The ten best EDM shows in Denver in August

Catch Destructo and more at HARD Red Rocks tonight.
Catch Destructo and more at HARD Red Rocks tonight.
Lionel Deluy

HARD RED ROCKS @ RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE | 8/1/13 In its first year at Red Rocks, HARD Fest brings a boombastic explosion of the biggest names in bass and trap music. Festival founder and curator, Gary Richards, performing under his veteran moniker Destructo, kicks off a stellar bill that includes the snare-loving Flosstradamus, Disclosure, who dropped one of the hottest albums of the year, Diplo, who needs no introduction, and Knife Party, who blasts so hard, the rocks could come tumbling down.

See also: Gary Richards, aka Destructo, on what to expect at HARD Red Rocks

PRETTY LIGHTS @ RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE | 8/16-8/17 On the heels of dropping A Color Map of the Sun, Pretty Lights' latest album, Derek Vincent Smith returns home for a pair of now annual shows at Red Rocks, the most breathtaking venue on the planet. Each night's bill features a stellar supporting cast, including Talib Kweli and Blue Sky Black Death, due on the first night, and the spectral talent of various members of the Pretty Lights Music label, showcasing on the second night.

SBTRKT @ BETA NIGHTCLUB | 8/9/13 SBTRKT brings a DJ set to Beta, which is pretty much just as fun as the live show, and you can bet there will be masks-a-plenty. Given that SBTRKT is all about masking identity to avoid the fame and recognition, it's difficult to imagine just how someone can create something so beautiful and not want to claim the fame for it. The music is worldly with solid drums, and could easily soundtrack a swanky lounge, or in this case, a big room club with a dance floor full of sweating dancers. Bring a date for this one fellas, because it's a pull-em-close kind of dance party, and you don't want to be alone when "Wildfire" gets dropped.

ARISE MUSIC FESTIVAL @ SUNRISE RANCE | 8/14-8/18 This four-day festival in Loveland features all sorts of acts, but two of the most exciting for EDM fans are Michal Menert and Random Rab, who are creating more ripples across the scene than some of the biggest acts going right now.


BAG RAIDERS @ NORAD DANCE BAR | 8/2/13 With some of the smoothest dance tracks, Bag Raiders bring its late-night disco melodies to the monster system at NORAD. With Anna Lunoe and Denver resident Option4 in support, this show, if it hasn't already, is sure sell-out. Either way, expect this to be a sexy night of music all the way around.

LA RIOTS @ BETA NIGHTCLUB | 8/3/13 LA Riots has served as the introduction to a lot of acts for people because their remix game is on point, and this often means the finished products are often masterpieces in their own way, completely outside of the original artist's work. The beats are big, the samples are delicately placed, retaining the original flavor while still showing that LA Riots could easily produce without them. Don't miss experiencing some proper house music in one of the hottest clubs in America.

Z-TRIP @ CERVANTES MASTERPIECE BALLROOM | 8/3/13 Z-Trip is arguably the best of the best when it come to deejaying, and he's got a Rane mixer with his name on it to prove. Literally jumping in and out of every single genre under the sun, Z-Trip flawlessly destroys every set he plays with unique fervor, and on this night, he's got QBert and Mu$a supporting him. This night will be dedicated to solid hip-hop, soul, and the foundations of the artistry of deejaying.


YOLANDA BE COOL @ NORAD DANCE BAR | 8/9/13 Locally, Savoy really shed some light on Yolanda Be Cool with a remix of "We No Speak Americano." Enviable exposure aside, Yolanda Be Cool more than holds its own with its original island style dance beats. The act's sound is horn heavy, almost like a modern take on the big bands, and when the vocals come in, you'll swing your hips like it's 1940. When Yolanda Be Cool is on the speakers, you don't need to ask permission to get down.

LATE NIGHT RADIO @ CERVANTES MASTERPIECE BALLROOM | 8/15/13 Here's to a night of rising players in the scene: Late Night Radio and Marvel Years are surely going to be on bigger billings soon, as both are quickly rising up the ranks in the scene thanks to the heavy use of samples and hip-hop undertones that pulse beneath each track, creating a unique sound. If you're looking for fresh tunes coming from fresh new faces, don't miss this.

HOUSE CONNECTION @ BETA NIGHTCLUB | 8/17/13 You won't get many chances like this: Bad Boy Bill playing on eight different decks with Richard Vission, performing a true aficionados set. If you are just getting into EDM and good house music, this is a great example of how music is actually mixed, and how it was mixed in the past, and these are some of the best in the game doing what they do best: Flipping records and matching beats to keep a room grooving for hours upon hours with house tracks that seem unending. It's a marathon, and these two have the stamina as long you as you do.

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