Concerts

The eleven best shows in Denver this weekend

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Twenty One Pilots at the Ogden Theatre: Friday, May 16 Don't let their name fool you. The Ohio band Twenty One Pilots is really only just two guys, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. The two performers are doing things and making music that nobody is really doing right now; they combine genres of music -- dubstep, hip-hop, indie-folk, rock, reggae -- that may look like they don't belong together on paper, but sonically and visually come together to make one hell of a show.

Stephen Stills at Boulder Theatre: Saturday, May 17 Legendary singer-songwriter Stephen Stills's career stretches across more than fifty years of American pop and rock. He worked with Buffalo Springfield, released a handful of solo records and, of course, was a core member of supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash. The occasionally tumultuous trio has been in harmony lately, playing a handful of shows this spring and kicking off a national tour in July (they perform at Red Rocks in September). Stills is sneaking in this solo run beforehand. Delivering classic and newer material, he'll serve up an intimate solo acoustic set and a plugged-in, full-band chaser. Although Stills has been in the biz for a good long while, no one's dusting him off for these gigs: He's got a blues-rock trio with Kenny Wayne Shepherd that toured last year, and he just wrapped up a successful benefit concert for autism called Light Up the Blues.

Gramatik at Red Rocks: Saturday, May 17 Gramatik used to be an MC who rapped with his buddies over his beats. He grew up in Slovenia listening to DJ Premier, Guru, Rza, Dre, and an arsenal of hip-hop and break beats fills his catalog of sample options. After dropping an album that topped the charts shortly after it's release on Beatport and joining forces with Derek Vincent Smith on his Pretty Lights Music label.

Ben Goldberg / Ron Miles Quintet at Dazzle: Saturday, May 17 Ben Goldberg is a virtuosic Bay Area clarinetist who grew up in Denver and went to East High School. He later went on to form the New Klezmer Trio, perform with heavies like John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Nels Cline and Don Byron, as well as release some stellar discs under his own name, including last year's Unfold Ordinary Mind. Since Goldberg has Worry Later, an album of Thelonious Monk tunes, coming out later this month expect to hear a few Monk tunes as well as cuts by Goldberg and local trumpeter extraordinaire Ron Miles.

Morrissey at Ellie Caulkins Opera House: Saturday, May 17 Even if you've never heard one of Morrissey's songs, chances are you've formed an opinion about the man. Since his days fronting the Smiths, the outspoken singer has made headlines for his abrasive, often controversial opinions on everything from animal rights to the British monarchy as often as he has for his music. That's no knock on the music, though: During that same time, Morrissey has made four albums with the Smiths, nine solo albums (a tenth is due this year) and a handful of compilations; his catalogue is full of classic songs about misery, unrequited love and other dour topics, shot through with subtle but lacerating wit and delivered in his unmistakable baritone. Love him or hate him -- and he'll give you plenty of reason to do both -- there's no denying that Morrissey is one of the great artists of this age or any other.

Brantley Gilbert at Red Rocks: Sunday, May 18 Tune the radio today to any Top 20 Country station in America and the majority of the hits are coming straight out of Georgia. A shift in the mainstream country scene is building, and sitting atop the wave is singer-songwriter Brantley Gilbert, who leads the charge with a musical style that blurs the lines between country and rock 'n' roll.

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