It has been a sweltering summer in Denver this year and Saturday, September 12th was no exception. Not just because of the 90 degree, clear blue sky weather, but also because it was the first time the Dirtybird BBQ was making a stop in the Mile High City. Making 6 stops around the US this summer at Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and Brooklyn, the crew of DJs hit Denver before heading back to their home-base of San Francisco for their last installment. The Dirtybird collective have been throwing parties like this for over a decade, when they began cultivating free Sunday soirees in Golden Gate Park, so they know how to rock an outdoor arena.
I arrived early to the party set up in front of Sports Authority Stadium at Mile High, so I could fully experience everything the BBQ had to offer. Only the first 500 people through the door received free food vouchers and I wasn’t missing my chance at grilled meats with some fresh beats! Mark Starr started off the day and got the steadily growing crowd dancing with that trademark Dirtybird sound; funky, rolling baselines and tight tech-house rhythms. It was my first time hearing his music and I was thoroughly impressed. The young beat maker Justin Jay was up after Mark and threw down an incredibly funky set. Full of 60’s and 70’s funk and disco samples but still staying true to that heavy bass hypeness that is Dirtybird. Worthy took the stage after Justin and turned the party up to 110%. Hard hitting and unrelenting tech house and techno slammed through the Void sound system and had the entire crowd dancing and cheering.
Next up was the special guest, OG Oakland rapper Too $hort and it was evident right away that his flow hasn’t let up through all these years. He covered old, new and everything in between and, of course, had to Blow the Whistle! After Short Dog was done, the ever talented J.Phlip hit the decks and stole the show in my opinion. Her unique mixture of Detroit booty poppin bass and techno had me grinning ear to ear as the sun sank behind the Rockies. The heavier she went into the techno sounds, the more the crowd cheered and even the Bronco’s mascot hopped on stage and got down. Justin Martin, one of Denver’s favorites, was up next as the hot day turned into a perfectly cool night. There wasn’t a single person standing still now and Justin made sure to keep the party rockin throughout his set. He is one of those DJ’s that can effortlessly see what the crowd wants and give them the bass that they need. Last, but certainly not least, the don of Dirtybird, Claude Von Stroke took to the decks. He dropped some gorgeous deep house sounds and mixed in some of his own tracks like Make a Cake and Barrump to close out the all day extravaganza. He even ended his hour long set with a couple of Drum and Bass bangers, which just goes to show how versatile Claude is in his musical selection. Not only that, but his selection of artists for his Dirtybird label is unmatched within the electronic scene and the BBQ was proof of that fact.
For its first appearance in Denver, the Dirtybird BBQ did not disappoint and will surely be back next year bigger and better. Though the BBQ’s may be over for the year, Dirtybird has one more event in Southern California that is definitely worth checking out. The Dirtybird Campout boasts an amazing lineup of artists and tons of interactive events, like summer camp for bass fiends! Thanks for reading and, as always, Ill see you on the dance floor!