London band Bloc Party took the stage in Denver Jan. 22, a bit road weary and altitude sick but a fearsome force for British indie rock nonetheless. It wouldn’t be accurate to say that the group started off slow, exactly, but they surely weren’t hitting on all cylinders for a half-dozen songs or so. Singer Kele Okereke, a world-class shoe-gazer, began the set with a lover’s croon on slower songs such as “So Here We Are.” There’s much to be said for a gradual build, but one got the sense that had the Ogden Theatre crowd been less loyal, its attention might have begun to wander. But the band soon got warm (“Pioneers”) and then red hot (a near-punk version of “Song for Clay (Disappear Here);” the synthesized squall of “Ares”). The set seemed to reflect Bloc Party’s own mixed feelings over whether it should be an indie act, an electronic collective or a stripped-down garage band. “Half of me wants to take it easy, since we’re a mile high and we’re (not used to it),” Okereke gasped at one point. “But half of me’s like, you know, f--- it. We’ll see which half wins.” We did indeed.
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