Denver 4/20 Concerts to Roll Up to | Westword

Denver 4/20 Concerts to Roll Up To

From Wiz Khalifa at Red Rocks to Green Druid playing hi-dive, we've got you covered.
Pot-loving Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa headlines 420 On The Rocks this year.
Pot-loving Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa headlines 420 On The Rocks this year. Courtesy Wiz Khalifa

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If you’re a stoner, 4/20 may feel like any other day. But instead of sitting around snacking and scratching your head, the annual green celebration offers much more to do, especially here in Denver.

National and local acts are getting into the holiday spirit with shows throughout the city. From Red Rocks to the hi-dive, here are five gigs to check out on Saturday, April 20:

Alpha Wolf
Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue
Tickets are $23-$200

Sativa makes people mosh harder. There is no scientific evidence to back up that claim, but the more psychoactive strain is what you should toke for the Alpha Wolf show at the Oriental Theater this heady holiday.

The Australian metalcore outfit is stateside spreading its latest album, Half Living Things, which hits like a bong rip straight to the dome. New songs such as “Sucks 2 Suck,” featuring Ice-T, and “Whenever You’re Ready” will leave you dazed and confused whether you brave the pit or not. And that’s only if you don’t completely crash after openers Emmure, UnityTX and Chamber. NYC deathcore purveyors Emmure have been at it for over twenty years now, while rap-metal hardcore group UnityTX, from Texas, and Nashville metalcore outfit Chamber are younger up-and-comers that are just as heavy.

Actually, save the sativa and break out the blowtorch and wax instead.

Green Druid
hi-dive, 7 South Broadway
Tickets are $15-$20
The hi-dive is the place to be on 4/20 if you’re searching for straight-up stoner doom. Denver has become an epicenter for such music, with a healthy, active scene year-round — and Green Druid, the hi-dive headliner, is at the top of the heap.

Ryan Skates (bass), Mikey Honiotes (drums), Graham Zander (guitars) and Chris McLaughlin (vocals and guitars) will play their 2020 album, At the Maw of Ruin — a scathing offering filled with lengthier compositions (check out “Haunted Memories”) and a Portishead cover (“Threads”) for good measure. It’s definitely not a relaxing stoner-doom record, so be prepared to feel overstimulated, maybe even scared, at times. But that’s what makes it stand out. Like a good buzz, it lasts just long enough for you to question if it’ll ever end.

Plus, Denver doomgazers Palehorse/Palerider will take the edge off with more mellow tunes that border on funeral doom. Finally, the upbeat post-punk of local duo Voight will balance things out.
click to enlarge
Cannabis connoisseurs Smoakland are playing the Mission Ballroom on 4/20.
Courtesy Nathan Lane
INZO & Smoakland
Mission Ballroom, 4242 Wynkoop Street
Resale tickets are available

INZO, aka Mike Inzano, knew exactly what he was doing when he named his current tour “VisionQuest” and booked a hometown show at the Mission Ballroom on 4/20. The Chicago-raised DJ and producer who’s now based in Denver is known for mixing psychedelic elements into his live performance of trippy future bass.

Plus, the duo Smoakland is opening. Anthony Battaglia and Harrison Hays initially met as student-athletes at Boise State University, before honing their trademark cannabis-inspired dubstep back home in the Bay Area over the past five years. Then Hays decided to move to the Mile High City last year, and Smoakland settled into its new digs by collaborating with Boulder electronic hip-hop duo Big Gigantic on a couple of singles — “Always Wanna Talk” and “Disco Fever” — that dropped earlier this year.

For the Mission concert, local beatmakers Chmura and Blookah are also on the bill, along with North Carolina’s HEYZ. It’s safe to say that this concert may be best experienced in an altered state.

Unicorn Hits
Skylark Lounge, 140 South Broadway
Tickets are $15
The alternative art rock of Denver’s Unicorn Hits is enough to give anyone a natural body high, but eating an edible will only enhance the immersive live experience during the band’s 4/20 Skylark Lounge gig. Joe Grobelny (vocals and guitar), Suzi Allegra (bass), Eric Thompson (guitar and noise) and Deshawn Johnson (drums) are currently promoting a new, self-titled EP, which is accompanied by a collage-filled zine that’s perfect for stoned staring.

While such songs as “Incarnational Sounds” and “Lines From a Wedding” have a warm fuzz, Unicorn Hits likes to sprinkle in a little darkness, too, so don’t panic if things take an ominous turn — even though it’s more mystical than menacing. But overall, it’s raucous, queer rock and roll, an outward expression of Grobelny’s eclectic creativity. Denver groups Tonguebyte, Holographic American and Soneffs are openers for the Skylark show, making for a full night of local alt-rock and high times.

Wiz Khalifa & Flatbush Zombies
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 West Alameda Parkway, Morrison
Resale tickets available
Every year, marijuana enthusiasts pack Red Rocks for a 4/20 concert. It’s not just that the open-air atmosphere is perfect for indulging, but the artists responsible for encouraging clouds of smoke are always also avid Mary Jane lovers. Everyone from Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube to Method Man and Redman has hosted 420 on the Rocks.

This year, the joint is passed to Wiz Khalifa and Flatbush Zombies. The Pittsburgh rapper is loud and proud about his affinity for the sweet leaf. He even has his own weed strain and company, Khalifa Kush, naturally. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn hip-hop trio Flatbush Zombies has been singing the praises of pot for just as long as Khalifa. Khalifa’s Taylor Gang cohorts Chevy Woods and DJ Bonics, as well as Atlanta duo EarthGang, will also be at the show.

Find more concerts on our concert calendar.
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