Labor Day: Let's recap the ten best concerts of the summer

Summer's about sweating after dark.
From Lil Wayne's on-stage clowning and Katy Perry's cooing, to a perspiration-and-PBR soaked reunion of Planes Mistaken for Stars, and even those teenage, Danish punks Iceage melting the audience at Rhinoceropolis, the summer of 2011 was as good as any for live music in Denver. On this Labor Day weekend, music editor Dave Herrera has chosen these reviews written by Backbeat scribes. (For a full directory of live reviews, please consult our Last Night section.)

Now, onto fall!

Gauntlet Hair
10. Denver Afterdark travelogue: Safe Boating, Gauntlet Hair, Force Publique and more
"Gauntlet Hair offered up a dreamy set of music that sounded thicker and more dynamic than ever, likely due to the addition of Matt Daniels of Vitamins on bass. Although Craig Nice's kick drum pedal kept failing, it did not detract from the set where it was clear these guys were giving their all in a way that didn't seem as obvious on previous occasions."

Le Divorce
9. 2011 Westword Music Showcase: Backbeat scribes' travelogues
"By the time Le Divorce started, the venue was packed full of bodies sweating out a thick stench of a day full of booze. For its part, Le Divorce brought an energetic set that had people in the crowd bouncing around and even singing along to a few tunes. The band sounded solid, clearly reveling in the energy the crowd was putting out, which was, to say the least, exploding a bit."

8. Review: Iceage at Rhinoceropolis, 8/2/11
"What the audience gave to Iceage, the band returned aplenty as singer Elias Rønnenfelt and the rest of the band seemed to channel the heightened emotional energy of the room, with Rønnenfelt, in the end, performing the final two songs without his guitar, giving himself up to the audience and at one point being lifted into the air, crowd surfing perhaps without consciously doing so."

Peter Gabriel
7. Review: Peter Gabriel at Red Rocks, 6/13/01
"The rain started to fall in earnest, and lyrics like 'Be afraid of the cold' and "After me comes the flood" were punctuated with peals of thunder and the dance of lighting bolts on the distant horizon."

Planes Mistaken for Stars
6. Review: Planes Mistaken For Stars at 3 Kings, with Fire Drills and Kingdom of Magic, 8/13/11
"Planes wasn't kidding when it was announced this would be a reunion show. No, Jamie Drier didn't take the stage but a good chunk of the beginning of the set had Aaron Wise on bass. And it was Wise who started off the show with, "Alright, motherfuckers, here's an oldie but a goodie." Then the band erupted into 'Copper and Stars.'"

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Whomever put this list together probably owns a shirt that says " I like bands that don't exist yet "


Great call, BF. We reviewed that Yellowcard show at the Summit, and that's pretty much what Bree said. Been hearing nothing but good things about Breathe Carolina lately, too. Thanks for weighing in.

Brian Frederick
Brian Frederick

I'd have to say - Yellowcard threw the fuck down when they came to Summit. I haven't seen them in that kind of energy since the good old days. Also - a notable mention would be Breathe Carolina just last week. I haven't seen an act grow that much in a really long time. Big ups to those guys. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at the Ogden would have been one of the best if there weren't so many pretentious cunts stepping on my feet.

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