The best concerts to see in Denver this weekend
Colorado Rising is a fitting name for this benefit show. Aside from its obvious meaning, the title could also describe the homegrown acts on the bill, each of which has helped raise the profile of music being made in our state considerably. While many of these bands (the Fray, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, members of the Lumineers, DeVotchKa and Nathaniel Rateliff) have shared bills before, this is the first time that all of them are scheduled to perform on the same stage on the same night. Perennial Colorado favorite Dave Matthews is also on the lineup for this concert, which is being co-promoted by AEG and Live Nation, with all proceeds going directly to benefit flood victims.
Walk the Moon, a Cincinnati-based outfit founded in 2008 by a pair of friends while they were still in college, released its debut, i want! i want!, in 2010. With a propulsive rhythm and pace shrouded by hazy melodies and Nicholas Petricca's expressive vocals, the act's music resembles the synth-pop of bands like Passion Pit without the R&B elements, or MGMT without the psychedelic flourishes and grit. "Anna Sun," which appeared in commercials and the television series The Vampire Diaries, became a left-field hit -- and while the group's self-titled 2012 release includes some earlier songs, this year's Tightrope EP proves that Walk the Moon's early promise was far from a fluke.
This band from Perth, Australia, started life as the Dee Dee Dums before lineup changes and an evolving sound resulted in a change of name in 2007. These guys always get called "psychedelic," and that's fitting enough -- if by that word you mean music that stretches out conventional song structures and warps melodies in interesting ways. Even a cursory listen to 2010's Innerspeaker reveals a group that's clearly influenced by the perfect harmonies of the Beatles and '60s garage psych, with a backbone of strong songwriting. But Tame Impala didn't stop where a lot of modern bands seem to, and its music enters that same uplifting, dreamlike space occupied by acts such as Black Moth Super Rainbow and prog weirdos like Super Furry Animals. Tame Impala is also at the Ogden Theatre on Sunday, October 27.
Big K.R.I.T. has been making music since 2005, but the mixtape that brought him to a wide audience was 2010's K.R.I.T. Wuz Here. The self-produced tape overflows with old-school soul, wisdom and the finest rapping to come out of Mississippi since...well, ever. But instead of immediately capitalizing on his newfound heat with a studio album, which he certainly could have done, K.R.I.T. kept putting out dope mixtape after dope mixtape. By the time he finally did release his studio debut, Live From the Underground, he'd already put out so much great music that the album sounded no better (and maybe even a little worse) than its predecessors. To K.R.I.T.'s credit, the album's not bad at all; it's just that the mixtapes are really, really good.
As members of Vetiver, Daniel Hindman and Sarah Versprille explored the gauzy textures of Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac (occasionally recalling the hazy mysticism of the Peter Green era, too). As Pure Bathing Culture, the duo fast-forwards the Mac dial to Tango in the Night o'clock. No, really: "Pendulum," which opens their full-length debut, Moon Tides, is the best "Little Lies" update Sirius XMU-core has offered up yet. It's pure glide, with steady clap-beats clicking under Hindman's phased electric guitar and Versprille's Stevie Nicks-spins-Hounds of Love vocals. The reference points don't detract from the swooning ambiance of the album, but rather suggest familiar joys, adding to the sense that you've heard perfect tracks like the pulsing "Dream the Dare" and '90s R&B-evoking "Scotty" before.
The idea of a two-person, retro-roots combo is about as played out as Stooges T-shirts at American Outfitters. There are only a couple of ways to convincingly pull off such a project in the age of the White Stripes and the Black Keys: Do it over the top and larger than life, or do it fucking weird. Oklahoma's Hosty Duo, comprising guitarist Michael Hosty and a drummer known as only as Tic Tac, opt for the latter, but don't think that its bluesy rock is just for giggles. With tunes that range from knee-slapping to gut-wrenching, Hosty reveals himself as a singer/songwriter of vast emotional and melodic depth. Hosty's garage-incubated, slide-drenched sound may be nothing novel, but his Duo's quirky and oddly compelling take on pared-down Americana definitely is. Fellow Oklahoman Brian Haas, keyboardist and leader of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, teams up with jazz drummer Scott Amendola to open the show.
From the first mind-blowing track, in which both MCs deliver lengthy, rambling but completely different verses at the same time -- Lyrics Born sounding like a scientist speaking way too fast, and Lateef the Truthspeaker sounding a little like a psychotic voice from inside your head -- it is clear that Latyrx's plainly named The Album is not going to be like most others. Each song is an abstract adventure in itself, making for one of the most diverse and advanced fourteen tracks you'll find. The only knock you can really wage against Latyrx is that in their fifteen-year lifespan, they've only released one album, but that's set to change in November, when The Second Album comes out.
Five Finger Death Punch formed in 2005, when Zoltan Bathory and Jeremy Spencer started putting together their next band. Ivan Moody, a singer who'd moved out to L.A. without knowing a soul and had been sleeping in his rehearsal space, heard the nascent project's demos and ended up joining the band. Originally from the Denver area, Moody proved to be a charismatic and cathartic frontman, and the band has since gone on to become one of the most popular bands in modern hard rock and metal.
Guitarist/singer Coco Montoya started off as a rock drummer. Albert Collins walked into the club where Montoya was working, and the club owner let him use Montoya's drum set -- without asking him. Montoya blew a gasket, and Collins ended up calling to apologize. Collins phoned a few months later, this time with an invitation to tour. Montoya agreed, and the two spent the next five years on the road together, during which time Collins taught Montoya the guitar -- which is kind of like the Pope teaching you how to pray. He later left Collins's band and eventually got a job as a pickup man for the Bluesbreakers, filling Eric Clapton's old chair. Montoya didn't go solo until the mid-'90s, with Gotta Mind to Travel.
SATURDAY | RUBBLEBUCKET at LARIMER LOUNGE | 10/26/13
Rubblebucket frontwoman Kalmia Traver and bandleader/trumpeter Alex Toth first met in Vermont and moved to Boston to join the reggae act John Brown's Body. There, they enlisted fifteen of their friends to form Rubblebucket. Nowadays, the crew has become more "manageable" at a mere seven members based out of Brooklyn.
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