The weekend's best live music: Ghostland Observatory, STS9, Warped Tour and more
Inspired by the Mayan calendar's succession, STS9 has developed a one-of-a-kind musical experience in the form of a tour dubbed the Great Cycle Spectacles, a presentation of art, imagination and music performed by one of the most sought-after psychedelic jam-rock bands going right now. After a successful tour following bassist David Murphy's brain-tumor surgery last year, STS9 headlined festivals alongside Ghostland Observatory, Pretty Lights, Rusko and Snoop Dogg, culminating in a tour-ending sell-out show at Red Rocks. With more than a decade in the scene and eleven studio albums under its belt, STS9 has more than fulfilled its stated mission to "make electronic music relevant again," and the Great Cycle Spectacles tour should further cement that notion.
TENNIS @ CHAUTAUQUA AUDITORIUM
See Also: Once "thrown into the fire," Tennis emerges with Young & Old
"We were the band that our first show was sold out," notes Patrick Riley about the live debut of his group, Tennis. "From the start, it was like being thrown into the fire."
Riley clearly has a firm grasp of how fortunate his band has been after getting early encouragement from friends in the bands Woodsman and Family Portrait, whose labels, Fire Talk and Underwater Peoples, respectively, put out Tennis's first two seven-inch releases in July 2010. Those two records and a flurry of write-ups on music blogs were key to the group's securing a record deal with Fat Possum Records -- in the time it takes most bands to find their footing.
RICHARD THOMPSON @ BOULDER THEATER
See Also: Richard Thompson Q&A
Richard Thompson probably isn't the first name that comes to mind when listing the greatest guitarists of all time, but it should be. In his seventh decade of existence, Thompson is a respected figure among those who appreciate superb musicianship informed by a rich imagination. Thompson first came to prominence as a member of the influential folk-rock outfit Fairport Convention. After parting with the band, Thompson played on the first two Nick Drake albums. As a solo artist, his recorded output has been as critically acclaimed as anything he did previously. In 2003, Thompson embarked on what he called 1000 Years of Popular Music, in which he and his collaborators covered popular songs from the eleventh century through 2003, including a song by Britney Spears. Director Werner Herzog's production team tapped Thompson to score Grizzly Man.
LISA ENGELKEN JAZZ QUINTET @ DAZZLE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE
Classically and theatrically trained, San Francisco-based jazz singer Lisa Engelken is equally at home singing tunes by Cole Porter and Freddie Hubbard as she is Joni Mitchell and Billy Idol. Wielding an impressive three-octave range, Engelken's inventive vocal chops are more than evident her album Caravan, which was part of the Jazz Journalists Association's Best of 2010 list. For her Dazzle date, she's joined by some of Denver's finest, including pianist Eric Gunnison, bassist Bijoux Barbosa and trumpeter John Lake, as well as San Francisco drummer Matt Swindells. The group will debut new works from Anima Explorations, slated for release this fall.
Check out our newly revamped concert calendar for a complete listing of all of tonight's shows. Page down for rundown of tomorrow night's best bets.