Critic's Choice

Decent national concerts in Colorado scheduled the week after New Year's Eve are about as common as politicians who aren't interested in personal gain, thereby making skiing a better bet. Fortunately, those with a taste for white powder (not that white powder) have an opportunity to double their pleasure with a first-rate triple bill on Friday, January 2, at Vail's Dobson Ice Arena. Headlining is Blackalicious (above), whose 2002 release Blazing Arrow provides gallons of hip-hop enjoyment with a bracing funk chaser. Next up is the Pharcyde, a collection of old-school freaks who've learned through steady touring how to transfer their studio energy to the stage, making them a real rap rarity. And opening is Lyrics Born, a DJ Shadow cohort whose smart rhymes won't cause you to lose consciousness in either sense of the word. Taken as a whole, it's an extremely solid lineup, custom-made for those who don't want their day on the slopes to end by heading downhill.

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