Concerts

The eleven best shows in Denver this weekend

The mighty King Rat turns twenty this weekend and will celebrate with a pair of unusual shows at Three Kings. If you go to nothing else this weekend, we advise you go there.

But we understand if you go to Red Rocks instead for Widespread Panic's annual weekend getaway in Morrison. You could also see A-Trak in the coming days, and Nightmares on Wax and Smokey Robinson and plenty more.

Widespread Panic Red Rocks Amphitheatre : 7:00 p.m. June 27; 7:00 p.m. June 28; 7:00 p.m. June 29 Widespread Panic has the uncanny power to pack venues (to the point of bursting) full of faithful, ecstatic fans. How many other bands do you know that can play a four-night run at Red Rocks? Yeah, not many. With a little darker vibe than its musical forebears, the Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic makes music that leans vaguely toward the brooding good-ol'-boy swagger of Southern rockers like the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet. John Bell's voice has a sinister tone capable of rousing a rabble, and he's clearly not afraid to exploit the wah pedal.

King Rat - Twenty Years, a Million Beers 3 Kings Tavern : June 27; June 28 When Seattle's My Name came to Fort Collins to record in the mid-'90s, Abe Brennan and Trevor Lanigan decided to make Colorado home. The two subsequently formed Wretch Like Me with Roy Anderson, Jason Livermore and Jeff Matz. Although the new band was firmly situated in the pop-punk milieu and possessed of a joyfully irreverent sense of humor, the guys never let it get stuck in a musical rut, and the artistic growth that took place between 1997's New Ways to Fall and 2002's I Am Become Death was remarkable. All of the original members except Anderson will be present for a reunion show at 3 Kings Tavern on Friday, June 27. In the live setting, Brennan was always a commanding and acrobatic frontman; we'll soon know whether age has toned him down at all.

A-Trak Gothic Theatre : 9:00 p.m. June 27 Montreal-born DJ and producer A-Trak is perhaps most recently known as one half of Duck Sauce, the disco-house production crew he has formed with Armand Van Helden. Clubbers will instantly recognize their smash singles "Barbara Streisand" and "Big Bad Wolf." But A-Trak also boasts a serious background as a turntablist. And in 2003, he served as Kanye West's personal tour DJ, and has contributed scratches to West's albums Late Registration and Graduation. A-Trak is also an established house producer and elite remixer -- check out his club mix of Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Heads Will Roll" -- and owner of the record label Fool's Gold. With a keen interest in both hip hop and electro house he has developed into a prominent figure within the North American dance music scene.

Cherry Poppin' Daddies Summit Music Hall : 8:00 p.m. June 27 Within the pre-Internet musical realm of popular culture, the '90s gave way to many trends: Boy bands saw yet another rebirth, the Spice Girls towed a bizarre kind of British nationalism, and a new style of swing -- one that the Cherry Poppin' Daddies are still playing today -- was everywhere. The Daddies' big-band sound existed somewhere between the Dixieland throwback of groups like Squirrel Nut Zippers and the third-wave ska-tinged cult of Let's Go Bowling, filling dance halls and Warped Tour audiences across the country with dudes sporting Vince Vaughn-inspired pompadours. A combination of horns, upright bass and a barreling drum style is what the Daddies are known for, but it's lead singer Steve Perry's campy, commercial voice that has solidified the group's legacy. Though the bicoastal phenomenon of neo-swing has since died down, the Daddies are still courting lindy-hoppers and punks alike. They had no trouble charming both crowds with 1997's Zoot Suit Riot, and they continue to do so today, embracing Dean Martin and friends with their 2014 release, Please Return the Evening: The Cherry Poppin' Daddies Salute the Music of the Rat Pack.

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