by Alan Hirtzel
What was once an old bar that catered to Grateful Dead fans has turned into a hotspot of Denver’s rising underground electronic music scene. Many were familiar with the original venue, Quixotes True Blue, but it has since been bought out and rebranded as “The Black Box”. Well-known promoter and artist agency, Sub.mission, have moved out of their weekly residence at Cervantes and acquired a haven of their own. They have the reputation for bringing in the hidden gems of the bass music world, and now they are free to do so at large. True to their slogan, “Moving people through sound, not hype”, their .mission is fulfilled.
As a fan of weird and different music, I’d been meaning to make the pilgrimage. I finally made my way to this venue for the sold out Shades tour featuring the dynamic duo Eprom and Alix Perez, and was very pleased with what I saw. The outside is very unassuming, not at all flashy, but step inside and you see just how unique the redesigned place is. True to its name, the entire exterior and interior is painted black. Funky art and futuristic decorations make it feel right at home to anyone comfortable with the beats that are being played. As an audiophile, one of the first things I take note of where ever I go for live music is the sound system. They have it all covered here. Set up by local Denver group Basscouch, the certified Funktion One system pumps out crystal clear, yet plenty loud sound, and that’s only in the first room. Enter the side door into the main stage area, and you are met with a full-blown system that will leave any music purist with a smile on their face. Having not been to the venue before Sub.mission took over, I can’t comment on the original layout, but it is certainly well adapted.
With no sound booth area taking up valuable space, there is plenty of room to spread out and get whatever angle you wish. The visuals and lighting are simple and therefore not overbearing, letting the music speak for itself. Drinks were quite reasonably priced compared to the rest of Denver, and even though the night was sold out, lines were not long and not once did it feel overly crowded. While some venues seem to view fans as only dollar signs, here I got the feeling that the focus was on the comfort and experience of the concertgoers. For once, I think a promoter has fully realized their dream of a great place to go and listen to music with friends in a low-stress environment. This truly is a venue run by people who know where they’re going and care about the well being of the attendees.
This week at The Black Box and The Lounge
TUES | Conrank, LoLo, & CurlyOnE for Sub.mission Electronic Tuesdays // Vibrations Outloud Lounge Takeover
WED | Test Kitchen 3.22: The MC Edition presented by Roux Black
THURS | Stomping Grounds with Whomp Truck
FRI | Freddy Todd, Jade Cicada, Cualli, & Niraya // The Lounge: Bats, Cats, & Bass – ft. Cloudspell
SAT | Chimpo, Sam Binga, Shoebox vs GRYM presented by Recon DNB// The Lounge: LickShot* DubRaggacoreBashmentDancehall
Just announced at The Black Box and The Lounge
MAR 30 | Samples, Crumbs (From Robotic Pirate Monkey), & JERAFF in The Lounge APR 19/20 | Caspa
APR | Electronic Tuesdays | 4th: Dubamine // 11th: DBridge // 18th: Grimblee // 25th: Epoch presented by Sub.mission
APR 28 | Church*Denver (The Missionary Tour) ft. Mark Starr (Dirtybird), Unicorn Fukr, Calico, & Subliminal in The Lounge