Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Dog Party, Pity Party - Live in Denver (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Bad Cop / Bad Cop, Dog Party, Pity Party

Live in Denver (2019)

live show

Bad Cop/Bad Cop is one of my favorite bands in the scene right now, and I picked their 2017 album Warriors as my top album on my 2017 top 20 albums list. Between their gorgeous three-part harmonies backing punk guitars and their powerfully feminist lyrics, I don’t know what there is to not like about this band. And, personally, I’m always in the market for some awesome new all-female bands. So I was extremely excited when I heard that Bad Cop/Bad Cop was not only finally coming back to Denver, but that they were playing a very small and intimate venue, the Lost Lake Lounge.

The first band up was called Pity Party, and I have to admit that I didn’t get to see much of them. Besides arriving part way through their set (I didn’t think they would start playing as early as they did), my credit card was declined at the bar for no logical reason and I had to step outside to yell at my bank. What little I saw of them was very strong, though, and the audience really seemed to respond to them positively.

Dog Party was up next, which is a band that I always liked but never really loved all that much. For those who don’t know, Dog Party is a two person band made up of two sisters, Gwendolyn on guitars and Lucy on drums, with both sisters switching off on lead vocals. While Dog Party hasn’t impressed me that much on their albums, their live show was infinitely better, with both band members showing a great enthusiasm and energy, and, really, I think that how good of a band you are in a live setting is a much greater measure of how good a band you are overall than how good you are in the studio. Dog Party was a band I will definitely give another chance to, and I would love to see them again.

Next up came Bad Cop/Bad Cop who, bizarrely, walked out on stage to “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song).” Before the band started playing, all four members huddled around the drums and put their hands in a circle as if they were giving each other a motivational speech before the show. After they yelled something and threw their hands up, it was time for one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen. Personally, I’m a much bigger fan of the band’s second LP, Warriors, than their first album, Not Sorry, and so I was happy to see that their setlist heavily favored Warriors, playing almost every song off the 2017 album.

The band didn’t always play the songs the way they appeared on the album, often speeding up the tempo, and yet still their precision between the members was impeccable. The band splits lead singing duties between both guitarists, Stacey Dee and Jennie Cotterill, and their bassist, Linh Le. The three singers couldn’t look more different, with Stacey Dee looking the most femme with her bright blondie hair, Jennie Cotterill rocking the geek chic with a striped sweater, and Linh Le looking like the butchest member of the band with her Suicidal Tendencies shirt with the sleeves cut out. Yet, despite looking so different, the three singers were clearly a unified team, and with so many three part harmonies in the music there never felt like a single song that wasn’t a group effort.

Le was probably the most outspoken member of the band, even going so far as to introduce one song by dedicating it to survivors of abuse and assault and giving a great speech about believing victims. Stacey Dee, on the other hand, tried to introduce one song by saying that it was about the band’s philosophy that “Happiness is a choice you make.” I immediately cringed because that phrase is commonly used by people to make abelist statements about depression that deny the fact that people who suffer from clinical depression can’t always make that choice, at least not easily. To be fair, Dee did go on to clarify that she was talking about a method of healing that worked for her and that may not work for everyone else in the same situation, and I appreciate that. Still, I would personally avoid the phrase “happiness is a choice” in all contexts, even with a mitigating explanation, because it does start from a very problematic place. Still, this wasn’t nearly enough to spoil my enjoyment of the rest of the show.

The band closed out the show on “Womanarchist,” a perfect closer to a near perfect set. Stacey Dee warned the crowd that there would be no encore, saying “We’re not good at encores.” I appreciated them being honest instead of following concert tradition. After the show, Le insisted that the crowd stay where they were so the band could take a group photo with the crowd behind them which, judging from the band’s Facebook page, is something the band likes to do often. Overall, Bad Cop/Bad Cop give one of the most exhilarating live shows I have ever seen, with a whole band who was so in sync with each other that it created a powerful energy through the whole show. It helped that they did a great job of choosing opening acts, making the whole show a true joy from beginning to end. Bad Cop/Bad Cop is quickly making themselves into one of the most up and coming acts in punk today, and, after seeing them live, I can tell you that their success is well deserved.