The five best concerts in Denver this weekend
Although the lineup for this show would otherwise be considered pretty great, with Havok, Speedwolf, the Limbs and Lola Black, the reason everybody will be heading down to the Gothic Theatre tonight is to celebrate the life of Chris Haney, a dearly departed friend to so many. The Gothic will be brimming with those who loved this devout metal head who had a heart of gold. There's cover, but donations are being accepted and will go directly to benefit Haney's beloved daughter Lydia.
Seris plays technical metal without trying to splice in another genre of music willy nilly. Melati Olivia is the kind of singer that isn't just strong but versatile. The rhythm section of Robert Jepsen and Cody Goodman pound out rhythms in precise sequence, adding in accents and flows with the melody while also driving the music. Scott Beckman's guitar work has that crunchy, start and stop pounding but on the edges he is able to transition to tripped out atmospherics worthy of early Pink Floyd or Voivod. The band's latest album, Rises, explores classic prog metal with a rare fluidity and grace.
Hailed as the world's premier banjo player, Bela Fleck can pretty much play anything. Sure, he's known for leading his fusion-based band the Flecktones, which have been around for 25 years, but the guy is deft at bluegrass, country, jazz, world, folk and even classical. Tonight the multi-Grammy winner is joined by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra for the Colorado premiere of Fleck's Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra and and the world premiere of his symphonic piece for banjo and orchestra, The Landing.
Close friend of fellow San Francisco legend Mac Dre, the two shared a love of cocaine and a similar rapping style, full of that bubbly personality the Bay Area is known for. Nickatina never found too much commercial success and is probably best remembered for the incessantly catchy "Ayo for Yayo," but he is a well-rounded and prolific MC who has been working the underground for years.
Maybe "New American Weird" just means that you play constantly evolving music rooted in folk and take it to interesting, cosmic places without consciously trying to go psychedelic. If that's the case, then Devendra Banhart is exactly that. Never fitting easily into any genre straitjacket, his catalogue can easily confound, because Banhart doesn't play it safe when it comes to songwriting, instrumentation or singing style. Early in his career, he came to the attention of Michael Gira, who put out Oh Me Oh My on the Young God imprint in 2002. Banhart has since proved a prolific songwriter and collaborator who has worked with Beck and Antony and the Johnsons. His latest album, 2013's Mala, is arguably his most fully realized work to date; on it, he sounds a bit like Harry Nilsson filtered through psych-bossa nova lounge.
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