The ten best concerts in Denver this weekend

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GIGANTOUR @ 1STBANK CENTER | FRI, 8/2/13 Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine first conceived of Gigantour as a platform to showcase acts whose music featured virtuosic guitar playing. In addition to his own band, the festival's inaugural roster, in 2005, included prog-rock vets Dream Theater, extreme-metal unit Nevermore and skronky math-core heroes the Dillinger Escape Plan. More recently, the traveling festival has evolved into something more diverse. This year's iteration still packs plenty of guitar wallop with the perennial headliners, plus Black Label Society (led by Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde), Device (featuring Disturbed singer David Draiman), Hellyeah, Death Division and Newsted (led by former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted).

See also: Dave Mustaine talks addiction, religion and having a personal relationship with God

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.

GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV @ BOULDER THEATER | SUN, 8/4/13 Whatever size room he's playing, there's something about Gregory Alan Isakov's voice -- which feels like not much more than a whisper at times -- and his engaging songs that demand attention. He creates an unmistakable intimacy with both. Recorded over the past year and a half on analog gear and mixed to tape, The Weatherman -- Isakov's latest album, whose release is being celebrated this weekend -- captures the familiarity and rawness of his live shows. Jamie Mefford's lush, reverb-laden production makes some of the cuts feel more expansive than those on Isakov's previous two full-lengths. Bob Dylan once sang, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows," and you don't need to be a singer-songwriter to realize that Isakov has created something truly stunning here.

KID ROCK @ FIDDLER'S GREEN | SAT, 8/3/13 Say what you will about Kid Rock -- love him, hate him, or, hell, deem him irrelevant and completely unworthy of mustering any sort of opinion whatsoever -- you have to admire the dude's valiant efforts to bring the party to the masses this summer. By now you've heard about his $20 Best Night Ever Tour, for which the Kid made all tickets to see him, ZZ Top and Uncle Kracker affordable for everyone. He's also arranged for cheaper beers and parking. And he's not just flapping his gums here: He's reportedly putting his money where his mouth is by taking a smaller guarantee. In a down economy, that's no small gesture. If this little experiment works, perhaps some other acts will follow suit. If not, well, you've gotta give it to the Kid for trying.

Keep reading for the weekend's best bets and see even more shows in our constantly-updated, super comprehensive 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 Standin' 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, her latest effort, Peyroux reinterprets songs from Ray Charles' Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music as well as cuts by Randy Newman and Leonard Cohen.

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 tonight. 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.

BIZZY BONE @ HERMAN'S HIDEAWAY | FRI, 8/2/13 Bone Thugs are probably the most unique group in rap history in that no other group has been successful doing what they do, which is singing and harmonizing at a high level, yet maintaining their credibility as not only hardcore rappers, but ones who are both lyrically gifted and technically vicious. Even without the group, though, Bizzy Bone, the group's youngest member, has found success on his own, peaking at number two with his 2001 album, The Gift.

Keep reading for the weekend's best bets and see even more shows in our constantly-updated, super comprehensive Denver Concert Calendar

SOULFLY @ MARQUIS THEATER | SAT, 8/3/13 Back to the primitive like a caveman from the Ice Age, Soulfly busts out percussion-rich Brazilian tribal metal, along with instruments that look like they were crafted in the Amazon rainforest. This show is the chance to run, shove and slam in a mosh pit, as well as break out the tribal dancing shoes circling around the mosh pit. Soulfly is a direct descendent of Sepultura, one of the good suns of thrash/groove metal.

TELLURIDE JAZZ FESTIVAL @ TELLURIDE TOWN PARK | FRI-SUN, 8/2-8/4 Over the past three decades, the Telluride Jazz Festival has established itself as one of the state's premier jazz gatherings by bringing nationally and internationally recognized jazz acts, as well as the occasional funk band. This year's lineup includes guest of honor Lonnie Smith, along with the Stanley Clarke Band, John Scofield's UberJam Band, Galactic, Meshell Ndegeocello, the Motet, the New Orleans Suspects and the Stooges Brass Band, among others.

WINTER PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL @ WINTER PARK | SAT, 8/3/13 Very little has changed for '70s rockers Cheap Trick, which headlines this year's Winter Park Music Fest, over the past three decades. The band's set lists continue to be mostly unpredictable, guitar god Rick Nielsen still occasionally whips out his five-neck ax and always flicks countless guitar picks into the audience and, most importantly, frontman Robin Zander still knows how to incite "rah-rah" audience responses during "I Want You to Want Me."

Keep reading for the weekend's best bets and see even more shows in our constantly-updated, super comprehensive Denver Concert Calendar

See also: - The ten biggest concert buzzkills - The ten geekiest metal bands - The fifty best rap lyrics of all time

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