Video: Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper introduces Nathaniel Rateliff at the UMS

By John Moore
July 23, 2013

When he first became Denver’s mayor, I saw now Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sneak into the Lion’s Lair at midnight to catch a little bit of a John Doe set. He has introduced the Avett Brothers the past two years at Red Rocks. A few years ago, he introduced the Flobots before their headlining performance at the little music fest I started in 2001 — now a sprouting teenager called the Underground Music Showcase. The UMS just featured early 400 bands over four days along eight blocks of Broadway in the Baker neighborhood.

The UMS is now — and I did not know this until Mr. Hickenlooper said so on Sunday night — the second-largest live music conclave west of the Mississippi. I was already in hog heaven when Gordon Gano made an appearance playing violin — in a Violent Femmes cover band.

Hickenlooper was back at the 2013 UMS to introduce one of his personal favorites to the main stage: Nathaniel Rateliff, who is also the frontman for the final-day UMS headliners, Born in the Flood. Hickenlooper’s giddy enthusiasm for music, and the arts in general, are palpable. He sounded just like a kid when he boasted, “I will tell you right now that Nathaniel Rateliff is going to become one of the biggest musicians in this country.” … And the part of the clip where Hickenlooper theorizes on the possible origin of the name “Born in the Flood” is priceless.

The band lineup on Sunday was Rateliff, Joseph Pope, Nathan Meese and Patrick Meese.

(And thanks for the shout-outs to Ricardo Baca and me, UMS Event Director Kendall Smith!)

Here are just a few of the photos I took at the 2013 UMS. I still have two days worth to add — they will be updated by the end of the day.


Click here to subscribe to the Monthly E-Newsletter


How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

By John Moore

Award-winning arts journalist John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the United States by American Theatre Magazine during has 12 years at The Denver Post. Hen then created a groundbreaking new media outlet covering Colorado arts an culture as an in-house, multimedia journalist for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He also founded The Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that has raised more than $600,000 for theatre artists in medical need. He is now a journalist for hire as the founder of Moore Media Colorado. You can find samples of his work at MooreJohn.Com. Contact him at