As a member of the LGBTQ community, Alex Wirth has felt fortunate that, for the most part, he’s been treated fairly and has been able to express himself in a way that feels true. But he knows many people who came before him didn’t have it quite as easy, and he wants his younger brothers to feel safe expressing themselves.
That’s why Pride Month is important to the Boulder-based songwriter — honoring those who came before him and ensuring a brighter future for the next generation.
“We are basically celebrating and highlighting that our society isn’t just straight, cisgender people who fall into this Disney fantasy world where it’s only ever men and women,” Wirth says. “That’s changing in the media, thank god, but it’s just been like that for so long.”
Wirth is one of three LGBTQ musicians performing at Pride Live at the Roots Music Project warehouse on June 11. Roots Music Project is a non-profit local music incubator based in Boulder that works to help musicians hone their talents.
The show will feature Wirth, along with singer/songwriters Jeremy Dion and Nicki Sage. The three will perform in a “songwriter in the round” fashion, in which each artist performs a few songs and then passes the microphone to the next person and so on.
“It keeps the variety in the show as opposed to just having a big block of you are going to see all of what this person has to offer right now,” he says. “Instead, we are going to hear a little bit from you and then we are going to hear a little bit from the next person.”
He adds that he has gotten positive feedback from crowds who like the manner of performance. It keeps them engaged in the show. If they really like one performer, the anticipation of that performer returning to play more songs is exciting.
“It’s almost like Reese’s peanut butter cups,” Wirth says. “They come in packs of two, so it’s like that first one tastes so good, and it’s really good because you know there is another one waiting for you.”
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Wirth says the three musicians play music that is similar but offers enough variety to make them all distinct from one another. (There will also be a couple of opening acts that were still being set up as of June 1.)
“I’m doing a fully acoustic singer-songwriter format,” he says. “Stylistically, it does have a folk feel but maybe it also has a bit of pop, a bit of funk feel to it. And there’s this indie-rock vibe I’m moving toward, because I’m going to start practicing with a band.”
Wirth adds that Sage plays more straight pop music and has released well-produced music that sounds like top 40 hits but plays them acoustically in a live setting.
“I really enjoy that,” Wirth says. “I’m able to connect with the one voice and guitar more. … It’s just a really easily digestible format for her songs, but her produced stuff online is also amazing.”
He says Dion plays catchy, fun songs with more of an Americana vibe than the other two artists.
“There is this kind of pop-folk thread that brings us all together,” he says. “I put the show together to make sure that all the performers are all from the LGBTQ community. That’s another thing that brings us together.”
The show also serves as a fundraiser for Out Boulder County, a Boulder-based non-profit whose stated mission is to “facilitate connection, advocacy, education, research and programs to ensure LGBTQ+ people and communities thrive in Boulder County and beyond,” according to its website.
Wirth says he finds the organization amazing because it works year-round and doesn’t just pop up during Pride Month, and it works hard to undo some of the damage brought by a culture that for so long has demonized LGBTQ people.
“They’re always providing support for youth, creating events for youth to get involved and talk about sexuality, or not even talk about sexuality,” he says. “Just be in a safe space for whoever wants to be here.”
Wirth hopes that a lot of people turn out for the event. It will help raise funds for Out Boulder. Pride events like the concert at the Roots Music Project warehouse also help shine a spotlight on LGBTQ artists. That said, he hopes everyone just has a good time, too.
“I like playing music,” Wirth says. “I like playing music with other people who enjoy playing music and sharing with people who enjoy listening to music.”
The show happens on June 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Roots Music Project warehouse, 4747 Pearl, Suite V3A in Boulder. Tickets are $12 and available online.