Five best concerts this week: September 17-21
DeVotchKa performs with the Colorado Symphony this Thursday, September 21 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Welcome to another splendid week of music in the Mile High City. As usual, there are plenty of shows to choose from this week, from Kreator and Accept at the Gothic to DeVotchKa and the Airborne Toxic Event at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony, and we've got them all listed in our comprehensive concert calendar. Keep reading to see which five shows we think are the most worthy of your time this week.
See also: - Amanda Palmer on being criticized for enlisting fans to perform, paying them in beers - DeVotchKa's Nick Urata on the band's cinematic approach to songwriting - The members of DeVotchKa found success by following their own muse - Q&A with Frank Turner
5. KREATOR @ GOTHIC THEATRE | TUES, 9/18/12 Formed in 1982, Kreator (due at the Gothic this Tuesday with Accept) quickly became one of the pioneers of thrash in Germany alongside Sodom and Destruction. The band's breakneck pace, precision and distorted vocals proved important to the development of death metal, a sound Kreator pursued in the '90s. Mille Petrozza mastered the art of the rapid melodic break amid blindingly swift and savage guitar riffing early on in the band's career. When Kreator returned to its thrash roots around the turn of the century, this signature sound found its rightful place in the music again. Featured as an influential band in the Get Thrashed documentary, Kreator -- like thrash in general -- has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years. The group's latest record, 2012's Phantom Antichrist, is more melodic than some fans might like, but the live band has aged well.
4. P.O.D./UPROAR FEST @ COMFORT DENTAL | TUES, 9/18/12 While the great majority of P.O.D.'s contemporaries in the ill-conceived nu-metal/rap-rock movement of the mid to late '90s -- chagrin-inducing outfits like Limp Bizkit, a skeleton in oh-so-many closets -- have become fossilized relics, P.O.D. has outlasted them all. And while it hasn't thrived, necessarily, the San Diego-based act has certainly endured. This is largely thanks to the fact that, much like it did for kindred acts Rage Against the Machine and Downset, the fusion of metal and hip-hop always seemed organic rather than contrived for P.O.D. (due at this Uproar Festival date with Staind, Godsmack, Shinedown and more). What's more, the quartet wisely eschewed the hedonism that fueled a lot of that era's music; as a result, P.O.D.'s songs have always displayed a depth and earnestness that evaded those other bands, who seemed capable of conveying only anger or lust.
3. AMANDA PALMER @ GOTHIC THEATRE | FRI, 9/21/12 Amanda Palmer came to prominence in the early 2000s as one half of the Dresden Dolls. While that band was embraced by goths, its aesthetic was, as Palmer has hinted, more in line with the conceptual musical theater embodied by the work of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. In May of this year, Palmer started a Kickstarter campaign with the road of raising $100,000 for her next record, an initiative that was enormously successful and resulted in Palmer's becoming the first musician to raise more than $1 million through crowd-funding. Ahead of her current tour with her new band, the Grand Theft Orchestra, Palmer put out a call to fans from around the country to play horns and strings at each date. With such fan interaction and involvement, Palmer has definitely raised the bar on the idea of giving back to your audience.
2. FRANK TURNER @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | TUES, 9/18/12 There is a long tradition of ex-punk rockers trading in their power chords and electric guitars for the idyllic green pastures of folk music. Frank Turner of Winchester, England made that very leap a few years ago after the breakup of his progressive hardcore band Million Dead, and he hasn't looked back since. Armed only with his voice, an acoustic guitar and a batch of socially conscious and sometimes politically flavored folk rock songs, Turner has garnered a growing legion of fans through his tireless touring schedule.
1. DEVOTCHKA W/ COLORADO SYMPHONY @ RED ROCKS | THUR, 9/20/12 For the bulk of their band's career, the members of DeVotchKa have been viewed as curious outsiders because of their unorthodox instrumentation and their deliberate, unlikely melding of disparate styles. In searching for ways to describe the act's unique, rapturous sound, ambitious music scribes across the country have crafted effusive similes invoking terms such as "exotic" and "worldly" as they link the music to everything from Eastern European folk odes and polka send-ups to gypsy street serenades and mariachi marches.
As worldly as the act may seem, and as valid as some of those effusive similes are, at its core DeVotchKa is a distinctly American band, whose music is emblematic of the diverse cultural fusion this country was built upon. Supported by a talented cast of players, Nick Urata, the offspring of Sicilian immigrants, has taken the strands of his varied influences -- listening to crooners on his dad's hi-fi, taking in classic Westerns with his father when he was a kid in New York, later living on his own on Cicero Avenue in Chicago -- and seamlessly braided them together with the sensibilities of his bandmates into a remarkably cohesive fabric.
Speaking from experience, having seen Colorado's most exotic band once upon a time at Red Rocks on a cool September evening not all that long ago, this will surely be an extraordinary night to remember -- the highlight of the fall, if we may be so bold. And we may, considering that DeVotchKa will be joined at Red Rocks by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and sharing a bill with the Airborne Toxic Event. From the exquisite music to the majestic surroundings, if there's a more gorgeous proposition than this, we certainly haven't heard about it.
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