As Denver begins to descend into winter and music fans scurry indoors, it's not too soon to start fantasizing about the 2019 Red Rocks season. And the city's music promoters are making that easy by announcing some of the concerts that will surely make for a magnificent year under the stars.
Surprisingly, the season boasts no metal bands, few electronic and hip-hop acts, and no women headliners. Still, it's early, and dozens more concerts will likely be announced over the coming months.
The first round of announcements includes familiar faces like Michael Franti, Dark Star Orchestra and Jason Isbell in addition to newcomer Luke Combs.
Here are the first eight acts to announce Red Rocks concerts in 2019.
Everyone celebrates differently, but for music-loving potheads, 4/20 on the Rocks has become an annual tradition. This year, the reggae act Stick Figure will headline the concert, ringing in the unofficial start of the Red Rocks season — no matter how cold, rainy or warm the night will be. Nick Swardson will host the concert, and Pepper, Steel Pulse, the Movement and Iya Terra will open.
The indie-rock band the 1975 will take over the amphitheater as part of its North American tour, a celebration of the group's soon-to-drop album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. Pale Wave and No Rome will offer support.
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.
Luke Combs is the first country artist to grace the venue's 2019 schedule. Known for radio-friendly hits like "Hurricane" and "When It Rains It Pours," the Nashville-based, Asheville, North Carolina-born singer, will be joined by Lanco and Jameson Rodgers.
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.
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Michael Franti may be as well known for his human-rights activism as he is for his songwriting and performances with Spearhead, which bridge rock, folk and hip-hop. He's a popular independent musician who's especially beloved by lefties, and he's sure to bring a dose of political poetry to the crowds at the Rocks.
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Dark Star Orchestra
The Grateful Dead's spirit still rules Red Rocks, as is evidenced by the many bands who evoke the legendary act. Dark Star Orchestra has been covering the Dead since 1996, a year after the band's guitarist and singer, Jerry Garcia, passed away. Electric Hot Tuna will open.
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
The indie country act Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit has been bringing its poetic workingman lyrics and straightforward melodies to the Rocks annually in recent years and plans to do so again. In 2019, the classic act David Crosby and Friends will open.
For more information and tickets to these concerts, visit Red Rocks Amphitheatre online.