Kurt Vile & Violators Took Advantage of the Mission

Kurt Vile & Violators Took Advantage of the Mission

November 9, 2019 Off By Billy Thieme

Story & photos by Billy Thieme

It didn’t hurt to have Dinosaur Jr there to soften up a hungry audience, either.

Kurt Vile at the Mission Ballroom in Denver.
Kurt Vile looks down upon you.

Kurt Vile and J Mascis have a lot in common. Besides being from the same areas of town in Massachusetts, they both seem to share a similar, early ’90s slacker vibe. One that’s catchy in the way your fave flannel shirt and knit cap are, no matter what the weather.

At the Mission Ballroom last Wednesday, they both showed off their scintillatingly slacking chops, showcasing wicked guitar mastery and music writing no one else comes close to, behind stage personalities that are more than happy to give way to them.

J and the boys started the night with what might even be a rote set for them, though the crowd lapped up every second like thirsty mongrel fans, and begged for more. As loud as they got, the Mission proved it was designed to handle it all – and then some – sounding pretty much perfect at every corner, and at all altitudes.

When Kurt and company took to the stage, it was more of the same – only it felt a tad younger. Playing for a solid 90 minutes – including a two-song, unforgettable encore featuring the epic “Freak Train” – the five-piece Violators owned Denver for a night. As they always do, and as they always will.

Setlist: Kurt Vile and The Violators, Mission Ballroom, November 6, 2019

  1. Loading Zones
  2. Jesus Fever
  3. Bassackwards
  4. I’m an Outlaw
  5. Check Baby
  6. Girl Called Alex
  7. Cold Was the Wind
  8. Blackberry Song(Kurt solo)
  9. Heart Attack(Kurt solo)
  10. Yeah Bones
  11. Wakin on a Pretty Day
  12. Puppet to the Man
  13. Wild Imagination
  14. Pretty Pimpin
  15. Freak Train


  • Billy Thieme

    Aging punk rocker with a deep of all things musical and artistic, enough to remain constantly young and perpetually mystified. Billy has journalistic dreams, but of a decidedly pastoral, Scottish nature.