Five best concerts in Colorado this weekend
Marcello Ambriz Catch 311 this Sunday, August 19 at Red Rocks with Slightly Stoopid and SOJA.
311 @ RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE | SUN, 8/19
Originally hailing from Omaha, Nebraska before anyone associated that city with being a creative hub for music, 311 is a testament to tenacity. The quintet, which emerged in the early '90s, has stayed unwaveringly true to its hybrid sound over the course of ten albums (eleven if you count the live record). As a result, with its original lineup intact, the act has withstood every fair-weather trend of the past two decades and maintained a dependably fervent fanbase. In this mercurial era of blogs, that's a feat. Thriving without the help of radio or press, 311 can still pack Red Rocks in a time when many of their counterparts from the Clinton years are playing places the size of the Bluebird. Catch Nick Hexum and company this Sunday with the kindred Slightly Stoopid and SOJA.
GUN STREET GHOST EP RELEASE @ HI-DIVE | FRI, 8/17
Gun Street Ghost is the latest project fronted by Mike Perfetti, perhaps better know from his stints in Ideal Fathers, Johnny Knows Karate and Raleigh. With bassist Tyler Campo (ex-Cowboy Curse, also in Port Au Prince), guitarist Daniel White (Bellowers), drummer Kim Baxter (ex-Le Divorce) and keyboard player Tiffany Meese (The Centennial), Perfetti has found an ideal team with which to tell stories of Americana from the perspective of his childhood in Carey, Illinois. There's a core of hope in Perfetti's dark tales; the music sounds like it's been written and played by people who have been put through the wringer but didn't come through the other sidef hardened cynics.
ANDREW BIRD @ OGDEN THEATRE | FRI, 8/17
Andrew Bird was one of the earlier pioneers of modern chamber pop. Growing up in Chicago, Bird -- a classical violinist in training at age four -- worked with alterna-swing band Squirrel Nut Zippers before firmly establishing a name for himself as a songwriter far beyond the Windy City with the release of his 1997 album Thrills. Since then, Bird has slowly but steadily explored various musical styles and eras, adopting ideas and creating a body of work that's had a clear impact on anyone who makes pop music that fuses classical instruments and older musical styles with a modern sensibility. Bird's latest offering, 2012's Break It Yourself, is not a marked departure for the multi-instrumentalist, but it does show him further incorporating electronic music into his constantly evolving aesthetic.
OZOMATLI @ OGDEN THEATRE | SAT, 8/18
This is distinctly American music. Working with a lineup that's fluctuated between six and ten and has included members of Jurassic 5, Ozomatli has for some fifteen years been blending Latin rhythms and hip-hop influences for a sound that's as big as it is varied and multicultural. The U.S. State Department found the band such a good representative of the melting pot, it's even sponsored Ozomatli on tours of Africa and Asia.
MURDER BY DEATH @ THE BLUEBIRD THEATER | FRI, 8/17
Murder by Death has often been compared to Johnny Cash and Tom Waits. Really, though, the act sounds like a more thoughtful Pixies with a terrific cello player. If the name didn't tip you off already, let's just say that Murder by Death is not the type of group that will leave you feeling uplifted or positive about anything -- which is just as well. Not everyone can be Andrew W.K.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN FOLKS FEST @ LYONS | FRI-SUN, 8/17-8/19
Ninety percent silk and ten percent grit, Philadelphia blue-eyed-soul man Amos Lee's vocals are steeped in both the smooth R&B stylings of Billy Paul and Smokey Robinson and the Seventies singer-songwriter tradition of James Taylor and Harry Chapin. The schoolteacher turned singer -- sharing an absolutely stellar bill with the likes of Justin Townes Earle, Dawes, Iron & Wine, Neko Case, the Dunwells and more at this weekend's Rocky Mountain Folks Festival at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons -- went from playing the Philly coffeehouse circuit to touring with Norah Jones and warming up crowds for Bob Dylan. The only knock on Lee is that he occasionally sounds like that weenie from Train, but, for the most part, his albums are quite likable.
VAIL SOUL MUSIC FEST @ VAIL | FRI-SAT, 8/17-8/18
If you're looking to have a smooth, relaxing weekend, you can hardly do better than the Vail Soul Music Fest at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater tonight and tomorrow night. Besides the fact that Vail is positively splendid weather-wise this time of year, there are some solid acts on this year's lineup, including newer cats like Anthony David and elder statesmen like Jeffrey Osborne and the Ohio Players. Tickets for the fest, now in its third year, range from $30 to $85.
SKID ROW @ GRIZZLY ROCK | SAT, 8/18
Sebastian Bach is no longer the frontman of Skid Row. Might as well get that out of the way upfront. Although if you're still keeping tabs on this brand and vintage of metal, you know this. If, however, you've lost track of Skid Row, allow us to bring you up to speed: Rachel Bolan, Scotti Hill, and Snake Sabo are still in the band, and Johnny Solinger is the name of Bach's replacement. He joined at the turn of the century, so you can't really call him the new guy. Verdict: He's not Bach, but he's not bad. That's to say he doesn't necessarily have the pipes of the band's original frontman, but he has a very similar range, and he holds his own on the band's post-Bach fronted output.
Check out our massive concert calendar for a complete listing of all of this weekend's shows
18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison, CO