The ten best concerts this weekend: Oct. 26-28
DeVotchKa's annual Halloween fiesta is just one of the weekend's ten best concerts.
Welcome to the weekend, amigos! Ah, yes, we finally made it. Is it just us, or has this seemed like the longest week ever? Ah, maybe it's just the weather. Whatever the case, it's in the rearview now, and it's time to blow off some steam. Drinks are on the horizon and there's a full slate of great music to soundtrack the weekend. There's literally a ton of shows (no, really, we weighed them), and we've got them all listed in our concert calendar. If you don't have that kind of time, of course, we've put together our usual rundown of the weekend's best concerts. Keep reading to see what goodness awaits you.
While Reverend Peyton is a big dude with a booming voice, his band really isn't that big in numbers. There's the Rev himself, who plays a mean slide on his resonator guitar; his wife, Washboard Breezy, who scrapes the hell out of a washboard; and Aaron "Cuz" Persinger chugging away on a stripped-down drum kit. You get these three together, though, and they make some big damn music. Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band rips through backwoods Mississippi Delta blues with the fervor and the fury of the Ramones, getting crowds stomping and hollering all over the world.
Even if we didn't tell you who the bands are that are being covered, you can bet, just from taking a looks at the bands that are doing the invoking here (MF Ruckus, Hawk Attack, Skulls, Weaponizer) that this show is going to be stupid amounts of fun. Speaking from experience, there is nothing quite like donning a wig, pulling out the old jean jacket and high tops and celebrating Halloween with a little Monsters of Mock. Lucky for us, the bands being channeled tonight at 3 Kings are all worthy of being channeled (Iron Maiden, ZZ Top, Misfits, Venom). Aw yeah! Rock out with your mock out!
The Motet has become almost as renown for its eagerly anticipated annual tribute sets as it has for the stunning level of its musicianship. In past years, the outfit has expertly channeled Prince, Madonna and the Grateful Dead. As daunting as it would be to take on any of those acts, the Motet fearlessly plays the music of those legends with a vigor that most bands reserve for their own material. This year, fourteen piece ensemble will board the Mothership and masterfully invoke the spirit and funk of Parliment Funkadelic for a pair of shows, tonight at the Ogden Theatre, and this coming Wednesday, October 31 at the Boulder Theater.
Lucas Macfadden, who goes by Cut Chemist, boasts as impressive a resumé as any turntablist in the history of the art; he's been a member of both Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli and has pitted his spinning skills against the likes of DJ Shadow and Shortkut, of Invisibl Skratch Piklz fame. Macfadden's technique is dizzying whether he's getting cosmic on songs like "Metrorail Thru Space," chilling out on "The Garden" or keeping things interesting on cuts like "Spat," an aural pastiche that suggests a Looney Tunes soundtrack updated for the 21st century. Macfadden is a chemistry teacher for the ages. Tonight Cut Chemist shares an absolutely killer bill with Chali 2na, Ugly Duckling, Denver's own Prime Element and the Rap League.
Dark Dark Dark from Minneapolis makes music that draws from folk, jazz, modern classical and pop without showing favor to any of those elements in particular. Although the band's earlier material was largely written by singer/pianist Nona Marie Invie and fellow singer/clarinetist/banjo player Marshall LaCount, Dark Dark Dark is a more collaborative songwriting team these days, as evidenced by the even more fluid interplay of instrumentation on Who Needs Who. There is a lush simplicity to the music, especially on the band's latest release, Who Needs Who.
With her force-of-nature voice, Grace Potter has probably been drawing favorable comparisons to Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin since she could crawl. Before this year, she and her band the Nocturnals had released three albums of blues-rock and retro-soul, with 2010's Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and its sassy single "Ooh La La (Paris)" both becoming modest hits. Add the leggy blond's model-good looks, and Potter has seemed like a pop star in the making for a while. That moment may be at hand on her fourth album, The Lion The Beast The Beat, released this past summer on Hollywood Records. From the opening moments of the title track, a widescreen alt-pop epic à la Florence + the Machine, Lion feels engineered to make Potter a star.
Agnostic Front is a bellwether of New York hardcore. The band's seminal 1984 full-length debut, Victim in Pain, assailed injustice, conformity and society's norms, raging through eleven paeans to alienation in fifteen minutes. Celebrating three decades on this tour, the band has gone through numerous members and weathered myriad ups and downs, including frontman Roger Miret's incarceration in the early '90s on a drug-related charge. Within a year of Miret's release, the group called it quits, only to re-form four years later, in 1996, excising any metal influences and returning to its original high-throttle hardcore attack. Though there's nothing particularly sophisticated about the act's sound, it's consistently delivered with the same spirit and fervor that helped establish Agnostic Front as one of the preeminent exemplars of old-school East Coast hardcore.
A decade in business is worth celebrating no matter what your business is, but it's even more noteworthy when your business is making uncompromising punk rock. Celebrating its tenth anniversary this weekend, Frontside Five has accomplished a lot in its time together. In addition to enduring a pretty major lineup change that caused its members to retool its sound a bit, the quartet has survived and thrived to maintain a seemingly endless live schedule that's included spots at the annual Punk Rocks festival at Red Rocks, as well as sharing the stage with the likes of the Vandals, D.R.I., U.S. Bombs, the Adicts and McRad, with whom it recorded a joint album titled 50/50 Split. After a decade, Frontside Five is still going strong and to celebrate passing the ten year mark, the outfit has put together a stacked bill featuring King Rat, Lyin' Bitch & the Restraining Orders, Beer Boys and the Bad Engrish.
In searching for ways to describe DeVotchKa'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, though, 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. (DeVotchKa's Day of the Dead Ball also takes place tomorrow night at the Boulder Theatre, as well)
Big Head Todd and the Monsters already devote a good deal of time and energy to charity-related events and organizations. But when the outfit plays an intimate show at the Soiled Dove Underground tonight, it will be for a cause that hits close to home. Very. Keyboardist Jeremy Lawton has a brother who sits on the board of the organization that will benefit from the show, the Raymond Wentz Foundation. The mission of that group is to help give emergency aid to cancer patients -- and as it happens, one of the band's members is a recovering cancer patient. A little more than three years ago, the band's drummer, Brian Nevin, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer after a routine physical in which a doctor discovered a lump in his neck. (Continue reading)
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