Weekend's best live bets: Icelantic's Winter on the Rocks and more

Categories: Concerts

Atmosphere makes history tonight by headlining Icelantic's Winter on the Rocks, the first wintertime concert in the history of Red Rocks.

Are you ready? This is a weekend to remember. Tonight for the first time ever, the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre will add to its renown by hosting the first ever wintertime concert with Icelantic's Winter on the Rocks with Atmosphere, Common, Grieves and Budo and Get Cryphy. And that's just the tip of the, ahem, iceberg. There's a ton of other shows this weekend, including Blackalicious, the Descendents, Reverend Horton Heat, RJD2, Leo Kottke, Ghost, Agent Orange, the Jayhawks, as well as CD release shows from Hindershot, In the Whale and Erik Deutsch Band and more. Page down for the full rundown.


Sean Daley is family man. He's got a cat, a wife, two children and a house, and he just took his first family vacation, to a small island in the Gulf of Mexico. The music world, of course, knows Daley better as Slug from the Minneapolis-based rap group Atmosphere, an act he co-founded with Anthony "Ant" Davis in the mid-'90s. Pioneers of indie hip-hop, Daley and Davis have released more than a dozen records on their own through Rhymesayers, the imprint they co-founded in 1995 (read more in the full interview).

See Blackalicious at the Fillmore for just $10 tonight. You read that right. You can see Blackalicious at the Fillmore this Friday, January 27, for just ten bucks (well, plus the applicable service fees). Tickets are on-sale right now at or you can pick them up directly at the Fillmore box office. Oh, we should also let you know that this is also the 13th Annual Transworld Snowboard Riders Poll Awards Show, in which the winners from the 2011 poll will be announced. That means there will be a ton of the dudes who've been nominated on hand if you're into that sort of thing.

Ghost is a metal band from Sweden that might also be considered a bit of a performance art troupe. With one member dressed as the Satanic counterpart to the Pope and the other five as hooded, essentially faceless acolytes, all decked out in reverse Christian symbolism, Ghost is the kind of band where individual ego has been subsumed for something more collective and symbolic.

Performing with and producing for artists like EL-P, Aesop Rock, and Aceyalone, RJD2 has paved an unprecedented path for himself since the 2002 debut of his instrumental hip-hop album, Deadringer. He's shown his creativity in a variety of outlets, whether it be the soundtrack to a skate video, a brief graffiti career, or founding the sustainable record label RJ's Electrical Connections.

Leo Kottke is a legendary and beloved master of finger picking guitar and a gifted raconteur. He got his start with John Fahey's Takoma Records in the late '60s, and he's been releasing noteworthy albums of some of the most inventive and interesting acoustic music ever recorded. Whether playing intricate folk leads or jazz inflected blues, Kottke is ever the master craftsman with a creative imagination to match. Kottke has overcome physically debilitating damage to his hearing and especially his tendons from his unique style of playing guitar, and his career was nearly ended but he switched up his playing style and continues strong to this day.

Vince Neil was custom made for Friday nights. Doubt it? Put a quarter in the jukebox and throw on any Motley Crue song -- take your pick, "Kickstart My Heart," "Girls, Girls, Girls" "Shout at the Devil," "Looks That Kill" -- and then watch the joint, doesn't matter where you're at, completely transform before your eyes from a mild-mannered local tavern at the end of the week into a bonafied bacchanalian bonanza. Before you know it, you'll be pounding your fist and pounding beers in equal measure.

Though birthed in the dysfunctional cradle of the Southern California hardcore scene, Agent Orange never stuck to convention. Although the group's debut, Living in Darkness, contained the instant punk-rock classic "Bloodstains," the outfit's influential sound is equal parts hardcore, power pop and surf rock. At heart, though, as evidenced by its ferociously fun live shows, Agent Orange is really nothing less than an outstandingly entertaining rock-and-roll­ band. The group's influence can be still be heard in many of the punk bands that followed in its wake. Touring consistently since the early '80s, Fullerton's favorite sons make a great case for sticking with what you do best.

Formed in 1985, the Jayhawks were early progenitors of the alt-country movement and paved the way for acts like Uncle Tupelo, Wilco and Son Volt. While co-founder Mark Olson has pretty much been out of the fold since 1995 when he left the band to be with his wife Victoria Williams after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Since then, he's released a few solo albums as well teaming back up with co-founder Gary Louris for a few tours. Olson is now back with the Jayhawks and on the band's latest effort, Mockingbird Time.

Reggae legend Anthony B. has been singing revolutionary and political-leaning songs since he emerged onto the scene with his 1996 debut, Real Revolutionary. Shying away from songs that were degrading to women (against the popular tide of music), Anthony B. chose instead to focus on his Afrocentric pride, using the influence of Peter Tosh and his thoughtful lyrics to further his Rastafari style. With searing vocals and melodic storytelling, the Jamaican recording artist is a wealth of charismatic sound.

Stuart Confer can't pin down exactly where the inspiration for the tunes on his band's latest EP, Curse Us All, comes from. Confer, the lead guitarist, singer and songwriter for Hindershot says the creative impetus for the four tracks came from his own mental "ether," the stream-of-consciousness that also birthed the material for the band's freshman release, 2011's It's Only Blood (read the full interview with Confer).

Also Tonight:

- - Adam Arcuragi & the Lupine Chorale Society at hi-dive

- - Andrew Emil at Bar Standard

- Best of the West Battle of the Bands at Herman's Hideaway

- All American Rejects at Belly Up Aspen

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Zach Pasdoe
Zach Pasdoe

Atmosphere, Leo Kottke, and the Jayhawks - Denver loves Minneapolis artists.

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