Denver, CO – Jelly Roll is a force to be reckoned with. His music speaks to the broken, the healed, the sinners, and the saints. His music touches you on a level very few have ever been able to reach before. Every song digs deep into your very essence and cuts like a knife. These ballads bring such raw emotion to the forefront of your cerebral cortex and leave you shaking. His music lets you know that you aren’t alone in whatever you are going through.
Jelly Roll filled the auditorium with die hard loyal fans that came for the show of the year. This show was the first time he had been to Colorado since he shared the stage at Red Rocks on October 19th, 2019, with the likes of Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, and Rittz. Denver was ready to have him back and they showed up in droves.
The Fillmore Auditorium has been a staple of Denver concerts for as far back as we can remember. Built in 1905 and completed in 1907, the building has been a staple of Denver for over 100 years. It has gone by many names, but for our generation, it’s always been the Fillmore. Found on the corner of Clarkson and Colfax, it’s been a very popular venue for larger musicians to perform. With a capacity of 3,700 people, it’s a large venue for Colorado. Even though it’s a large venue, not many bands can boast that they sold out the Fillmore. Those who can, have done so with the aid of mass promotions and a huge name in the industry. That was until now.
As we stood in line, Fall could be felt in the air. Strong gusts of wind with a bite to it. We watched the line grow to proportions rarely seen. By the time they started letting people in the door, the line had wrapped around the block and made it all the way back again. Jelly Roll had done it again. He sold out the Fillmore in a matter of days after tickets went on sale months before. A week before the show, the Fillmore released another 100 VIP tickets. That’s makes the total 3,800 attendees for an artist that is independent. No record label, no PR, nothing.
Doors opened at 7pm and the show was scheduled to start at 8pm. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. It took so long to get everyone into the venue that the show didn’t even kick off until 8:50pm. The venue was a madhouse of energy and excitement. Everyone in attendance was ready to get the party started.
First up on stage was Still Matthews. His band came out to a crowd chanting “Matthews”. Still Matthews started of his set with “Crossroads”, “12 Steps”, and “Runaway”. Still Matthews is probably best known for his song “Overdose” with Jelly Roll, but his sound is what really draws people in to listen to him. His sound is something you don’t hear every day. He has the country twang mixed with hip hop vocals. His stage presence is very commanding and the energy he brings with him is all consuming. Still Matthews ended his set with “Overdose” and the crowd went wild.
James Garcia came up next. Known as Young Wicked or Otis from Axe Murder Boys to Denver locals that have been in the music scene for a long time, James is a very talented artist that shows just how good he is every time he steps on stage. He blasted onto the stage with rapid fire lyrics and a fury of energy. He preformed numerous songs from his new album “Activated“. At the end of his set, he brought his mother and father out on stage to say thank you for everything they had done to support his passion over the years.
By the time Jelly Roll came out on stage, the crowd had reached a fever pitch of excitement. Jelly came out swinging for the fences with “Hate Goes On”, “Only”, and “Creature” for the first three songs. Then he jumped into a couple of new songs, “Sober” and “Son of a Sinner” from his latest album “Ballads of the Broken”, released on September 21st, 2021. Jelly Roll paused for a moment to express this to his audience: “This is not just a concert, it’s not just a party…this is therapy. It’s healing. We’re healing together after all we’ve gone through in this past year”. The crowd cheered in agreement. This tour is part of our nation’s revival and a return to a new normal.
In the middle of “Wheels Fall Off”, there was a commotion in the crowd. From the stage, Jelly stopped singing and asked, “Is that a ring?” Sure enough, there was a man proposing to his girlfriend in the crowd. Jelly then said “Well I fucked that up. I guess you better get up here and do it right.” Security brought them both on stage and the proposal went off perfectly. She said YES! Jelly Roll then hollered into the crowd telling the bartenders to open a tab for the couple in his name to celebrate.
The connection with his fans doesn’t go unnoticed. Jelly Roll brings fans on stage with him, he lets kids come up and sing parts of his songs, he even told the photographers that we didn’t have to leave after three songs. He looked directly at us and told us that we were more than welcome to stay and shoot to our hearts content. He doesn’t see himself as more important than anyone else and he values his fans and wants their experiences to be memorable at his shows. The reason Jelly has such a huge following is because he sings about things that people relate to and part of that is his stage presence.
The middle of Jelly’s set consisted of gems like “Same Asshole”, “Smoking Section”, “Can’t You See” (cover), “Cowboys”, and “Fall in the Fall”. He then went into a concoction of Marylin Manson’s “Sweet Dreams” and fading into Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”. Jelly Roll then took a break and brought his wife Bunnie out on stage. The way Jelly looks at his wife is something to behold. The mutual love and respect this power couple has for each other is obvious to anyone who sees them together. He announced to their fans that he was so proud of his wife Bunnie for getting her real estate license. Bunnie is not always able to be present at every live show, so this was a special treat for their Colorado fans.
Jelly Roll closed the night with thanking his fans for making one of his dreams come true. With no record label and entirely independent, his single “Save Me” from his “Self Medicated” album released in 2020 went gold! It is his first certified RIAA gold record. This track is so popular with his fans that the whole auditorium belted out the lyrics with him while holding up their lit up phones. Jelly Roll went on to say “You know why this happened for me ya’ll? Because you posted on your Facebook. You posted it on your Instagram or your Snapchat, your Tik Tok. You picked up your phone and called somebody and said ‘You gotta listen to this fucking song!’ Because of ya’ll this song has been streamed over 150 million times. And the way you all were singing it, I bet 10 million of’ ‘em was this crowd fucking right here! You all took an ex-convict, fat, white piece of fucking shit and made him one of the biggest independent artists on planet Earth. I could never, ever, thank you enough for changing not only my life but my wife’s life and my daughter’s life and my son’s life…”. The crowd sang loud and proud for the man that touches their souls like none other.
On September 21st, Jelly Roll shared a video with his fans of the emotional moment when he was personally invited to debut at the Grand Ole Opry which has played host to literally hundreds of the most iconic celebrities in country music. Jelly Roll will be living out a lifelong dream at the historic auditorium on November 9, 2021.
PHOTO GALLERYWebsite | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Show Date: October 9, 2021