Whether you’re a fan of Brock Lobster and the Donkeys, stumping for Peyton's rights, or are one of the 100,986 new transplants with loyalties elsewhere, the football playoffs are here. In case you haven’t noticed, Denver has a passion for football, especially the blue and orange. But Denver isn’t just about sports; it’s also about music, and the lines often blur between jocks and punks. The two are often intertwined, like when hometown heroes Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats sang the national anthem at Mile High Stadium. If you want to explore Denver’s music scene while also cheering on the Broncos (or, God forbid, the Patriots), there is no shortage of places to do so.
Here are five local concert venues where you can also go grab a drink and watch some playoff action. Full disclaimer: While only some of us at Westword Music are football fans, we’re all music fans. So if you visit one of these spots to catch the game, you owe it to your city (and us) to catch a show, too.
Tacocat at the hi-dive.
The hi-dive is the rowdiest dive on South Broadway. But when local punks aren’t moshing and spraying beer, you can find a seat at the bar and watch Demarious Thomas make a few touchdowns. The bar is unpretentious, the patrons are friendly, and the post-game shows are loud and fun.
Krampus Naught at the Oriental Theater.
2. Oriental Theater
One of the bigger independent venues in town also boasts a giant Broncos game screening every Sunday. With food, fans and free shots after every touchdown, the Oriental Theater turns the game into a party. The Oriental also hosts weekly concerts, comedy shows and book releases, so you can watch the game and then watch a fantastic local comedian or band.
Strawberry Runners at the Larimer Lounge.
3. Larimer Lounge
While the Larimer Lounge is known more for intimate shows and a great back patio for drinking, you can also catch your favorite team before the shows start. Stop by for happy hour, catch a little football, then finish up the night with a buzzed-about touring band or one that also calls Denver home.
Dam Funk at Lost Lake Lounge.
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4. Lost Lake Lounge
The Lost Lake Lounge isn’t the dingy dive it used to be, but it’s still a great bar with quaint charm. The bar feels classy (but the prices aren’t) and there are TVs so you can watch your team with fellow football fans. The venue hosts shows nearly every night, so you can walk just a few feet from the bar and be in perfect view of the stage to hear some wonderful bands.
5. Walnut Room
The Walnut Room has it all: food, drinks, football and music. The venue is separate from the bar, so you can sit and cheer on your boys, then step through the doors into the gorgeous intimate venue. If you’re looking for somewhere to have a classy dinner while watching the big game and then catch a classy show, look no further than the Walnut Room.