The decade is almost over and the local music market has witnessed some dramatic changes.

Back in the day, jam and hardcore rock bands packed the clubs. Today, electro, hip-hop, indie pop and underground, alt-folk acts rule Colorado, and the scene is fueled by the power of MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.


Locals say these were the Boulder shows of 2000-2009 that people are still talking about:

-- Dave Matthews at Folsom Field

-- The Strokes at the Fox Theatre

-- Triple A Radio Conference Shows with Coldplay, Damien Rice, James Blunt, David Byrne and Dave Matthews

-- Actor Russell Crowe performing and screaming at the crowd at a Triple A gig

-- Singer/songwriter shows at the Fox with John Mayer, Jack Johnson and David Gray

-- Matisyahu at Trilogy and the Fox for early career shows

-- Ray LaMontagne and John Butler Trio shows at Trilogy

-- The Fray -- the night they signed a record deal at the Fox

-- Flogging Molly at Bart's CD Cellar

-- Ben Kweller at CU's Club 156

-- Tool shows at the CU Events Center

-- Henry Rollins spoken word shows at the Boulder Theater

-- Brandi Carlile at Chautauqua Auditorium shows

-- Flobots and 3OH!3 shows at the Fox -- after they were signed and national acts

-- CU Welcome Back shows on Farrand Field with Girl Talk, Asher Roth, Maroon 5, 3OH!3 and Pretty Lights

-- DeVotchKa's Valentine's Day and Halloween concerts at the Boulder Theater and Fox

-- Gene Ween at the b.side Lounge

-- Animal Collective at the Boulder Theater earlier this year and their DJ set at George's

-- Wendy Kale

The changes gave rise to today's crop of acts that now have a national and international presence. Current acts such as The Fray, 3OH!3, OneRepublic, Single File, Meese, DeVotchKa, Pretty Lights, Gregory Alan Isakov, Paper Bird and Yonder Mountain String Band propelled their careers this decade.

It took 10 years, but Colorado's now on the music business radar.

What changed?

Several factors churned up the local music scene from 2000 to 2009:

The hardcore, mosh pit scene evolved into Denver's thriving, indie pop-rock world; many jam bands morphed into electronic acts; national corporations built newer concert halls, technology let local bands build their careers -- and the economy put the brakes on everybody.

While the Colorado music community got stronger as a whole, Boulder lost many bands and venues due to the economy and Denver's growing scene.

Here's what some of Boulder's movers and shakers had to say about the decade's musical ride:

Fox Theatre

Rob Thomas was the Fox Theatre's general manager at the beginning of the decade. The local music pro worked his way up to director of operations for Denver's Mile High Music Festival.

"There's been a pretty historic shift and change in the local music scene," Thomas said. "There aren't as many mom-and-pop venues, because big corporations like AEG and Live Nation are now promoting concerts.

"Denver grew up -- a lot of venues started up and a lot of bands moved there. Plus, the Internet changed everything."

Thomas says he witnessed some of the decade's top bands debut at the Fox.

"Death Cab for Cutie, Atmosphere, Coldplay and Sound Tribe all played early shows at the Fox," Thomas said. "Seeing these bands was awesome and it helped grow the local music scene."

John Caprio started managing the Fox in 2001, worked for the Broomfield Events Center, and now runs Denver's Ogden and Bluebird theaters.

"The Fox really had an impact on the local music scene, because it brought in all types of music," Caprio said. "The Fox always had the pulse of what was going on. We had Jack Johnson, John Mayer, STS9 and the Black Eyed Peas before they broke."

Caprio also has seen changes in the music scene.

"The biggest shift has been the big promoters coming in, but that's brought more acts to town," Caprio said. "Things also changed with the iPod. That's how bands like 3OH!3 got out there.

"And, the economy's changing the scene. Now a lot of people might only go to one show a week."


Jill Emich and her sisters ran Boulder's Trilogy Lounge from 2000 to 2008.

"Trilogy really played a role in the music scene," Emich said. "We gave smaller bands a place to grow and we really built up a music community. We had a Trilogy culture that brought people together for music, food and wine.

"We had Gregory Alan Isakov play, and we debuted Matisyahu, Brandi Carlile, Brett Dennen and Ray LaMontagne," Emich said. "We also started up a lot of the DJ and electronic music in Boulder. We exposed people to a lot of music that blew up -- and we had a great time doing it."

The Emich sisters are now looking at locations for a new local venue.

Boulder Theater

The Boulder Theater changed course this decade and brought in more diverse concerts.

"Things have definitely become more active since I started working at the theater in 1998," general manager Cheryl Liguori said. "Our programming has become more diverse and we've offered more musical genres.

"We've been bringing in a lot more interesting world music acts, and more college and up-and-coming music acts. We had five nights with STS9 -- that's something we've never done before."

Liguori says her favorite Boulder Theater memories from 2000 to 2009 include shows by Buena Vista Social Club, Lou Reed, Public Enemy and Animal Collective.

Local bands

On the plus side of the decade, local bands changed the Colorado soundscape and gave rise to indie, hip-hop and electro music.

3OH!3's Sean Foreman and his electro hip-hop band helped put Colorado on the map.

"I think some great underground bands have come up in since 2000," Foreman said. "People really supported them, and it's made a true shift in the Colorado music scene.

"The Internet also changed the local scene. Kids can now produce their own music. There have also been a lot of great bands like The Fray, Meese and the Flobots coming out of Colorado."

Jamie Janover had a part in developing Colorado's electronic music scene.

The musician started in the jam scene, but went on to work with electronic projects Zilla, Lynx & Janover and the Sonic Bloom Festival.

"Jamgrass bands leveled off this decade, but now there's an electronic music scene," Janover said. "Electronic music incorporates psychedelic sounds with improvisation, and it was music we could make on computers. People were ready to push the boundaries of jam music."