Arts and Culture

DU’s May Days draws national music acts

As the first hint of summer weather warms the University of Denver, the campus heats up with a lineup of nationally touring acts for the May DaysMusic Festival on May 22.

Organizers are bringing Philadelphia hip-hop artist RJD2 to campus, along with the Denver-based hip-hop band The Flobots, who signed this spring with the Universal Republic recording label, which also represents The Who, John Mellencamp, Jack Johnson and Amy Winehouse.

The Flobots album Fight With Tools was released nationally May 20.

The Kinetix will also join the lineup, along with popular DU student bands Ubuntu and The Foot. With the exception of RJD2, all of the bands have DU connections.

In addition to the student bands, all five members of the Kinetix attended the Lamont School of Music, and four are graduates. They’re touring the country with two albums in tow as they work to secure national representation, with their own brand of funk-inspired rock and roll, catchy hooks and a highly charged stage presence.

“All of us have grown up really, really loving to play. That’s the nature of our band,” says Kinetix guitarist Jordan Linit. “What we really love to do is get out in front of people. We really love to be on the road.”

That’s meant plenty of time away from Denver. Catching the band in town is becoming rare. The group has one more major local show May 23 at the Bluebird (3317 E. Colfax Ave.) before getting down to the business of connecting with a label over the summer. Catching them on campus or at the Bluebird is one of the few chances to see them together until the fall, Linit says.

Coming back to campus, Linit says, is something the band likes to do and it brings back good memories. The group’s first major gig was at DU’s annual “Mustache Bash” party. But as the members grow older, the first wave of DU fans they knew is graduating.

“We’re really looking forward to playing for the DU crowd again,” Linit says. “We really want to keep up with the students, let them get to know us and keep that going. These May Days will be a great warm up for our Bluebird show, and it will help spread the word here at DU, where we really got started.”

Kinetix bass player Jordan Fairman graduated from Lamont in 2006. Drummer Jack Gargan and keyboardist Eric Blumenfeld earned their degrees in 2007, while guitarist Adam Lufkin has taken time off from working on his degree to tour and record.

Meanwhile Denver’s Flobots has a DU connection. Viola player — yes, a hip-hop band with a viola player — Mackenzie Roberts attended Lamont, and Linit says he and Roberts shared classes. Roberts and the Flobots made their national television debut May 20 on NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly.

The May Days Music Festival kicks off at 3 p.m. on the Driscoll Lawn. Admission is free.

The Foot opens the show, followed by Ubuntu at 4 p.m., The Kinetix at 5:45, the Flobots at 7 p.m. and RJD2 at 8:45.

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