Show Review: Amber Run Conveys Lonely Love and Violent Oceans at Denver’s Bluebird Theater

Photos & review: Emily Shuey (Instagram)
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Amber Run made their Denver debut at The Bluebird Theater in front of just over 500 fans that were eager to see the Nottingham-based indie rock band on the last leg of their US Tour. The three-piece band comprised of Joshua Keogh (lead singer, guitarist), Tom Sperring (bass guitar), and Henry Wyeth (keys)  has only toured the US once previously but should not be underestimated as they’ve played a number of iconic European venues such as Birmingham’s O2 Academy, Amsterdam’s Melkweg, and at Lowlands Festival in The Netherlands.

With an album just released less than 2 months prior (Philophobia)  in conjunction with music dating back to 2013 (including albums “For a Moment I Was Lost” in 2017 and “5AM” in 2015) the relatively young band had a surprisingly distinct collection of material to pull from, providing fans with a considerably well-rounded and emotional experience.

Amber Run is most popularly known for their hit single “I Found” (released in 2014) that tells a chillingly convicting but equally romantic and unlikely love story. Despite the freshman album that the song arose from making such a strong impression, the band has evolved and adapted uniquely with each release of new music, drawing a diverse fan base, but also symbolic of what could be limitless potential.

Their Denver show was nothing short of dynamic, beginning with rock heavy and spirited songs like “Neon Circus” and “What Could be as Lonely as Love” then evolving into more vivid and dramatic sounds like “5AM” and “Hide & Seek”.

Presenting itself as a foundational forefront, the band’s onstage chemistry was not only unprecedented but it spread infectiously across the rest of the venue, inciting a good time all around. Accompanied with an immaculate quality of sound from stage side to the balcony, and a dreamy pink and amber filled fog, the atmosphere couldn’t have been more fitting and inviting.

The band played almost their entire catalogue of music, pausing between songs to joke around with fans, thank them for coming, and walk them through their creative processes as they relate to some of their most popular work. While in the middle of songs, Joshua would jokingly throw his arms up in the air and yell, “louder!”, bringing about smiles and enthusiasm alike.

About halfway through the show Joshua took a few moments away from singing to address a very personal story behind one of the band’s songs, “Amen”.

“My grandfather passed away halfway through this last tour, I never had enough time to get together what I wanted to say, and I was too tired to engage with what I felt, and yeah, it was awful. What came out of that experience and vulnerability was a song called “Amen”. For the longest time I fucking hated this song, it felt like pulling out stitches. So, this is the eulogy I’d wished I’d given at my grandfather’s funeral.”

 Joshua’s performance of “Amen” was both intoxicating and sobering, as was the rest of Amber Run’s set, which is hopefully a symbolic prediction for the band’s further musical evolution.

Not only have they created their own unique and eccentric sound, but they’ve managed to foster a remarkably intimate live experience, one that I hope to see return to Denver on a much larger scale.