The ten best concerts this weekend: Sept. 21-23

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Hola, amigo! Welcome to the weekend! A massive amount of musical goodness awaits you this weekend, the first of this fall season. Whatever you feel like getting into, there are a ton of shows to choose from, whether you're looking for metal, rock, hip-hop or just want to party down like there's no such thing as Monday morning, we've got you covered. We've got all these shows and more listed in our massive concert calendar if you'd like to choose your own adventure. Or, as always, if you'd rather we do the heavy lifting for you, keep reading to get the full rundown of the ten best concerts this weekend.

See also: - Q&A with Amanda Palmer - Q&A with Martina Sorbara of Dragonette - Q&A with DJ Premier - Q&A with Slug of Atmosphere

10. OTIS DAY & THE KNIGHTS @ GRIZZLY ROSE | FRI, 9/21/12 Some folks claim that Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts, a party band who became famous touring colleges during the '60s, were the inspiration for the fictional band Otis Day & the Knights in John Landis's 1978 comedy Animal House. But more folks probably remember Otis Day, played by Dewayne Jessie in the film, from the infamous "Shout" scene or where the band is playing "Shama Lama Ding Dong" in the roadhouse. Shortly after the film was released, the band was asked to go on tour, and then in 1989, the outfit recorded an album with P-Funk's George Clinton producing it. The band, which dubs itself as America's number one party band, still plays gigs around the world, including this one tonight at the Grizzly Rose.

9. THE JEALOUS SOUND @ HI-DIVE | FRI, 9/21/12 The Jealous Sound came together when former Knapsack guitarist and singer Blair Shehan got together with some of his friends who had also been members of melodic punk bands of the '90s, including Padro Benito of Sunday's Best, John McGinnis of Neither Trumpets Nor Drums and Adam Wade, who had drummed for Jawbox and previously had a stint in Shudder to Think. The group's sound was at once a continuation of and an evolution beyond the sort of music the foursome had helped to pioneer in their earlier projects. Some might recoil at the term "emo" or not even consider it accurate in the case of this band, but the combination of raw, emotional vulnerability and the punk drive to carry it along is very much in the DNA of the Jealous Sound.

See also: Q&A with Blair Shehan of the Jealous Sound

8. HATEBREED @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | FRI, 9/21/12 On stage and on record with Hatebreed, former Headbangers Ball host Jamey Jasta is the perfect metalcore frontman. Indeed, he might have been grown in a vat for precisely that purpose. He flexes his thick neck and thicker biceps, barking about "unity" the same way East Coast hardcore bands have been doing since the rise of Warzone, Bold, Judge and all the rest in the mid-'80s -- only Hatebreed is a fiercer, heavier musical force than any of those acts, save for maybe Judge.

7. ATMOSPHERE @ OGDEN THEATRE | FRI, 9/21/12 Pioneers of indie hip-hop, Sean Daley and Anthony "Ant" Davis have released more than a dozen records together as Atmosphere on Rhymesayers, the imprint they co-founded in 1995. Backed now by a full band, Slug and Ant have proved that anxiety about growing up and insecurity about girls who shop at record stores is very real shit. They've shown a generation of hip-hop kids that it's perfectly natural to grow up struggling to find your identity. Atmosphere, always a big draw in Denver, shares tonight's bill with Carnage and I Self Devine.

See also: Q&A with Slug of Atmosphere

6. ODD FUTURE @ FOX THEATRE | FRI & SAT, 9/21-9/22 Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All is a group of hard-core hip-hop hooligans who came to pillage, plunder and cause chaos with their rhymes. Led by the enigmatic Tyler, the Creator, the crew made a heavy splash, both in the industry and with fans, right out of the gate with horrific lyrics and tongue-in-cheek rape references (we know, we know) that heightened the mystery surrounding the band's image, which was largely built on controversy and head-scratching, is-this-for-real moments. The crew still don't give a fuck, and their gore rhymes are as gory as ever. If you haven't seen Odd Future live, the act delivers a stage show is that is rambunctious and rowdy, yet stylized and controlled. And this pair of shows at the Fox marks the Colorado debut of the long lost Earl Sweatshirt.

