Red Rocks season is in full swing, and acts spanning genres from metal and jam to Celtic, reggae, country and EDM will grace the venue this month. Film on the Rocks begins, comedy arrives, and when there's not entertainment, Red Rocks will host graduations galore.
Without further ado, here's every concert or special event happening at Red Rocks in May.
May opens with a night of indie rock headlined by Interpol, with support from Sunflower Beam, which performed at last year’s Westword Music Showcase, and Car Seat Headrest. Interpol, which contributed to the rock resurgence at the beginning of the 21st century, released Marauder in August.
Twiddle and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
Twiddle takes inspiration from indie rock, folk, reggae and bluegrass, but when playing live, the bandmembers prove to be deft improvisers. They'll be joined by their fellow rockers in Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and Kitchen Dwellers, providing the perfect opportunity for jam-band fans to light up, lay back, or dance to the twists and turns of the music.
May 3 to 4
The eccentric jam band Shpongle is calling it quits, and the act will play its final two concerts at Red Rocks — a venue it first played five years ago to critical acclaim. This will be the perfect place for the British jammers, who specialize in improvisation and electronic sounds, to bid adieu to the world.
Nghtmre and Slander
Nghtmre's moniker is misleading. The party-friendly electronic music producer and DJ mixes and mashes popular songs with whizzes and whirls sure to keep a crowd headbanging late into the night. He promises a dazzling show, as he twists knobs and dances like a frat boy in front of a mob of frothing admirers who can't get enough of his take on other people's music and beats. Coheadliner Slander has a similarly menacing name and a very crowd-friendly EDM sound that duo describes as "heaven trap."
4U: The Music of Prince with the Colorado Symphony
From "Purple Rain" to "I Wanna Be Your Lover," Prince blessed the world with his singular voice, guitar playing and songs. Many try to pay tribute to the late legend, but few have the permission of his estate to properly pay tribute to the late crooner like 4U: A Symphonic Celebration of Prince, which will join the Colorado Symphony for a night sure to make you feel like it's 1999.
The Music of Abba
Oh, Abba. There are few bands that have had the longevity and impact of the Swedish pop band that brought songs like "Mamma Mia," "Take a Chance on Me" and "Dancing Queen" to fans around the world. Many of Abba's original musicians will bring the band's songs to life when The Music of Abba — which bills itself as the world's greatest Abba tribute band — takes to the Rocks. Mama Mia, indeed.
Funk band Vulfpeck returns to Red Rocks to offer up its breezy music to a rabid Denver fan base. The group spent the better part of the past two years touring in support of 2017's Mr. Finish Line and released a new album, Hill Climber, in late 2018. Vulfpeck will be joined by Khruangbin and Cory Henry.
The 2019 edition of Film on the Rocks opens with James Cameron's Titanic, and blubbering crowds will surely stain the Rocks with tears. While the opening band has not been announced, it's sure to be local, and it's sure to be great.
Papadosio and The Polish Ambassador
The electronic jam band Papadosio is returning to the Rocks to co-headline a concert with fellow Red Rocks veteran (and CU Boulder alum) the Polish Ambassador, the San Francisco-based electronic dance music producer and DJ, for a night of lighter EDM that's perfect to space out to under the stars.
Known for radio-friendly hits like "Hurricane" and "When It Rains It Pours," Nashville-based, Asheville, North Carolina-born singer Luke Combs has been bringing new energy to country with his heartfelt songs. He will be joined by Lanco and Jameson Rodgers.
107.9 KBPI will celebrate its birthday with the metalcore band I Prevail, which will headline a heavy show alongside Animals as Leaders, Issues and Justin Stone. Make sure to bring your earplugs and perhaps a hard hat, too, because the rocks may come crashing down this night.
The L.A.-based crooners in Lord Huron have a bold name and a sensitive sound sure to appeal to rockers and folkies alike. The band is best known for the song "The Night We Met," but its music has been widely used in TV shows and films. The act will be joined by the indie-pop act Lucius.
Walk Off the Earth
Hailing from Ontario, the sugary indie-pop band Walk Off the Earth got its start playing pop covers on kitschy instruments from the ukulele to the theremin. The band will bring rich harmonies and no shortage of fun for a charming night of music.
Global Dub Festival
Each year, fans of electronic music look forward to the stunning lineups that Global Dance brings to Red Rocks during the Global Dub Festival. Headlining this year's show will be Adventure Club and Bear Grillz, and they'll be joined by Said the Sky, Riot Ten, Dirt Monkey, Kai Wachi, Kompany B2B Tynan and Yakz B2B Somnium Sound. This event is one of many reasons that Denver’s reputation as a thriving hub for electronic music just keeps getting stronger.
Comedian Trevor Noah, who took The Daily Show reins from Jon Stewart, will bring his politically-charged comedy to Red Rocks for what is sure to be a gut-busting night of fun. The South African host offers a cutting take on the American political landscape, and if there's one thing the country needs, it's the chance to laugh at itself — even when it hurts.
Florence + the Machine
The British indie-rock band Florence + the Machine puts on a stunning show. Florence Welch, the band's frontwoman, sings, twirls and enraptures the audience with her generous music rooted in rock, soul and folk. She delivers a magical performance that the venue will only magnify.
Iration and UB40
Iration and UB40 will smoke up the Rocks with a night of reggae with Ali Campbell and Astro, Toots and the Maytals, Fortunate Youth, Fiji and Nattali Rize. Expect a mix of sunshine reggae and classic sounds.
The Devil Makes Three
After a moving performance at Red Rocks this past spring, the rabble-rousers in The Devil Makes Three will return with their brooding alt-country songs about death, drinking and longing. They'll be joined by the Memphis-based act Lucero, which specializes in gritty country punk.
The Disco Biscuits
The Philly-based jam band the Disco Biscuits are returning to Red Rocks for some pentatonic noodling, dishing out the kind of riffs sure to give Deadheads a reason to keep on truckin' through the 21st century.
Celtic music has a bad reputation for being the rough-and-tumble soundtrack of drunk old men. But if you love earnest Irish music without the whiskey-soaked edge, don't miss Celtic Woman bringing its proper tunes, tidy harmonies and big grins to town.
Disclosure (DJ Set)
The Grammy-winning British electronic music duo Disclosure will swing through town, and expect chill beats, as these world-class producers keep it classy.
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Is this the real life? Or is it fantasy? It's gonna be a little bit of both when Bohemian Rhapsody brings Queen to the second night of Film on the Rocks. While the local opener has not been announced yet, we're sure whoever it is will be more than intimidated trying to live up to Rami Malek's performance as Freddie Mercury — let alone Queen itself.
Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band
Hippies and jam-band fans delight in all the different homages to the Grateful Dead that come to Red Rocks, a venue that band helped put on the map. Some are young acts inspired by their seniors, while others comprise members of the original band. That’s the case when bassist and founding member Phil Lesh plays the Rocks with his Terrapin Family Band, keeping the memory of the Dead alive.
Bela Fleck: Friends & Family Featuring the Colorado Symphony
Bluegrass-inspired classical music? Classical music-inspired bluegrass? Expect all that and more when banjoist extraordinaire Bela Fleck and the Flecktones return to the Rocks, this time with the Colorado Symphony in tow. Joining him on stage will be Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas and Abigail Washburn.
Chromeo and Thievery Corporation
The electronic duos Chromeo and Thievery Corporation will bring the party to the rocks, alongside Big Freedia, Adeline and Peanut Butter Wolf. Expect to dance, and dance hard.