Commentary

The five best concerts in Denver this weekend

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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.

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