Ten dollars may seem like scarcely enough money for a drive-thru meal, but a mere Hamilton is all you need to experience some of the finest entertainments the local creative community has to offer. Gallery openings, concerts, comedy shows and film screenings abound during the days ahead. Keep reading for the ten best free and cheap events in Denver this weekend.
The Living Deads
Thursday, January 10, 8:30 p.m. Lion's Lair
$8 to $10
Rise from your grave and get ready to rock when the Living Deads lay siege to the stage at legendary Denver dive the Lion's Lair. The band, which describes itself as a sonic science experiment, fusing the musical DNA of "the Ramones, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits and the Cramps," headlines a bill rounded out by Tankerays and Crime City Curs. Admission is $8 in advance via Brown Paper Tickets and $10 at the door. Find out more on the Lion's Lair Facebook events page.
Jack Falk, Stephen Pamas and Patrick Smith are Hello, Mountain.
Hello, Mountain EP release show
Friday, January 11, 7:30 p.m. Syntax Physic Opera $8
Get ready for a night of moody music. Denver indie-rock trio Hello, Mountain will celebrate the release of its latest album, showcasing the vocals of singer-songwriter Stephen Pamas. Joining the band will be brooding outfit Turvy Organ and gritty Americana act Two Tone Wolf Pack. The concert takes place at Syntax Physic Opera, and tickets, $8, are available at Brown Paper Tickets.
Gravity of Perception Opening Reception
Friday, January 11, 6 to 8 p.m.
MSU Center for Visual Art
Seven photographers examine themes of prejudice and systematic marginalization through a personal lens at Gravity of Perception, the first exhibit of the new year at Metropolitan State University's Center for Visual Art. Reframing a troubled past through bold new imagery, participating artists include Tya Anthony, Marcella Ernest, Kris Graves, Zora Murff, Xaviera Simmons, Lorenzo Triburgo and Krista Wortendyke. They wordlessly express the struggle to escape the thumbs of oppression while attempting to forge a powerful new narrative. Curated by Cecily Cullen, Hamidah Glasgow and Natascha Seideneck, the display will be unveiled to the public at an opening reception on Friday, January 11, and remain on view through Saturday, March 23. Visit the MSU Center for Visual Art Eventbrite page to register for free and learn more.
"Locals Only" Group Exhibition
Friday, January 11, 7 to 10 p.m. Mirus Gallery
Artsy locavores can feast their eyes upon Mirus Gallery's gauntlet of homegrown paintings and sculptures at the "Locals Only" Group Exhibition, a celebration of Queen City creativity. Displaying works from RUMTUM, Alexa Fourier, Andres Acosta, Colton Hindle Collections, Noelle Phares and many more, the installation splashes plenty of Denver color on Mirus's crisp white walls. Admission is free. Visit Mirus Gallery's Eventbrite page to RSVP and find more information.
Comedy Night at Chain Reaction
Friday, January 11, 8 p.m. Chain Reaction Brewing Company
Laughs are on draft at Comedy Night at Chain Reaction, the show that launched Denver's enduring trend of brewer-based standup. Host Steve Vanderploeg kicks off 2019 with a fresh crop of out-of-towners including Brett Hiker (who lives in New York but visits Denver so often that it's not special), Stetson Banks (Fayetteville, Arkansas), Grace Thomas (from Chicago but moving here), and Jeff Scheen (Oakland), along with Jeff Arcuri and Saturday Night Live writer Steven Castillo from New York. Have a few brews and a giggle or two; visit Chain Reaction Brewing Company's Facebook events page for more details.
Friday Night Weird: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Friday, January 11, 8:45 p.m. Boedecker Theater, Boulder
$6.50 to $12
Friday Night Weird's "Blood on the Snow" screening series continues with a particularly chilly serving of Scandinavian noir, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Not to be confused with David Fincher's surprisingly good English-language remake, Niels Arden Oplev's adaptation of the first novel in Stieg Larsson's posthumously published Millenium series became an unlikely international hit and career launching ground for stars Noomi Rapace and the late Michael Nyqvist. A decade may have elapsed since the movie's initial release, but its tale of a justifiably misanthropic hacker and scandal-plagued journalist teaming up to solve a long-buried murder mystery adroitly presages the current era of true-crime mania and feminist outrage. Ignore Hollywood's latest attempt to cash in on Larsson's legacy and head straight to the Swedish source material instead; visit the Boedecker Theater box-office page to buy tickets, $6.50 to $12, and find out more.
Form and Function: The Articulate Robots of Chris Mora
Saturday, January 12, 6 to 10 p.m. Cabal Gallery
Marvel at the cheerfully low-key robot uprising at Form and Function, Cabal Gallery's exhibition of Chris Mora's multi-articular automatons. A master of design based in Wheat Ridge, Mora created twenty different bots just for the upcoming installation, each of which is fully poseable and animated by an intricate spring-operated mechanism. While the reception is free and open to the public, donations to the hardworking artist are graciously appreciated. Visit Cabal Gallery's Facebook events page for more information.
Capitol Hill Concerts: Sphere Ensemble
Saturday, January 12, 7 to 9 p.m. First Unitarian Society of Denver
$10 to $15
Take a musical journey that begins in the classical era and culminates in modern-day piano pop when Sphere Ensemble headlines the Capitol Hill Concerts series at the First Unitarian Society of Denver. The genre-blending and generation-spanning concert includes works from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Glen Miller, The Beatles and Regina Spektor — to offer but a hint of the treasures in store. Admission is $10 to $15 via Brown Paper tickets. Visit the Sphere Ensemble or Capitol Hill Concerts events calendars to learn more. The ensemble will give a repeat performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 13, at Westcliffe's Historic Jones Theater.
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Byron Graham is a writer, comedian and gentleman thief from Denver. Co-host of Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game, the deathless Lion's Lair open mic and the Mutiny Book Club podcast, Byron also writes about comedy for Westword. He cannot abide cowardice, and he's never been defeated in an open duel.