FocoMX the New SCENE’s top picks


By Cynthia Wilson
the New SCENE

The Fort Collins Music Experiment is a two-day festival in Fort Collins with a diverse, inclusive lineup mixing local favorites, youth, and newcomers. As they are celebrating the tenth year of the festival this year, there were over 1200 submitted applications. There are about 300 bands on the playbill. A booking committee listens to every single submission and makes the decisions. The venues close their doors to the public for two days and donate their space to the festival. All the ticket sales go to the artists who perform.

With so many bands and venues, it is hard to pick where to go and who to see. Here are recommendations from the New SCENE. Build your own custom schedule at


The kickoff at Equinox is with Michael Kirkpatrick- Friday Night – 3:30 pm to 4:15 pm @ Equinox Brewing | All Ages. Michael kicks off the festival every year and has played all ten years. He plays Words Melody Rhythm on guitar, mandolin and has a voice that captivates the audience.

The River Arkansas Friday Night – 3:45 pm @ Odell Brewing Co | All Ages The band features Clark on guitar and banjo-backed by violin, cello, upright bass, and drums. They play Orchestral Country blues with an Americana feel.

Forty-Five Plus One with DJ Alf Friday Night – 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm @ New Belgium Brewing – Tasting Room | All Ages. DJ Alf blends live music sets, and  DJ sets and will be collaborating with local and national artist for an innovative take on live music production.

Nadalands Friday Night – 6:15 pm to 7:00 pm @ Illegal Pete’s | All Ages Indie-Alternative, lyrical apocalyptic post-songwriter, Nadalands is the Fort Collins-based songwriting project of John Lindenbaum (also of the Lonelyhearts and formerly of Rust Belt Music). These days, John sings and plays 12-string guitar, Benjamin Buttice sings and plays drums, and Matt Schild plays bass. There is also a keyboard.

Jinnjinni Friday Night – 7:00 pm to 7:45 pm @ La Luz Mexican Grill | All Ages Singer-Songwriter, romantic, sanguine, nature, American indie folk duo. jinnjinni is performing on the tails of their new release that hits the lyric on April 4.

53:14 Music Video Festival 7:45 The Lyric. Roving videos of local Fort Collins bands will be playing throughout the weekend. These videos are produced locally for the local music scene.

TwoScoopS Friday Night – 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm @ Old Town Square | All Ages Electronic-DJ, Hip Hop infused Bass music, live in the square. TwoScoopS provides a high energy live performance using traditional DJing techniques in sets that incorporate original productions and relevant dance music.

Wasteland Hop Friday Night – 9:00 pm to 9:45 pm @ Hodi’s Half Note | All Ages Indie-Alternative Blues Rock Hip-Hop. True Fort Collins music on their way to being a breakout band. This live six piece band designs a new, original sound via violin, guitars, drum and bass plus the potent back and forth energy between leading vocalist Steph Jay and MC Mickey Kenny.

King Cardinal Friday Night – 9:45 pm to 10:30 pm @ Washington’s FoCo | 21+ Country-Bluegrass-Americana Hearty Post-Folk.

Gabrielle Louise Friday Night – 10:30 pm to 11:15 pm @ Moe’s Original Bar B Que | All Ages Singer-Songwriter Dynamic Literary Folk. Gabrielle Louise is a nationally touring troubadour noted for her poignant lyrics and lush voice.

The Patti Fiasco Friday Night – 11:00 pm to 12:00 am @ Washington’s FoCo | 21+ Country-Bluegrass-Americana Rock and Roll. On the heels of their debut opening for Bon Jovi, this band brings Rock and Roll to a new level and represents Fort Collins and Wyoming in their storytelling. This is high energy, feel good, music.

Slow Caves Friday Night – 12:00 am to 1:00 am @ Hodi’s Half Note | All Ages Indie-Alternative surfy 90’s indie. Just released their Old Flame debut (Desert Minded-EP) on March 10, 2017. Since the release, the band has been touring all over North America and opened for bands such as DIIV, Cold War Kids, White Reaper, St. Lucia, Rooney, Cake and more.


The Swashbuckling Doctors Saturday Night – 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm @ Odell Brewing Co | All Ages Indie-Alternative laser panda ska. Get ready for uptempo dancing, lots of horns, and songs about Vikings and zombies and tinder.

