! Lovely outfits and it looks like you had such an amazing time out!

    Heba xx || The HebaBloglovinInstagram

  16. You have the cutest skirts and dresses! Love, Kirsten xx

  17. Hello,

    Beautiful event ! :D


  18. Great blog :)
    Have a lovely weekend! :)

  19. Haha! I think it has happened to quite a number of us, being so distracted by everything else that you gave the wrong restaurant name. My husband did that last week! We were supposed to meet his niece for dinner and he gave the wrong hotel name, that caused a few chuckles much to his annoyance! You look fabulous by the way, the skirt is just lovely.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    1. Haha, I guess it happens more than I realize! Glad I'm not alone! Thank-you!!

  20. You always rock the best skirts, but this maxi dress is simply amazing!! Definitely one lf my favorite outfits you've worn. Its so bright and cheery and reminds me of you. I guess that can happen sometimes with concerts where some of the days are not as good as others. Can't wait to read the other half! Funny story too with the restaurant switch!

    1. Thank you!! It's definitely a fun one. That's so sweet of you to say too! XOXO


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