Concert Reviews

Our Most Popular Music Stories of 2019

Brittany Strummer, bottom right, was rarely seen without her many friends.
Brittany Strummer, bottom right, was rarely seen without her many friends. Britt Reiser
Westword's most-read music stories over the past year were largely concert reviews of massive shows — and there were plenty that came through town. We saw Fleetwood Mac, Phish, Tool, Garth Brooks, Lizzo and so many more. But of all the stories that made this list, we were thrilled to see that our tribute to the late Brittany Strummer, a Denver punk-scene icon, also made the cut. She inspired DIY musicians in Denver and far beyond, and she will be missed by thousands.

Here are the ten most popular music stories on in 2019.

"Fleetwood Mac Brings Out the Worst in Denver at Pepsi Center Show"
An extraordinary amount of bickering plagued the Fleetwood Mac concert at the Pepsi Center: Fans grumbled at security. Boomers and millennials clashed over whether to sit or stand. Some members of the crowd were so busy spatting that many weren't able to enjoy the show, which was fabulous.

Amid all the intergenerational discord, Mick Fleetwood offered some smiley reminders about how we should all be kind to one another in these trying times. The question Westword culture editor Kyle Harris had at the end of the show: Is that even possible anymore?

"Phish Unapologetically Phish at Denver Labor Day Shows"
Despite camping at this year's Labor Day Phish stand being canceled over fears of plague-infested prairie dogs, the three annual concerts occurred, and Denver fans showed up as enthusiastically as ever.

Reviewer Adam Perry was less than impressed with the set list, and so were the fans he sat near: "Phish is playing great, but this set list is horrible," one said. Though he was also disenchanted with the lack of interaction from the band, Perry commended Phish for never getting stuck in nostalgia.
click to enlarge The Rolling Stones performed at Mile High on Saturday, August 10, 2019. - BRANDON MARSHALL
The Rolling Stones performed at Mile High on Saturday, August 10, 2019.
Brandon Marshall

"The Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger's Orgasmic Denver Concert"
The Rolling Stones brought a flamboyant set to Mile High Stadium in August. Mick Jagger, whose youthful energy raged, even months after heart surgery, strutted around the stage, waving his hands and mugging for the crowd — giving reviewer Kyle Harris the impression that the singer was in perpetual orgasm. Local heroes Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats opened, delivering a hefty dose of hometown pride to Denver.

"Tool Triggered Insomnia in Denver"
Westword clubs editor Jon Solomon found himself awake all night long after attending Tool's first night at the Pepsi Center. "I felt like a massive octopus was wringing out my brain," he wrote. "Flashbacks from the sold-out concert swirled through my head, and the ringing in my ears echoed the thud-thud-thud of subwoofers that had rattled my gut and chest."

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