Lineage Saturday Night – 2:45 pm to 3:30 pm @ Avogadro’s Number | All Ages Country-Bluegrass-Americana Rockin, big, loud. This band has the heart for the community. Lineage is considered one of the best up-and-coming Americana-bluegrass groups in Colorado.

Weareforests Saturday Night – 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm @ New Belgium Brewing – Tasting Room | All Ages Acoustic-Folk Dream Folk. weareforests is a Fort Collins, Colorado-based ambient folk project. Based on the writings and musings of frontman Corey Wright, this pseudo-singer-songwriter “band” is best described by what friends and blogs have referred to as “dream folk.”

Songwriting in the Round – Justin Roth Saturday Night – 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm @ Magic Rat | 21+. This event will showcase some of Fort Collins most talented songwriters taking turns sharing their music.

12 Cents For Marvin Saturday Night – 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm @ Odell Brewing Co | All Ages World-Reggae-Latin Ska Reggae. Founder of FoComx, Greta Cornett is the gifted trumpeter of 12 cents, the director of live music and co-creator of the Fort Collins Music Experiment festival.

You can hear their two decades of dedication that elevates them, just as the city of Fort Collins, one mile higher than many other bands. “12 Cents” formed in 1996 while the founding musicians were attending Colorado State University.

TMULE Saturday Night – 6:00pm to 6:45pm @ The East Coast | 21+ Singer-Songwriter Fierce & Fragile Folk. In May 2017, TMULE will be releasing his first solo album in over ten years. His upcoming EP, “Worldless Lullabies,” is a toned-down representation of TMULE’s signature songwriting style, a deep exploration of the infinite abyss and attempts to shine a light into his darkness. Deep. Soulful. Full of emotion and power.

Rat Doctor Saturday Night – 6:30 pm to 7:15 pm @ Aggie Theatre | All Ages Indie-Alternative Groovy, Dynamic, Cool. Newcomers to the scene that quickly became a local favorite.

Cary Morin Saturday Night – 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm @ Avogadro’s Number | All Ages Singer-Songwriter Gritty Soulful Bluesy. Described as one of the best acoustic pickers on the scene today.

Señorita Sometimes Saturday Night – 6:45pm to 7:30pm @ The Whisk(e)y | 21+ Rock-Pop Rock ‘N Roll. Señorita Sometimes has been picked to play FoCoMX festivals every year since 2015 as well as compete in Scene Magazine’s Fresh Talent Showcase in 2016. As Magnolia Sessions made a comeback in early 2018, SS was selected to record a live music video with an intimate performance at The Lyric in January. Their debut album, Miss Sometimes was recorded By Shane Zweygardt/Jason Livermore (Blasting Room) and will be released April 2018. Stay tuned for exciting happenings from this band. Come dance, come party…It will be LOUD!

Eli Slocumb & Grace Kuch Saturday Night – 7:00 pm to 7:45 pm @ La Luz Mexican Grill | All Ages Country-Bluegrass-Americana Sweet-Blues-Grass. Eli Slocumb (17) and Grace Kuch (14) play a unique blend of Blues and Bluegrass – or as they call it, “Bluesgrass.”

Qbala Saturday Night – 7:15 pm to 8:00pm @ Washington’s FoCo | 21+. FoCo’s homegrown hip-hop she has a point of view and entities the audience with sultry beats blending traditional hip-hop with new school sounds.

Whippoorwill Saturday Night – 8:00pm to 9:00pm @ Magic Rat | 21+ Indie-Alternative Americana indie rock. Staci Foster, Tobias Bank (Von Stomper), and Alysia Kraft (Patti Fiasco) are on the same wavelength of intentionality. Music that rivets your soul.

Full Metal Saturday Night – 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm @ Old Town Square | All Ages Electronic-DJ Future Hip-Hop, Turntablism. Through dynamic track selection and battle-tested technical ability, Full Metal has quickly built a reputation as a ‘DJ’s DJ’ in Northern Colorado.

