An indie-rock explosion in West Vail Friday night |

An indie-rock explosion in West Vail Friday night

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

Joseph Pope III, bass player for Born In The Flood, jokingly said the crowd can expect one of two things at Friday night’s show at the Sandbar: “A whole lot of love or a fight on the stage.”

That’s because his band will be playing with another Denver-based band, The Photo Atlas, during Friday’s triple-billed show. They played a lot of shows together four years ago at the High Dive and it will be a reunion of sorts for both bands. During that time the band members developed a friendship but have since gone separate ways to pursue blossoming careers.

“It’s exciting to play with them again,” Pope said. “It’s a treat to be able to go up there and be able to spend some time with them.”

The guys in Photo Atlas are good friends with the third band on the bill, The Epilogues, so there’s a definite common thread running throughout the lineup, even though the three acts sound different.

“Each band has its own style, the songs are different, the structures are different but together as a whole, the bill works,” said Dick Dime, manager of the Sandbar in West Vail. “I think they blend together well artistically. … I think all three bands could be headliners and all three bands are definitely developing a strong following both in Denver and nationally.”

Tonight’s headlining band, The Photo Atlas, brings a quick-tempo dance-rock to the lineup (think Fugazi meets The Rapture).

“We heard The Faint early on while we were forming and I think they were one of the bands that had an interesting dance-but-still-rocking kind of style,” said Alan Andrews Jr., vocalist and lead guitar player for The Photo Atlas.

The band toured nearly 250 days in the past year across the country and music festivals like Monolith and Mile High in Denver and it shows no signs of slowing down.

“It’s been pretty intense but that was our goal to really put ourselves out there and play as many shows as we can and just try to reach as many people as possible. We figured the best way to get introduced to a band is live,” Andrews said.

Born In The Flood, on the other hand, doesn’t log quite as many days on the road due to family commitments, but it’s still received a fair amount of local and national attention. The song “Anthem,” from the band’s album “If This Thing Should Spill,” was featured on the TV show “One Tree Hill.” The band’s received positive press from Billboard, Spin and Relix magazines.

Pope said the band started out with a Southern rock flair but evolved over the years to a more psychedelic-ambient sound, kind of like Sonic Youth meets Radiohead.

“The textures and the sounds ” most of that stuff just kind of came from the feeling that we had … You want to kind of grab people’s attention,” Pope said of what the band has tried to achieve.

A new album is in pre-production and Pope said he and frontman Nathaniel Rateliff have been writing a lot of new material ” too much for one album.

“We go through spells where we’re all writing a lot and I think we’re in one of those right now,” Pope said. “It’s hard to say what’s going to come out on the other side, but I’m really excited for it.”

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or

What: Indie-rock showcase featuring Front Range bands The Photo Atlas, Born In The Flood and The Epilogues.

When: Friday night at 9 p.m.

Where: Sandbar Sports Grill in West Vail.

Cost: $8 in advance and $10 day of show.

More information: Call 970-476-4314 or visit

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