What’s the rave about raves Colorado?

Zeds Dead performs at Red Rocks Amphitheater for their six year in a row, presenting Dead Beats.

Photo by Bella Hoffman

Zeds Dead performs at Red Rocks Amphitheater for their six year in a row, presenting Dead Beats.

Flashing lights, lasers, ‘kandi’ bracelets, intense visuals, and pumping bass -what could be better than a rave in Colorado? Over the past few years, DJs like Zeds Dead, Excision, and Louis the Child have been taking the Denver concert scene by storm. These are not just concerts; they are raves.

A rave is defined as a party involving EDM (electronic dance music) and dancing, very different from the classic 90s rave scene, which was much more hidden and exclusive. Because of venues like Red Rocks Amphitheater, the 1st Bank Center, and the Ogden Theater, EDM music from dubstep to house continues to grow popular throughout the city of Denver, gathering thousands more from the Western Slope as well.

In 2016, DJ Bassnectar turned up the bass so loud at Red Rocks Amphitheater that the city of Morrison thought there was an earthquake. Even though the rave life might seem intense, the friends and memories you make will last forever.

You can keep pieces of every rave by trading or collecting ‘kandi’ bracelets. These bracelets are made with different types of beads, including letter beads to formulate different phrases. A handshake standing for ‘Peace, Love, Unity, Rave’ (PLUR) is used when trading these bead bracelets. Raves are all about being kind, which is clearly shown when using PLUR. Noelle Shield Taylor, a sophomore at AHS, is thankful for all the raves she has gone to.

“When I first started listening to EDM music I kind of just listened to remixes of songs, and I just thought it was super simple. Then I started getting into djing {play recorded music on the radio or at a club or party or making your own digital music} and going to raves, where I realized there’s so much more behind it. It starts to become more than music\; it becomes a lifestyle.” said Shield-Taylor.
Like Shield-Taylor said, the EDM community is much like a family. There’s no discrimination, judgment, or hate. Hunter Love, a junior at AHS, loves the rave culture due to the intimacy and intensity of it.

“I love EDM music mainly because of the way the bass makes me feel. It’s really strong. It’s just a new type of music and because it’s so new, it’s so intriguing when I listen to it. It kinda makes you feel super ‘hype’ and like you’re on top of the world. There’s a lot of different vibes when you listen to it,” said Love.

Unlike Love’s admiration of the bass in EDM music, Shield-Taylor appreciates the inclusivity of raves.

“At raves, you’re all together in one stadium listening to the same music. It’s interesting to see everyone listening to the same beats, and since there are no lyrics, it’s not like you go to the show and feel excluded. You all just become a part of one family.” Shield-Taylor said.