Weekend's best live bets: Five Finger Death Punch, Myke Charles, SP Double and more
Catch Five Finger Death Punch tonight with Killswitch Engage, Trivium and more at the 1STBANK Center for the Tresspass America tour.
Welcome to the weekend! You've worked hard, and now it's time to treat yourself to some live music. Good news: There's plenty of it to be found over the next three days in the Mile High City, from the return of Five Finger Death Punch, featuring former Denver native Ivan Moody, to a pair of release parties from local hip-hop cats, Myke Charles, celebrating the release of his new video at Suite Two Hundred, and SP Double, headlining a stacked local bill at the Gothic with Mr. Midas, Morning Star and Dope City. There's a bunch of choice imports to choose from this weekend as well, including Liars, Brandi Carlile, Owl City and a whole bunch more. Page down for the full rundown on the weekend's best live music bets.
Extreme-metal purists can say what they will about Five Finger Death Punch. There's a reason that former Denverite Ivan Moody and company have managed to steadily work their way up to headlining arenas and tours such as this week's Trespass America Festival: Their hard-edged, melodic brand of metalcore, kindred to that of acts like co-headliner Killswitch Engage, is powered by equal amounts of scorned vitriol and reflective emotion. As a result, the music resonates deeply with the masses, particularly on tracks like "Over It and Under It," in which Moody does an admirable job of channeling the frustration of having to endure the relentless scrutiny and judgment of detractors. At the same time, on tracks like "The Devil's Own," Moody displays a relatable sense of loss and regret with lines like "It's because of you I'm broken/It's because of you I'm dead inside."
See Also: Liars at the Bluebird Theater - 7/24/10
Out of all the bands that emerged on the New York scene of the late '90s and early 2000s, few pushed the envelope as far as Liars. With their 2001 debut album, They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, Liars made some of the most dense, dynamic and forbidding post-punk of the time. But even with their early success, these guys never really let themselves get comfortable, and with each album, they explored different sounds, instrumentation and ideas. Their latest effort, WIXW, sounds like they picked up where another band with similar artistic ambitions left off -- like what Wire might have done after 154 if it had continued on the same creative trajectory.
"People know my face and name from Sing Off, and it still makes me blush so hard," says Myke Charles with a bashful laugh, his face reddening. "It's not easy when people come up to me and talk to me about the show, because, in person, I am actually kind of shy." Shy is not exactly a word you'd associate with the MC, born Michael Charles Hudson. The handsome young rapper has charisma to spare, and, on stage, he's a commanding presence with impeccable rhymes, but that wasn't always the case. Charles's poise came with a lot of hard work. His story as a writer began in Aurora, where he lived with his mom until he left Smoky Hill High School and moved in with his father and stepmother. (Continue reading full profile)
See Also: Q&A with Joe Queer of the Queers
The Queers (sharing a bill tonight with Screeching Weasel and the Nobodys) have been around forever, or so it seems. Any snot-nosed kid who's ever dipped into the punk scene, even if it was only for a summer, has probably elbowed a few faces in the pit at a Queers show, or at least bought (and later sold) an album from the act's lengthy discography. The Queers don't go away; instead, they get passed on year after year to younger generations. The punk scene is changing, however, and with every decade, it evolves into a hungrier moneymaking beast. Bands like the Queers, who started out when punk still meant "miscreant," are becoming endangered, and guys like Joe King, aka Joe Queer, come from a dying breed of musicians who are still in it to have fun.
Pat McCullough, organizer of the annual Colorado Irish Festival, is well aware of what people want from the cultural extravaganza each year. "We're going to have all the nine yards there," he confirms. "Music, dance and piping, and all the booths and artisans and vendors, and the Denver Gaels -- they host the tournament for teams from around the country, so men's and women's and kids' teams will be out there playing Irish hurling and Irish football. So you have all that going on, but I think it would be fair to say that the music is probably the main driver, because we have a really great lineup this year."
That lineup includes the Young Dubliners, the Fighting Jamesons (a first Colorado appearance), the Brazen Heads and the Elders. The Ward Irish Music Archives will step up this year with a brand-new exhibit: The Irish in Film. (Ward was responsible for the awesome Irish in Rock exhibit a few years back.) And there will be the requisite cultural village, dance performances and much more. The festival, which fills Clement Park at 7306 West Bowles in Littleton, runs today from 5 to 10 p.m., tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
While the Black Crowes could lay down some mean Stones-inspired southern rock, the band could also delve into extended psyched out jams. It didn't take frontman Chris Robinson long to form his own group after the Crowes announced they were going on "indefinite hiatus" in 2010 after two decades together. The Chris Robinson Brotherhood opts for more of the jam route, which is quite evident on the band's brand new album, Big Moon Ritual. Crowes fans and Deadheads alike will most likely dig the CRB.
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.