The ten best concerts in Denver this week

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AMERICANARAMA @ FIDDLER'S GREEN | WEDS, 7/31/13 Sometimes when genre-specific festivals are put together, the bill gets padded with -- to put it charitably -- lesser-known artists. Fortunately, that's not the case with Americanarama, which features Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Ryan Bingham, each heavy hitters in their own right. As if you need any convincing, Dylan rarely tours these days, and when he does, his tours often vary with regard to material. And although Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Bingham are, in some ways, the aesthetic descendants of Dylan, each has a unique vision, ensuring that this show will be compelling from beginning to end. Clearly someone was thinking when Americanarama was put together, because each of these artists represents an important branch of modern American music.

See also: - My Morning Jacket's Jim James on letting fans tweet songs they want to hear - Three questions with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco - Q&A: Nels Cline of Wilco

MAC MILLER @ OGDEN THEATRE | TUES, 7/30/13 Following in the footsteps of fellow Pittsburgh native and Taylor Allderdice graduate Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller is well known for making feel-good music. His breakout mixtape K.I.D.S. (Kickin' Incredibly Dope Shit), an homage to the notably dark Larry Clark film, and followup Best Day Ever were beloved by casual and hard-core hip-hop fans alike for their fleeting yet satisfying jams about being young; Mac Miller's greatest strength and the chief reason for his success has always been that he raps about what he knows. His first studio album, Blue Slide Park, debuted at number one but received mixed reviews. Watching Movies With the Lights Off, his newest album, is his best yet. With Chance the Rapper, Action Bronson and Vince Staples sharing the bill, this is a loaded lineup.

MEGADETH @ 1STBANK CENTER | FRI, 8/2/13 Megadeth may be one of the Big Four of thrash, but in many ways, its frontman Dave Mustaine is largely responsible for the sound and aesthetic of three of the Big Four. As a member of Metallica before that band recorded its first full-length, Mustaine's name could still be seen on songwriting credits through Ride the Lightning. With Megadeth, Mustaine had a chance to develop his vision for a kind of technically respectable yet raw and brutal sound more fully, and his lyrics delved deep into places of personal darkness and exposed social ills with a sharp and poetic analysis rare in music. Megadeth joins Black Label Society, Device, Hellyeah, Newsted and Death Division for this year's Gigantour.

HARD @ RED ROCKS | THURS, 8/1/13 HARD Events founder and twenty-year veteran DJ Gary Richards -- also known as Destructo on festival bills -- has been producing electronic-music parties under the HARD moniker since 2007. Richards has developed a following by successfully curating programs that cater to a variety of tastes; there's always something for everyone, whether it's the heavy-bass aficionado or the chilled-out groovehound who salivates at the sound of downtempo melodies. HARD Red Rocks features Destructo with Knife Party, Diplo, Disclosure and Flosstradamus.

Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Denver Concert Calendar

CYPRESS HILL @ RED ROCKS | MON, 7/29/13 Headed by B-Real, this California group is known best for its ardent love of weed with songs like "Legalize It," "Hits From the Bong" and "Dr. Greenthumb." It's the darker, more serious side of Cypress Hill, however, that earns them respect as one the West Coast's greatest acts. The group's self titled debut went double platinum thanks to singles like the calloused "How I Could Just Kill a Man" and "Latin Lingo," which showcased the MCs' competence in bilingual rhyming with verses that seamlessly transition between English and Spanish. The groups followup, Black Sunday was even more successful, featuring "Insane in the Brain," which appealed to both rock and rap fans and seemed to be playing everywhere in the '90s, as well as "I Ain't Goin' Out Like That," which was nominated for a Grammy. A later single, "Rock Superstar," cemented the outfit's status as a crossover act, landing it on tours with the likes of MxPx and the Offspring. Cypress Hill is performing with 311 and G. Love & Special Sauce.

RUSH @ PEPSI CENTER | FRI, 8/2/13 For one of the most successful bands in history, Rush remains a pretty cryptic bunch. Formed in 1968, the Canadian trio of guitarist Alex Lifeson, drummer/lyricist Neil Peart (who joined in 1974) and singer/bassist/keyboardist Geddy Lee began as a Zeppelin-esque hard-rock combo before mutating into rock's most progressive, subversive A-lister. Despite such a formidable mystique, though, Rush has always possessed a quirky, heart-on-its-sleeve nerdiness, even when surrounded by intricate rhythms and consummate riffs.

THE CULT @ OGDEN THEATRE | FRI, 8/2/13 In 1985, Love was the Cult's breakthrough album, helped along by the single "She Sells Sanctuary" -- but the band switched gears, stripped things down and started rocking out a few years later on the Rick Rubin-produced Electric, which the band will perform in its entirety this night. Since then, the Cult has been through a few lineup changes and a few breaks, but core members Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy, along with various bassists and drummers, have continued to churn out some heavy records, including 2007's Born Into This and the first studio effort since then, last year's Choice of Weapon.

Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Denver Concert Calendar

MADELEINE PEYROUX @ BOULDER THEATER | FRI, 8/2/13 There is no denying that Madeleine Peyroux bears an uncanny resemblance to Billie Holiday. But while the inspiration and gilded jazz vocal similarities are there, the pain is not -- Peyroux brings her own whimsical style to the genre with a sense of humor in her lyrics and delivery. On 2011's Standing On The Rooftop, Peyroux has taken a new turn with her compositions, breaking from the blues a bit to focus on a more folk and roots-influenced sound. On The Blue Room, released in March, Peyroux reinterprets songs from Ray Charles' Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music as well as cuts by Randy Newman and Leonard Cohen.

JOHN SCOFIELD'S UBER JAM BAND @ BOULDER THEATER | 8/1/13 John Scofield's never been one to settle in any particular musical style. While he always comes back to bop in one way or another, the chameleonic guitarist is equally deft in a number of styles. With 1998's A Go Go, Scofield tapped into a whole new demographic by enlisting Medeski, Martin & Wood to play on the disc. While Scofield, who played with Miles Davis, was a respected jazz artist and had delved into fusion previously, with A Go Go he fully embraced the jazz-funk idiom. With 2002's Uberjam, Scofield used jazz-funk as a base while also tossing in some occasional drum and bass. More than a decade later, he recruited some of the same players for the groove-centric Uberjam Deux, which was released in July.

ANNA LUNOE @ NORAD | FRI, 8/2/13 Australian rising star Anna Lunoe has only been working her craft stateside for about a year, but she's already made a name for herself in this country. After dabbling in the radio-DJ lifestyle, she started spinning hip-hop and indie tunes in venues before expanding her reach. Her early experiences digging through bargain bins at the local music store gave her an appreciation for a wide range of genres, so her current eclectic sound, which mixes elements of house, garage and bass-oriented electronica, was a natural progression. Lunoe has also made a distinct impression as a producer, creating tracks incorporating her own vocals that have crawled up the Beatport rankings. As a set-spinner, she starts the energy off high and then ups the ante, mixing insistent drumlines with sassy melodies and tempering both with her use of bass. See for yourself when she joins Bag Raiders and option4 at NORAD this Friday, August 2.

Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Denver Concert Calendar

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