Weekend's best live music bets: Phil Lesh and Friends, Young the Giant and more
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18
DEVOTCHKA WITH THE COLORADO SYMPHONY @ BOETTCHER CONCERT HALL
At this point, DeVotchKa appears incapable of producing music that's anything less than intoxicating; just listening to the band inspires a sense of romanticism in even the most hardened of hearts. Everything there is to love about DeVotchKa -- the lush strings, Old World accordion and horns and Nick Urata's rapturous vocals, all of which could make a torturous trek through the most barren wasteland seem delightful -- will undoubtedly be made even more transcendent tonight when set against the Colorado Symphony.
YOUNG THE GIANT @ OGDEN THEATRE
Young the Giant possesses songwriting wisdom and craft far beyond that of a band whose oldest member is only 23. The California quintet is made up of guys who started playing music at a young age and have already amassed more indie-rock cred and mainstream clout than most players who have been at it twice as long. After winning an online contest in 2009, they got to open for Kings of Leon in Chicago, which opened a lot of doors. The band, which changed its name from the Jakes in 2009, displays quirky indie-rock rhythms mixed with Sameer Gadhia's soulful, lounge-singer croon, creating moving and poignant ballads with just a hint of danceability.
PHIL LESH AND FRIENDS @ 1ST BANK CENTER
After coming through town a few times in the last few years with Furthur, former Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh and friends return to the 1STBANK Center for a three-night run. This time around, Lesh is in fine company with two outstanding guitarists in tow -- jazzer John Scofield and Gov't Mule's Warren Haynes -- as well as singer/guitarist Jackie Green and drummer Joe Russo of Benevento/Russo Duo fame.
FUTUREBIRDS @ LARIMER LOUNGE
Last year was fairly epic for Athens, Georgia's Futurebirds with the release of two EPs and hitting the road with acts like Widespread Panic, Drive-By Truckers and Grace Potter. Between going in and out of the studio working on the follow-up to 2010's Hampton's Lullaby, the band brings its high energy countrified rock to five Colorado cities, starting with two nights at the Larimer Lounge, the to the Fox Theater in Boulder, the Aggie Theatre in Ft. Collins, down to the Black Sheep in Colorado Springs and finishing with a two-night stand at Vail's Sandbar.