The best jam-band shows in December

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FRI & SAT | MOE. at OGDEN THEATRE | 12/6-12/7 moe. return to Denver fresh from recording a brand-new album. These jam-band veterans are celebrating their 25th anniversary next year, yet they're still creating interesting new stuff while also refreshing old classics. Bassist Rob Derhak spoke with us recently and said the band is excited to get back to the energetic Colorado crowds of moerons. The outfit doesn't rely on tons of lasers to excite an audience, just group communication and lots of improvisation to keep your ears tuned in to what's coming next. Keep an eye on Backbeat for a full interview with Derhak.

YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND at BOULDER THEATER | 12/27-12/31 Yonder Mountain String Band is a fast-paced string band that manages to blow your mind with its excellent technicality while toying with your emotions with heartfelt lyrics. Together the four guys work in musical harmony, with animated lead singer and mandolin player Jeff Austin always delighting the crowd. While the Flood Benefit show the band is hosting on Monday, December 30, is sold out, you can still get tickets to these exciting string-shedders on the remaining four dates.

SAT-TUES | UMPHREY'S MCGEE at FILLMORE | 12/28-12/31 These guys have steadily climbed up the jam-band ladder over the years, wowing crowds across the country and consistently packing Red Rocks. Lighting director Jefferson Waful is considered to be one the best lighting designers out there right now, and his work is definitely something that should be seen at least once. The musical changes on stage are quickly followed by stunning light cues.

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Leslie Simon