The atmosphere at The Ogden was electric as spectators lined up, wherever they could find or make room, in anticipation of Friday night’s headliner: the Manchester Orchestra. Fans squeezed through gaps in the crowd, sporting t-shirts from previous tours while juggling beers and searching for their friends in a sea of fans. By the time the opener took the stage, the aisles of The Ogden were overflowing with attendees and security personnel doing their best to make their way to the bar.
To rousing applause from the crowd, Kalamazoo-based indie band Michigander took to the stage in awe and awe of the size of the audience. Leading man Jason Singer took a moment to soak in, but then wasted no time diving into the night’s setting. While the Manchester Orchestra may have been headlining, Michigander had their own fanbase in the audience – and their infectious excitement quickly spread to the rest of the crowd.
By the end of Michigander’s set, Singer’s understated charisma on stage had won over The Ogden, and audiences quickly learned the words to “To let downreferring the chorus back to Singer as he conducted the choir. With the audience more than warmed up enough, it was time for St. Louis-based band Foxing.
A long pause in the dark signaled that something special was in store for Denver, as Foxing waited backstage for the right moment to take the stage. Foxing took the stage as fans burst into cheers. Frontman Conor Murphy greeted the audience, then started the set slowly before gradually building new layers on each song. Throughout the set, Murphy channeled the music, invoking a symphonic session within the walls of The Ogden. What started out as a slow build quickly turned into an explosive bombshell that showed Foxing leaving all of her heart and soul on stage.
With nothing but the ghost of Foxing hanging in the air, fans had just enough time to catch their breath before the Manchester Orchestra finally took the stage. After the first half of the evening – which was filled with good music, drinks and the company of friends – the crowd was in high spirits and just a little drunk as the alternative rock band from Atlanta came on on the scene. With an electric atmosphere of excitement, the headliner’s set was destined to be a great experience for the fans in attendance.
Bathed in the glow of fluorescent onstage lighting, the band introduced themselves to set with the first track from their 2021 album, The Million Masks of God. From the first notes, fans started singing along with joy, shouting the lyrics as loud as their vocal chords would allow.
Touring in support of this recent release, the Manchester Orchestra treated viewers to a few more tracks from the album before returning the setlist with a sprinkling of tracks from some of the earlier releases in their discography, including a special rendition of “the alien.” By the end of the night, the Manchester Orchestra had given the fans everything they came for, and a little more, leaving no doubt as to why so many fans were eager to see the band.
All the photographs of Shelby Moeller.