Weekend best live music bets: Drive-By Truckers, Umphrey's Mcgee and more

Categories: Concerts

Andy Tennille
Catch Drive-By Truckers tonight at the Ogden Theatre, tomorrow night at the Fox Theatre and Sunday at the Belly Up in Aspen.
Happy Friday! Another great weekend of music awaits you this weekend. Tonight the Drive-By Truckers kick off a three-night run in Colorado with a show at the Ogden Theatre, followed by a gig tomorrow night a the Fox in Boulder and a show at the Belly Up in Aspen on Sunday. At the Fillmore tonight, meanwhile, Umphrey's McGee sets up shop at the Fillmore with Jimkata. And there's plenty more! Los Lobos unplugs at the Boulder Theater, Churchill celebrates the release of its latest EP at the Bluebird, Le Divorce premieres its new video at the hi-dive and Odd Future closes things out at the Fox on Sunday night. Page down for this weekend's best live music bets.


The Drive-By Truckers recorded their last two releases -- The Big To-Do and Go-Go Boots -- during the same sessions in 2009, yet the albums sound quite different. The former is raucous, raw and rocks something fierce, while the latter, for the most part, is a more toned-down affair, a record that frontman Patterson Hood says in many ways is the polar opposite side of what the Truckers do as a band. Hood has said that if The Big To-Do was an action-adventure summertime flick (albeit one with some brainy and dark undercurrents), Go-Go Boots is a noir film in the vein of Night of the Hunter. (Read this week's full Drive-By Truckers profile.)

Is any band in America more revered or respected than East Los Angeles roots vatos Los Lobos? The core members of this American musical treasure -- David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, Steve Berlin, Louis Perez and Conrad Lozano -- have produced nineteen albums and played everywhere from an Angeleno quinceañera to Farm Aid to the White House. Their sound spans virtually all aspects of American music, from blues, zydeco, soul and kick-you-in-the-head rock and roll to various Latino styles, including cumbia, norteno and Tex-Mex. Critics turn handstands whenever they drop an album, and their fans follow them like Deadheads. It's ironic that one of the most important acts of the late twentieth century is best known for its cover of "La Bamba." Their first truly significant album, 1984's T Bone Burnett-produced Will The Wolf Survive?, asked the question, and these guys answer in the affirmative every time they step onto a stage. Viva Los Lobos.

In terms of bands that traffic in long-form compositions, there are prog bands and there are jam bands, the former being characterized by linear compositions with rigid structures, the latter for its loose, well, jamming. Umphrey's McGee splits the difference between the two quite nicely. And if you haven't seen them live, the guys can play. Cramming changes by the bucketful into every song for a hyperactive sound not unlike that of Frank Zappa (if a little less insistently weird), the band tends to expand sections to allow for plenty of solos, proving its musicianship is just as accomplished on stage as it is in the studio.

Less Than Jake hasn't released a new full-length since 2008's GNV FLA, but it doesn't matter -- the Florida dudes still tour relentlessly, and their fans still come to see them play. Why? Because, in an era of performers constantly questioning their own cool, Less Than Jake prides itself on being uncool. They still sing songs about pizza and parties. They still have a horn section. They still are sort of ska, if ska still existed. And like the grateful Dead of ska, Less Than Jake knows it isn't about records anyway--it's about the live show, which usually involves lots of sweaty dancing and confetti.

On the strength of being named the winner of KTCL's annual Hometown for the Holidays promo in December and armed with a great new video, Churchill has built up a healthy head of steam heading into the new year. Tonight the outfit celebrates the release of its new EP, Change, the follow-up to last year's excellent Happy/Sad. Change is a fitting title for the disc, as the band switches things up a bit, exploring a slightly more upbeat sound on the EP, while delivering the same earnest brand of pop we've come to expect from the band. Tonight's bill also includes Popcult and Rachel James.

Also Tonight:

- - Bronze Radio Return with the Brew at The Walnut Room

- - Courtney Marie Andrews with Nearly Beloved and Jami Lunde at Loin's Lair

- - The David Mayfield Parade with Boom Chick at hi-dive

- - Dead Orchids with Cure for Pain and Blue Hour at Old Curtis Street Bar

- - Don Carlos (of Black Uhuru) wtih Dj Kazz at Cervantes' Other Side

- - Ginga at Swallow Hill Music Hall

- - Good Gravy at Aggie Theatre

- - Katie Glassman & Snapshot at Appaloosa Grill

- - Kyle Hollingsworth Band at Three20South

- - Polytoxic Block Party with Shakedown Street and Watkins Glen Soundcheck at Quixote's True Blue

- - Thumpin at Herb's

- - Torch the Wagon with Undeclared, Drakes, Backporch Romeos and Defile the Pure at Herman's Hideaway

- - Joshua Trinidad with the Foot, Greenery Book Club and Faceman at Larimer Lounge

- - Chevy Woods with Rockie, Mr. Midas, DJ Big Spade, Maine PA from Crazy Baby Records, Alabama, Grimez, Joka at Casselman's Bar and Venue

- Paper Bird with Eye and the Arrow & Patrick Dethlefs and Nick Jaina at Fox Theatre

- White Fudge with Wheelchair Sports Camp at Oriental Theater

Location Info


Ogden Theatre

935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Fillmore Auditorium

1510 Clarkson St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Summit Music Hall

1902 Blake St., Denver, CO

Category: Music


7 S. Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: Music

Summit Music Hall

1902 Blake St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Boulder Theater

2032 14th St., Boulder, CO

Category: Music

Fox Theatre

1128 13th St., Boulder, CO

Category: Music

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