Welcome to the weekend! And, oh, fingers crossed, what a weekend this will be. The sun was orange and the sky was blue when we woke up this morning. We're taking that as an omen or something. That could just be the tequila shot from last night talking, though. Saw the first night of Trampled By Turtles' two-night run at the Ogden last night. Wowzers. Dudes were on fire. Check out the review from last night and read all about it and then experience it for yourself tonight. And if that particular flavor of bluegrass isn't to your liking, no worries. There's plenty of other music to soundtrack your weekend. As always, we've got it all listed in our concert calendar, or you can keep reading for our picks for the five best concerts in Denver this weekend.
5. TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION @ GRIZZLY ROCK | SAT, 1/12/13 The Texas Hippie Coalition, which was just in town with Clutch and delivered a compelling mix of traditional Texas blues and hardcore fervor straight off a Pantera record, returns to Denver for a headlining gig of its own at the Grizzly Rock. At the Fillmore, frontman Big Dad Rich cut an interesting image on stage. Describing himself as a "300-pound, Sasquatch-looking motherfucker," Rich sang of whiskey and weed and talked about moving to Colorado to take part in the budding legal marijuana industry. Ah, yes, Texas Hippie Coalition. THC. Clever.
4. CARBON CHOIR (FAREWELL SHOW) @ WALNUT ROOM | SAT, 1/12/13 Since its inception, Carbon Choir has explored many styles of music -- all very different from the teenage punk rock of Petrol Apathy, an outfit in which some of the members used to play. Frontman Joel Van Horne left that band in 1999 because he felt like he wanted more from music than just three chords and attitude. Teaming up with two of his ex-bandmates, drummer Scott Weidner and bassist Ryan Fetcher, and the only keyboardist to answer an ad posted at CU-Boulder, Chris Hatton, Van Horne formed Carbon Choir in 2007. By the time of 2009's High Beams, the band had discovered an emotionally stirring amalgam of power pop, jazz and a melancholy yet triumphant spirit. For last year's Sakhalin, the four continued to hone their sound without losing their talent for building expansive moods or their penchant for impassioned live shows. Tomorrow night at the Walnut Room, Carbon Choir is playing a show being billed as a farewell gig -- although according to the band's Facebook, the outfit isn't officially breaking up, necessarily, but rather going on "indefinite hiatus."
3. REEL BIG FISH @ FOX THEATRE | FRI, 1/11/13 Third-wave ska was last in vogue when people still thought Y2K was a threat, but the passage of a decade hasn't changed the fact that many of these bands still make an awfully accessible and enjoyable racket onstage. See: well vetted Huntington Beach six-piece Reel Big Fish, the main attraction of the Candy Coated Fury Tour, a package tour that takes its name from Candy Coated Fury, Reel Big Fish's latest record. Besides being the tour's name, the phrase aptly encapsulates the group's sarcastic, semi-seething lyrics, which are wrapped up in fun, bouncy tunes. Sharing the bill is self-described "raggacore" unit the Pilfers, a New York City quintet that has been in business intermittently since 1997. And rounding it out is a solo performance from Dan Potthast, the prolific Santa Cruz citizen best known for fronting the sensational MU330. If you've ever needed a reason to pull your ratty checkered Vans out of the closet, this is it.
2. TRAMPLED BY TURTLES @ OGDEN THEATRE | FRI, 1/11/13 For whatever reason, bluegrass purists have been reluctant to embrace the next generation of string bands crowding America's festival circuit. The latter's fast-paced mandolin meandering leaves die-hard enthusiasts wondering exactly what they're hearing. What should they call it? Punkgrass? Bluerock? Minnesota's Trampled by Turtles calls itself an "original, non-traditional bluegrass band." As far as handles go, that one's a little long-winded and boring -- but whatever tag is stuck on their jug-thumpin' sound, the Turtles could sit on the string-rock board of directors alongside such homegrown acts as the String Cheese Incident and Yonder Mountain String Band.
1. 3 KINGS TAVERN'S SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY | FRI, 1/11/13 Time flies when you're drunk, apparently. Hard to believe it's already been seven years since 3 Kings Tavern first opened. But, alas, it has, and to commemorate the occasion, the Kings are hosting a free show tonight featuring King Rat, MF Ruckus, Holley 750 and a super secret headliner. Who, you ask? Well, guess you'll have to stop by to find out -- and while you're there, raise a toast to the most admirable threesome in town.