The Seventeen Best Concerts in Colorado This Weekend

The holiday weekend should be a good one for music in Denver. Some of the highlights include Del McCoury, who will play new songs inspired by Woody Guthrie and Fishbone, which inspired D'Angelo to write the song "1000 Deaths." Many more of our picks await you below.

See also: The Six Best Music Venues for Beer Drinkers in Denver

Reel Big Fish & Less Than Jake Ogden Theatre : 7:30 p.m. January 15 The Reel Big Fish/Less Than Jake/Authority Zero package tour makes a lot of sense in a time when cashing in on nostalgia is big business. But not only did all three of those bands come of age in the '90s; they also survived and prospered through those years. They're workhorses battling time and trends, blossoming out of a glorious era when third­wave ska and punk aligned in a radio­friendly, Fat Wreck Chords kind of way. Reel Big Fish still rolls out its campy skankin' style with horn­heavy songs and a cartoonish appearance. More punk than ska, Less Than Jake has stuck to its philosophical yet catchy party anthems for the Everydude. Authority Zero brings it all together as an act that once encapsulated the Sublime vibe but has grown into a more dynamic rock band. Together the three offer up a perfect plate of punk and ska trends from a very specific era while keeping the current time frame in mind; each has released new material in the last two years, gathering new fans along the way.

Mako 1972 (with the Malah) The 1up Colfax : January 15 Mako 1972 might have taken its name from one of several things: a boat, a shark, maybe even a lost film by director Mako Iwamatsu. It doesn't really matter, though, because a cryptic name suits this band well. Mako's noisy, metallic rock comes out of left field, much like the output of those great Swami Records bands of the early '90s. And that's no surprise, given the band's pedigree: The lineup includes Eric Bliss, of Salt Lake City's visceral Form of Rocket; Rachel Lujan, from the appropriately named Fire Season; veteran drummer and soundman Devon Rogers, from Register; and Luke Fairchild, who's probably best known as the charismatic frontman of Git Some. The group's fluid dynamics and bursts of expressive soundscaping set it outside of any conventional punk or rock boundaries.

12th Planet & Dubloadz Beta : 9:00 p.m. January 16 John Dadzie, the orbital center of Los Angeles' dubstep galaxy known as SMOG, is the mastermind behind 12th Planet. Transitioning from drum and bass to dubstep seems to be a natural course for producers in the past few years, and Dadzie has been at the forefront of that movement's progression.

Aesop Rock & Rob Sonic Gothic Theatre : 9:00 p.m. January 16 With hip-hop perpetually drowning in outsized swag-and-brag imagery, keeping it real doesn't get realer than Homeboy Sandman's "Not Really." The song, from the NYC rapper's 2012 album First of a Living Breed, is Homeboy's casual, self-effacing take on joining notable indie label Stones Throw Records and the ensuing life changes that followed. Since signing, Homeboy (a.k.a. Angel Del Villar II), who's touring with Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic, makes more money, plays bigger shows, flies in better seats, and meets more women, but all that movement hasn't altered his core ("I was chilling in Economy / That didn't bother me") nor is as exciting as it sounds. "Not Really" even confronts head-on the possibilities of failing and/or selling out: "Folks make a lot of fuss / I got a lot of buzz / I still could be a bust / Same as it ever was / Clear Channel FM can kiss my ass cheek / I said that last year / I said that last week." In the time since First, Homeboy has steadily stuck to an off-beat, indie-centric career path. Last September's Hallways is full of soaring, jazzy instrumentals and his slam-poet-style storytelling. He's also just as willing to vouch for an unexpected point of view as he was before: Last April, he wrote "Black People Are Cowards," a much-discussed Gawker essay about the black response to the Donald Sterling/L.A. Clippers brouhaha, and what he saw as weakness.

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn Strings Music Festival Park : 7:30 p.m. January 16 Banjo virtuoso and multiple-Grammy winner Béla Fleck has a long and storied history as a master bluegrass player, but his musical scope reaches much further than that. Over the past few years, Fleck has performed locally in various settings, including with legendary jazz pianist Chick Corea, with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and with the Flecktones, the jazz-fusion act he formed with Victor Wooten in 1988. Tonight, he'll team up with his wife, Abigail Washburn, who's a heck of a banjo player and singer herself.

In the Company of Serpents (album release) Marquis Theater : January 16 In the Company of Serpents could have been characterized as a pure doom­rock band early in its career. But even early on, there was an elegance to the duo's intensity, a glimmer of nuance in its grinding, crushing rhythms and in Grant Netzorg's harsh, gritty vocals. In his own bizarre way, Netzorg made that singing style melodic. On the act's latest release, Merging in Light, Netzorg and drummer Joseph Myer push even further into psychedelic territory with their disorienting use of tone and texture; the music almost sounds as though it's struggling with itself. See for yourself when ITCOS plays at the Marquis Theater on Friday, January 16. Live, the band has a primordial, elemental power that it seems to seize yet barely control, like the steel that Conan's ancestors found on the battlefield after the gods warred with one another.

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