Live at the Soiled Dove Underground.
TEXT BY TIM HINELY / PHOTOS BY JD BAMFORD
This was certainly a pleasant surprise right before Christmas. Dream pop band The Ocean Blue (originally from Hershey, PA but members now scattered around the US) hadn’t played Denver in years…ok, decades.
Singer/vocalist David Schelzel wondered aloud to the crowd just when it was and someone shouted out that it was the Bluebird in 1996 and then Schelzel wistfully remembered (and mentioned that they had played Boulder a few years before that).
Though from the northeast the band members were real anglophiles, with influences coming from across the pond from bands like The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen, and New Order among others.
I wondered what size crowd the band would draw and the fact that it was sold out with a real buzz going told me the exact size. Fans in Denver were hungry to see the band and they did not disappoint.
The band is original members Schelzel and bassist Bobby Mitten (formed in the mid 80’s while the band members were still in high school) along with long timers Oed Ronne (on guitar and keyboards, in the band since 1993) and drummer Peter Anderson (in the band since 2000) so these four are going on two decades together.
Also the band has a new record out released earlier this year, Kings and Queens/Knaves and Thieves (on Mpls collective label Korda) and they opened with a few songs from said record including interlude “F Major 7” plus “All the Way Blue,” “It Takes So Long,’ the jangly, near-perfect “Paraguay My Love” and the title track to name a few.
Fans who wanted to hear some older gems were not disappointed as the band busted out “Ticket to Wyoming” (sung by Ronne) from the Waterworks EP plus “Mercury’ and “Cerulean” (both from the album Cerulean) and they tossed in a cover of The Smiths’ classic “There is a Light That Never Goes Out.”
The band left the stage but the crowd wasn’t going to leave the venue with tout a few encores so they band came out and played “ Frozen” from the new album, fan favorite “Between Something And Nothing (from their 1989 debut) and a spirited cover of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and called it a night.
Schelzel gave a warm, heartfelt thank you to the crowd and promised they’d be back. We’ll be here, waiting.