Concerts

The Eighteen Best Shows in Denver This Weekend

Page 2 of 2

Bluetech Fox Theatre : 8:30 p.m. December 4 Like many producers, Bluetech (aka Evan Bartholomew) is a classically trained pianist who's also adept at dealing with all the software available for producing tunes these days. Bluetech's music is probably best described as downtempo, though he ventures into the mid-tempo range; his sound is improvisational, ambient, warm and sweeping, mixing in vocals and instrumentation and pulling from dub and psychedelic trance to weave a tapestry.

Fitz & the Tantrums Boulder Theater : 7:30 p.m. December 4 Formed in 2008 around music already written by bandleader Michael Fitzpatrick, Fitz & the Tantrums came together within a week, just in time to play their first show. The chemistry was perfect, and the group's brand of rhythm and blues with a shiny modern radio style was cemented. While there's an undeniable revivalist spirit in its soul-on-wax sound, the Los Angeles sextet incorporates a personal take on what Motown made famous: Fitzpatrick's voice stands out with an almost '80s-pop twist, but it's pulled back to its roots by a pristine rhythm section, plus horns, organs and the complementary backing of Noelle Scaggs's vocals. Having shared the stage with the likes of Maroon 5, Hepcat and Flogging Molly, Fitz & the Tantrums are a band with mass appeal, one that will no doubt follow the path of soul's rebirth set by contemporaries Raphael Saadiq, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and Adele.

Mean Jeans Hi-dive : 9:30 p.m. December 4 By now, there are generations of Ramones spin-offs; the band was a prototype for many greasy-haired garage-rockers and outsider kids who found solace in emulating its bangy, three-chord, glue-sniffer jams. But Portland's Mean Jeans has been able to capture something that no other band has yet accomplished: Joey Ramone's ability to sing in a geographically untethered accent. Mean Jeans vocalists Billy Jeans and Jeans Wilder have voices that melt together into a strange and category-eluding warble, and while it definitely harks back to another era, the Jeans have been able to craft their own kind of music for long-hairs. After releasing a handful of recordings over five years, Mean Jeans found a wider audience with 2012's Life on Mars. The album is a wild but perfect encapsulation of the act's pool-hoppin', drug-doin', sing-along anthems. With songs like "Come Toobin'," "Total Yo-Yo" and "Hangin' Tuff," Mean Jeans proves that, whether you're from New York or the Pacific Northwest, those who party hard speak a universal language.

Technicolor Tone Factory Bluebird Theater : 9:00 p.m. December 4 Bringing a fusion of funk and rock to the table, Technicolor Tone Factory gets you dancing while keeping you entertained by the antics of the charismatic musicians on stage.

Channel 93.3 Not So Silent Night 1STBANK Center : 6:00 p.m. December 5 Formed in 2008 around music already written by bandleader Michael Fitzpatrick, Fitz & the Tantrums came together within a week, just in time to play their first show. The chemistry was perfect, and the group's brand of rhythm and blues with a shiny modern radio style was cemented. While there's an undeniable revivalist spirit in its soul-on-wax sound, the Los Angeles sextet incorporates a personal take on what Motown made famous: Fitzpatrick's voice stands out with an almost '80s-pop twist, but it's pulled back to its roots by a pristine rhythm section, plus horns, organs and the complementary backing of Noelle Scaggs's vocals. Having shared the stage with the likes of Maroon 5, Hepcat and Flogging Molly, Fitz & the Tantrums are a band with mass appeal, one that will no doubt follow the path of soul's rebirth set by contemporaries Raphael Saadiq, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and Adele. Tonight, they're performing alongside Cage the Elephant, Vance Joy, Half Moon Run and Modern Suspects as part of Channel 93.3 Not So Silent Night.

Del & Dawg Oriental Theater : 8:00 p.m. December 5 Del McCoury has been a bluegrass frontman since 1967, but despite recording a slew of long-players for roots labels like Arhoolie and Grassound, he was forced by fiscal realities to keep day jobs in logging or construction during much of his first two decades as a bandleader. Things didn't truly begin to pick up until the early '90s, when McCoury formed an ensemble with sons Ronnie and Rob that combined the undying appeal of traditional bluegrass with a vibrancy that attracted audiences ranging from disgruntled country aficionados to jam-band boosters. Tonight, McCoury performs with mandolinist David Grisman has spent more than four decades playing what he calls "dawg" music, which is essentially a mix swing, bluegrass, Latin, jazz and gypsy.

Independent Voices Celebration Denver Open Media Studios : 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. December 5 Open Media Foundation is a nonprofit that offers media production equipment and training to members of the Denver community. Its annual Independent Voices Celebration is a fundraising event that features a silent auction and more. This year, it will also include an installment of Open Music Sessions, a concert and video series that aims to introduce up-and-coming bands by giving them a chance to discuss their songs during the performance. (Westword, along with local label Greater Than Collective, helps OMF produce the series.) This month's installment will feature New York songwriter Sorcha Richardson and Denver supergroup Miss America by Wheary, a project spearheaded by Joseph Pope III and featuring similarly prominent local musicians Julie Davis, James Han, Patrick Meese and Nathaniel Rateliff. Comedian Andrew Orvedahl will also perform.

Snow Tha Product Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom : 9:00 p.m. December 5 It may at first seem easy to dismiss Snow Tha Product as another Iggy Azalea or Kreayshawn-level gimmick because of her gender and unconventional appearance, but it gets harder and harder the more you listen to her. Make no mistake, Snow can ride a beat and she can rhyme, and she can rhyme fast, and, frankly, she's more intimidating than a lot of these so-called hard rappers nowadays.

2 Chainz Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom : December 6 Chances are, if you've picked up a major hip-hop album released in the past few years -- Drake, Kanye West, Pusha T -- you're familiar with 2 Chainz's hazy, hooky, anthemic brand of Southern rap. And chances are pretty good that you've picked up B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, his 2013 Def Jam release, a follow-up to (and improvement upon) 2012's earworm-y Based on a T.R.U. Story. With all those guest spots under his belt -- and with his own LPs being so guest-heavy -- it's fair to wonder what a 2 Chainz-centric show is going to be like. By all reports, 2 Chainz is an admirably magnetic frontman, spitting rabble-rousing party tracks and turn-your-brain-off-and-just-move tunes like "Birthday Song." His languid delivery and sharp flow should translate nicely to the big stage, and his range -- "Feds Watching" is sufficiently jagged, a nice counterbalance to his party tracks -- will surprise listeners who haven't dug deep into his discography.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.