With the exception of the almighty Clutch (pictured above), the entirety of this week's enticing options are all homegrown, including the Foodchain's first headlining show at the Bluebird with 9th Wonder behind the decks and a slate of Mile High heavyweights; OneRepublic's second annual Denver Acoustic Christmas; Born in the Flood's return at the Gothic; and DeVotchKa's eagerly anticipated in-store at Twist & Shout this evening. Keep reading for the full rundown on the five best concerts this week.
5. FOODCHAIN & 9TH WONDER @ BLUEBIRD THEATER | THURS, 12/20/12 What's better than seeing some of Denver's brightest hip-hop acts all sharing a single bill at the Bluebird? How about seeing all those acts -- the Foodchain, Myke Charles, Spoke In Words, DJ Chonz and SP Double -- with the one and only 9th Wonder playing a special DJ set? Precisely. Each of these heavy hitters are arguably headliners in their own right, so seeing them all join forces in a lineup that includes one of the freshest producers in the game will definitely be a show to remember.
4. ONEREPUBLIC'S DENVER ACOUSTIC CHRISTMAS @ OGDEN | 12/21/12 Last year, OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, who makes his home in Denver, assembled a bunch of friends for a special holiday concert at the Ogden Theatre. Dubbed Denver Acoustic Christmas, the inaugural concert featured OneRepublic, of course, with Isaac Slade and Joe King of the Fray, Matt Morris, Bop Skizzum and some of the folks from Flobots. For this year's concert, Tedder enlisted Big Head Todd & the Monsters and Zach Heckendorf, in addition to Flobots, who are making a return appearance. The show sold out a few weeks ago, but a limited number of tickets went on sale yesterday. As they did last year, proceeds for the gig will benefit Children's Hospital, Food Bank of the Rockies and the Denver Santa Claus Shop.
3. BORN IN THE FLOOD @ GOTHIC THEATRE | FRI, 12/21/12 Most people these days probably know Nathaniel Rateliff best as an acclaimed singer-songwriter with an album out on Rounder Records who's toured and shared bills locally with Mumford & Sons. Before he embarked on a successful solo career, though, he fronted a band called Born in the Flood, one of the most heralded and popular local acts of the previous decade. The band's anthemic, stirring music was often compared to that of Coldplay or Radiohead, without ever really sounding like either -- although Born in the Flood's expansive rock sound did explore similar emotional terrain. The band put out a small number of strong releases before going on hiatus, while Rateliff focused on his then-solo project, the Wheel, which later evolved into a full-time endeavor. For his seventh annual holiday show, Rateliff, along with Joseph Pope, has reconvened the group, giving fans a rare chance to see their soulfully cathartic band in action again, along with Nathan & Stephen and In the Whale.
2. DEVOTCHKA WITH CSO @ TWIST & SHOUT | TUES, 12/18/12 As pretty much anybody here can attest, DeVotchKa's music is already plenty bewitching on its own. So you can only imagine how amazing it sounds with the accompaniment of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. If you caught the act with the CSO at its pair of performances this past year at Boettcher Concert Hall or Red Rocks, you know exactly what we're talking about. If you missed it, well, you can still experience the majesty on Live With the Colorado Symphony, which you can pick up at Twist & Shout. Even better, if there are still wristbands left when you buy the record at Twist today, you can return to the store tonight at 8 p.m. for a very special DeVotchKa performance with members of the Colorado Symphony.
1. CLUTCH @ FILLMORE AUDITORIUM | FRI, 12/21/12 Clutch has dodged being saddled with a label, primarily because of the illusion of reinvention it's projected with each album. But the truth is that it's just an illusion. Clutch is set in its ways, yet all of its music sounds like bold experimentation -- even on albums like 2007's From Beale Street to Oblivion, in which the act shed the metal leanings that colored earlier efforts in favor of a more refined bluesy swagger, which was really a continuation of 2005's Robot Hive/Exodus.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.