Wildermiss played a day of micro concerts to break the monotony and their live-show dry spell

The local band played 13 shows on the back of a flatbed trailer.
4 min. read
Wildermiss plays a two-song show for Lucy Kiefer at her home in Virginia Village. May 15, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Update: Wildermiss is offering more pop-up show dates. More info at their website.

Lucy Kiefer is 14 and loves Wildermiss, the local pop-rock quartet. She and her dad, Bruce, went to see them play the Bluebird recently for an album release show. Sharing music is one way her dad like to keeps her close.

So when Kiefer saw on Instagram that the band would come play a show outside her Virginia Village home, she thought to herself: "Oh my God!"

She sent the sign-up form to her dad, who payed for two live songs at $50 apiece. A flatbed trailer, with a drum set and guitar pedals drilled into the wood, pulled up at 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon. The members of Wildermiss jumped out of a following van and quickly set up shop in the street. It was perfect timing. Kiefer was still telecommuting to school, but she was on a break until class resumed at 2:30.

"This is a moment in history right now," singer Emma Cole said at the mic. Then, they shredded.

Wildermiss plays a two-song show for Lucy Kiefer at her home in Virginia Village. May 15, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

One of Kiefer's friends arrived to watch with her. Neighbors appeared on the sidewalk and watched the spectacle.

"That was super-awesome," Kiefer said when her personalized concert ended. It helped break the boredom that's set in with social isolation.

Then, Wildermiss packed up and quickly shuffled the show to their next location. In all, they planned to cover 13 locations around the metro.

Cole said the band thought of the mobile concert idea, but she gave most credit to the band's manager, Nate Meese. It was an occasion to celebrate a new single and to engage their fans in an interesting way, but it was also an effort to keep their livelihood going during the pandemic. They had a summer of tour stops scheduled before COVID-19 changed everything.

"We've had to cancel 30 shows," Meese said. "Everyone's having a really hard time."

Wildermiss frontwoman Emma Cole sings during a two-song show for Lucy Kiefer at her home in Virginia Village. May 15, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Wildermiss' flatbed concert trailer drives across Evans Avenue. May 15, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Most industries that rely on disposable income and public gatherings are bracing for a tough summer, regardless of government restrictions that have begun to ease. Denver has already seen at least one venue close due to the pandemic.

Wildermiss' quick pivot has given fans good reason to pitch in. They've also raised more than $3,000 on a GoFundMe page to make ends meet.

"It's our main income right now," Cole said as she rushed to set up the second act of the day. "This is a really cool, easy way to make up some of that money -- and make it community-oriented and fun."

Their second audience was a yard near Washington Park that was full of kids playing as their parents sat, socially distanced, by the sidewalk.

Kids play at Jessica and Jason Dewees' home as Wildermiss rocks out in the street. May 15, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Yesterday was Jessica Dewees' birthday. Her husband, Jason, wanted to do something special.

Rather than buy his wife "another pair of shoes," he said he liked that this was a unique way to brighten up the neighborhood for a little while. Neither Dewees knew much about Wildermiss, but it seemed like fun. Plus, he said, he was happy to support local artists.

"There's so few things to do that are experiential these days," he said. "It was a wonderful surprise."

When they finished their three-song set, Wildermiss threw in an extra tune for free. They led the neighbors in a round of "Happy Birthday," then packed up to make their next gig.

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