Ten best concerts of the summer

Eric Gruneisen

Summer's over -- well, at least according to the time-tested seasonal benchmark, the annual passing of Labor Day. Of course, it still feels like we might burst into flames at any moment, but whatever. The Taste of Colorado has foisted its parade of also-rans upon us and Phish has now come and gone -- two things that officially signal the end of the summer concert season, as far as we're concerned. And what a summer's it's been for music, eh? Keep reading for a look back at the ten best concerts of the summer.

See also: Ten best concerts, summer 2011

Eric Gruneisen
Our eighteenth annual Westword Music Showcase was one of the hottest days of music in the Mile High City this past summer.

10. Eighteenth Annual Westword Music Showcase, 6/23/12
"Holy Moses! It's no stretch to say that yesterday was the hottest day of the summer. Literally. Not only did the late news reports back this up, but we're pretty sure if you ask anyone in the sea of people who attended the eighteenth annual Westword Music Showcase, they'll co-sign this claim -- well, that is, after they rehydrate, and assuming they can stand upright and their legs aren't all wobbly from all the dancing last night during Girl Talk's massive Showcase-closing dance-party blowout. And if the weather was hot, the music was even hotter."

Aaron Thackeray
Die Antword tearing it up at the Ogden Theatre last month.

9. Die Antwoord at the Ogden Theatre, 8/6/12
"Die Antwoord's draw is a bit beyond the realm of rational comprehension, the fact that a South African rap crew can sell out a venue the size of the Ogden without much of the crowd actually knowing the words to the group's songs. Casually strolling out in matching orange sweat suits emblazoned with their logo, Ninja (aka Watkin Tudor Jones) and Yo-Landi Vi$$er (aka Anri Du Toit), the two MCs who have carved a niche for themselves unlike any other group in the world, absolutely blew the pants off the Ogden last night, as the Zef-style crew ripped through most of the tracks off $0$ and Ten$Ion."

Britt Chester
Santigold at the Ogden Theatre this past May.

8. Santigold at the Ogden, 5/29/12
"There were horses and what looked like buffalo skins, elaborate umbrellas and a rhythm-perfect band dressed in...we don't know what. There were striking red, blue and green lights, with plenty of space for Santigold to emerge, flanked by two synchronized-singing, back-up-dancing drummer gals, wearing absolutely blinding smiles. Starting the show with "Go," Santigold (aka Santi White) opened up a can of weird for Denver last night. As the opening strains of "Go" played, the dancers came out with militant fervor, high stepping and jumping, taking their places on either side of Santigold, who mimicked their movements with a cool style of her own."

Location Info


Dick's Sporting Goods Park

6000 Victory Way, Commerce City, CO

Category: Music

Ogden Theatre

935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Temple Buell Theatre

14th and Curtis streets, Denver, CO

Category: Music

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Darryl Messick
Darryl Messick

Don't know if you missed any, but I missed all of them. :-(


@iknowdenver @denverwestword worst concert of the summer....and I love this guy but this show was terrible: Neil Young with Crazy Horse.


Ahem. Neil Young and Crazy Horse playing an album's worth of new material at Red Rocks.

Jeremy Beins
Jeremy Beins

cannot believe skrillex was on there but no PL! or even sts9


@GuyNahmiach is all well over at PV? Heard some #Jeffco schools were on lockdown?

dave.herrera moderator editor

 @oscar D'oh! Forgot Refused. Definitely belongs in the top ten. Our bad. Thanks for pointing out the oversight. Added above as honorable mention.

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