Live music pops up in the strangest places, often venues that weren't originally intended to host concerts, or spaces that are just plain odd in their design. Sometimes it's a coffee shop, a public space, an airport, an art museum or even amid stacks of pallets (or books). Here are some of our favorite unconventional music venues around Denver.
1. Black Shirt Brewery
The Milk Blossoms at Black Shirt Brewery.
3719 Walnut Street
Plenty of bars showcase bands. But Black Shirt Brewery built a performance space out of pallets behind the building, making the stage double as a sculpture. While the brewery rarely books shows, when it does it's adventurous; Church Fire
, the Milk Blossoms
and Of Earth and Sun
have all played here.
2. The Deer Pile
Roseanna Frechette reading at Deer Pile for LINK Denver.
Courtesy of Roseanna Frechette
206 East 13th Avenue
Located above the restaurant City, O' City, the Deer Pile is a more-or-less empty room with a P.A. This small venue has hosted comedy, spoken word and a variety of music from Denver's underground scene, including one edition of the experimental festival Goldrush, and the now-defunct Noise Floor, a monthly showcase of forward thinking music.
3. Denver Bicycle Cafe
1308 East 17th Avenue
Over the last two years, on occasional Fridays, Denver Bicycle Cafe has hosted some of Denver's best indie-rock bands including Tyto Alba
, Major Babes (featuring members of Male Blonding
) and Shady Elders
. That the cafe offers high quality coffee, beer and bike repair is a bonus.
4. Denver International Airport
8500 Peña Boulevard
DIA has occasionally commissioned bands to perform relatively unobtrusive music in its main lobby. Perhaps most notably, experimental-rock band Rubedo
performed the equivalent of day-job hours every day for an entire month in 2013. Mostly you'll find standard jazz at DIA, but every now and then someone unexpected and unusual will be called in to alleviate the usual ambient sound at the airport.
5. Denver Public Library
Ross-Cherry Creek Branch Library
Libraries are usually a place for peace and quiet, but in the last three years Denver Public Library branches have hosted musical events. The Park Hill branch has an April concert series, typically on Wednesday evenings. The Ross-Cherry Creek branch has its own P.A. and occasionally hosts acts including SPELLS
, the Milk Blossoms and Echo Beds
6. McNichols Building
The renovated McNichols Building is no DIY arts space.
Arts & Venues
144 West Colfax Avenue
The McNichols Building has hosted a wide range of community events as well as dance parties. In 2016, the ENDOTREND
festival brought to this city-owned edifice the likes of Joy Subtraction
, Victoria Lundy
, Plume Varia
and Church Fire