Benjamin Joseph Buttice Saturday Night – 9:00 pm to 9:45 pm @ The East Coast | 21+ Singer-Songwriter. Benjamin Joseph Buttice is a Colorado musician, a member of King Eddie and Nadalands, songwriter for Sour Boy, Bitter Girl, and commonly performs on his own. He is a thousand year veteran of FoCoMX, but this will be his first visit as a solo player.

Mama Lenny and the Remedy Saturday Night – 9:15 pm to 10:00 pm @ Downtown Artery | All Ages R&B-Soul-Funk Rock Rhythm Soul. Sexy, soulful songbirds, backed by a band that looks as good as it sounds. Fronted by the startling vocal and emotional power of Laniece Schleicher, they deliver a high-energy, bold fusion of soul, funk, rock, blues, and disco with shrewd hints of jazz, gospel, and Broadway.

Write Minded Saturday Night – 9:45pm to 10:30pm @ Washington’s FoCo | 21+ Indie-Alternative Energetic, Unique, Diverse. Their unique sound blends genres to create a mash-up of Funky Reggae-Rock driven Hip-Hop that is nearly impossible not to dance to.

Wire Faces Saturday Night – 10:30 pm to 11:15 pm @ Downtown Artery | All Ages Rock-Pop Rock Post Punk. Their music seethes with primal energy, chaos, and melodic finesse. Frontman and drummer Shane Zweygardt, guitarist Ian Haygood, and bassist Menyus Borocz stylistically blend elements of post-punk into their groove-focused, experimental rock ‘n’ roll.

Kind Dub Saturday Night – 10:45 pm to 11:30 pm @ Aggie Theatre | All Ages Hip Hop-Rap Inspiring, Energetic, Powerful. Kind Dub brings a voice to the underground music scene. Due to their relentless work ethic and undeniable dedication to making quality music and top-notch live performances, Kind Dub has been placing Colorado hip-hop on the map for their fans and community.

D.W. Doucet Saturday Night – 10:45 pm to 11:30 pm @ La Luz Mexican Grill | All Ages Country-Bluegrass-Americana Howling Country Blues. Influences range from Mississippi Fred Mcdowell, Willie Nelson, Willy Tea Taylor, Tom Waits, Brown Bird, William Elliott Whitmore, Otis Redding, and Django Reinhardt.

Sour Boy, Bitter Girl Saturday Night – 11:00 pm to 11:45 pm @ Hodi’s Half Note | All Ages Indie-Alternative Sad Happy Confused. Sour Boy, Bitter Girl is the songwriting project of Benjamin Joseph Buttice, in collaboration with some fantastic Colorado musicians.

The Burroughs Saturday Night – 11:00 pm to 12:00 am @ Washington’s FoCo | 21+ R&B-Soul-Funk Sweaty Greeley Soul. The Burroughs is a nine-piece band with a powerhouse sound that has been electrifying audiences across Colorado and beyond. Since 2013, the band has lit up stages with their trademark brand of “Sweaty Soul Music,” quickly earning their rightful place as one of the best live bands in the region.

Saturday Night – 11:45 pm to 12:30 am @ The Whisk(e)y | 21+ Rock-Pop

Indie pop hits. Porlolo is the musical project of Erin Roberts, formed in 2002 with guitarist Tom Mohr.  The current lineup includes Ben DeSoto on drums and Anna Morsett on bass. Melancholic melodies, folk-pop hits, and creep rock.

Stella Luce Saturday Night – 12:00 am to 1:00 am @ Hodi’s Half Note | All Ages Indie-Alternative dark fairy tale. Stella Luce is a quirky blend of indie-rock, ethnic strings, and electronic experimentation featuring Fort Collins indie music scene veterans Alana Rolfe (viola, vocals), Brett Schreiber (bass, guitar, electronics), Tim Massa (guitar, bass) and Sean Speer (drums).

About Cynthia Wilson 65 Articles
Cynthia Wilson is a multimedia journalist with a Masters in New Media Journalism and a Bachelors in Journalism with a minor in Music Theory and Composition. She has a grassroots digital publication, Argento Studios. She is a content producer and co-founder of The Nashville Music Masters. She was the social producer for Green Mile Films, PR for Women’s Grand Prix at the US Pro Challenge, and Chief Relationship Officer for technology company Studio Hyperset. She is a music journalist, freelance writer, and digital content producer.

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