5. DRAGONETTE @ LARIMER LOUNGE | FRI, 9/21/12 Dragonette has been hot on the underground pop scene for years, but it wasn't until last year that the band came charging onto the radio with global party-starter "Hello," a collaboration with Martin Solveig. Almost overnight, the outfit -- lead singer Martina Sorbara; her husband, multi-instrumentalist Dan Kurtz; and drummer Joel Stouffer -- went from being pop's best-kept secret to playing two sets at Coachella in April. Dragonette went from being pop's best-kept secret to playing two sets at Coachella this past spring. The Canadian act, based out of the U.K. these days, comes to Denver this weekend on the eve of the release of its third album, Bodyparts, which hits stores this Tuesday.

See also: Q&A with Martina Sorbara of Dragonette

4. DJ PREMIER @ CERVANTES' | SAT, 9/22/12 DJ Premier is arguably the greatest hip-hop producer of all time. With a creative style that relies on jazz, soul and funk sampling and an impeccable scratch execution, Premier has crafted a style that has influenced countless producers. The instrumentalist half of legendary rap group Gang Starr, Preemo built up a solid foundation for hip-hop that's just as relevant today as it was then. Although he's produced for almost every rapper you can name (Nas, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Bun B, among others), Premier's prowess isn't limited to hip-hop; he's also worked with pop artists such as Christina Aguilera. Throughout hip-hop's many changes, Premier has remained a stronghold for purists who diligently study the genre. Catch Preemo on Saturday night with fellow legend Pete Rock, MU$A, Fisk (Fresh2Death) and Mikey Thunder.

See also: Q&A with DJ Premier

3. KILLER MIKE @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | SAT, 9/22/12 First known to hip-hop audiences outside of Georgia thanks to attention-grabbing cameos on OutKast records, Killer Mike has been a steady presence for a decade, mixing Southern street anthems and political consciousness on a handful of records and a laundry list of features. His collaboration with producer El-P, the 2012 record R.A.P. Music, is some of his best work, winning over critics and fans alike. His incisive lyrics, played out over El-P's signature dystopian digital distillates of golden-era boom bap, reveal a talented storyteller, truth-teller and savvy political analyst. Killer Mike brings his commanding stage presence to the Summit this weekend, where he'll share a bill with legendary Wu-Tang member GZA.

2. AMANDA PALMER @ GOTHIC THEATER | FRI, 9/21/12 Amanda Palmer came to prominence in the early 2000s as one half of the Dresden Dolls. While that band was embraced by goths, its aesthetic was, as Palmer has hinted, more in line with the conceptual musical theater embodied by the work of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. In May of this year, Palmer started a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $100,000 for her next record, an initiative that was enormously successful and resulted in Palmer's becoming the first musician to raise more than $1 million through crowdfunding. Ahead of her current tour with her new band, the Grand Theft Orchestra, Palmer put out a call to fans from around the country to play horns and strings at each date. With such fan interaction and involvement, Palmer has definitely raised the bar on the idea of giving back to your audience.

See also: Amanda Palmer on being criticized for enlisting fans to perform and paying them in beers, hugs

1. FURTHUR @ RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE | FRI-SUN, 9/21-9/23 Break out the tie-dye hoodie and slip a pair of socks on with those Birkenstocks: Furthur is coming back to Red Rocks for a trio of shows this weekend. Like bottles of wine, guitarist Bob Weir and bass master Phil Lesh seem to get better and better with age. Since the end of the Grateful Dead proper in 1995, the two have kept the band's music going strong through various musical projects. The surviving members of the Grateful Dead have gone through several different projects, but none have come as close to capturing the sound of the original Dead as the current incarnation of Furthur.

Visit our concert calendar for a complete rundown of all this weekend's shows.

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.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.