Thanksgiving. A holiday full of food, football, family fights about politics and awkward run-ins with high-school exes. It's a wonderful American tradition. But this year, instead of waiting until midday Thursday to bond and drink and eventually argue with your relatives, take your great aunt, step-uncle and second cousin to one of these shows this Blackout Wednesday. They are all pretty odd, entertaining, and definitely not designed for family fun, which makes them the perfect start to a holiday that, let's face it, usually ends up being a bit of a shitshow anyway.
See also: The Best Concerts in Denver This Week5. Shaggy
Shaggy is famous for that oh-so-wonderful jam about getting caught cheating, "It Wasn't Me." But it turns out he's written other songs, too, which he will sing at Cervantes'. It will be a great opportunity to test your family's late-'90s hip-hop knowledge and awkwardly discuss the perils of infidelity.4. Pizza UndergroundMarquis Theater
Pizza Underground is the band fronted by Macaulay Culkin that sings Velvet Underground covers and replaces random words with "pizza." It started as a bad joke, and is now, for some unexplainable reason, a national tour. Take the whole family, debate your favorite Velvet Underground songs, explain Internet jokes and irony to your grandma, and take a shot every time someone in your group finds a way to quoteHome Alone
.3. Thunder The Radar Larimer Lounge
This show is a great chance to show your out-of-town relatives one of the great small venues in Denver and some of the local music this Mile High City has to offer. Thunder The Radar (pun alert!) is out of Wheat Ridge and plays "music that draws from gypsy, flamenco, jazz, and rock" which is an intriguing combination. Pass the time by asking your grandpa which old-timey jazz artists are his favorite, and see if you can get your aunt drunk enough to flamenco dance with you.2. Chris CagleGrizzly Rose
Maybe it's because I'm from Texas, where we do things a little differently, but it's honestly not the holidays until your entire extended family ends up at a honky-tonk, line-dancing and downing whiskey shots. Thankfully you don't have to go down to the Lone Star State, but just to the Grizzly Rose to enjoy some cheesy country music and choreographed dances. This is the perfect chance to figure out which of your cousins is a closet country-music fan and see if you can get your tipsy uncle to talk in a Southern drawl or start a good old-fashioned bar brawl.1. Guantanamo Baywatch Hi-Dive
Getting drunk and going to see Guantanamo Baywatch at the hi-dive with friends sounds like a lovely weekend night. Going on a Wednesday night, sober, with your stuffy relatives sounds uncomfortable. But not too uncomfortable that you shouldn't do it anyway for the laughs. Order a round of PBR tall-boys for the family, make everyone mosh, and see which of your corporate lawyer cousins actually has a raucous punk buried inside him.
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