Gasoline Lollipops's frontman will be returning to one of his old Longmont haunts next week.
Frontman Clay Rose will play a rare intimate show with drummer Adam Perry and Dragondeer guitarist Cole Rudy on Nov. 4 at Oskar Blues in Longmont. It’s Rose’s first return to the venue since the pandemic.
Gasoline Lollipops started as a Colorado-based duo in 2006 as a “cow-punk band,” as Rose described it. He explained that Oskar Blues is one of the venues where Gasoline Lollipops performed for many years, regularly playing there before the band started playing theaters.
The band had gone through several iterations by the time Rose got sober in 2015, which is also when they started taking off.
“Once I got sober I guess that was the missing link there between me and progression,” he said. “Within a year of getting sober we went from playing Oskar’s and Waterloo to playing Red Rocks and touring Europe.”
Describing the show as a homecoming, Rose said the return to the Longmont spot is about what was lost during the pandemic and what he missed most about performing.
“I missed playing small intimate rooms where you could make eye contact with everyone in the room before the night was over,” he said. “It’s easier to feel like it's a community event rather than a spectacle with a rock band on stage, being lit up with lights and amplified, five feet above everybody’s head, and you got a security pit between you and the crowd. It’s a lot harder to connect on an intimate level in that setting.”
Since returning to performances, Rose said the pandemic has changed some aspects of live music. There’s more uncertainty if everyone will be able to play a gig on any given night, since they might get COVID, and crowd expectations in general are smaller, he said.
Despite the lull in live music, the Gasoline Lollipops are back in the full swing of things with performances at the Boulder Theater and Aggie Theater earlier this month. Rose explained that they’ve colored their calendar intentionally with small intimate gigs like the one at Oskar Blues.
“My ambition needs the ladder to climb, but my heart really just really needs a guitar and 50 people,” he said.
Gasoline Lollipops are also planning a big New Year’s Eve show in Nederland this year at the Caribou Room, which Rose said has some of the best sound in all of Colorado. The band will be accompanied by Rolling Harvest, a local Bob Dylan and Neil Young tribute band.
“It’s a big family vibe up there, and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said.
Anyone who decides to come out and see Gasoline Lollipops should expect to dance a lot, Rose added, and to meet a lot of “really awesome” people. He has found that the audiences at his band’s shows to be more laid back and less rowdy than many of the concerts he attends.
“A lot of people call it church. I consider it my church as well, just because it’s the only place I know to exorcize the demons, being stress and fatigue and overwhelming depression and all of that,” he said. “So I bring that out to the show and I filter it through a microphone and by the end I feel a lot lighter, and I think everybody else does too.”
Rose added that he has a monthly residency at the Boulder Roots Music Project, where he hosts a monthly Singer-Songwriter Showcase featuring a revered Colorado songwriter. On Thursday, his guest will be Danny Shafer, who booked Rose’s first gig and several other young musicians' first gigs in Colorado.
Editor's note: This article and its headline has been updated to clarify that only the frontman of Gasoline Lollipops will be performing at Oskar Blues.