The thirty best concerts of 2012

15. MUMFORD & SONS @ RED ROCKS | 8/28/12
"Perhaps more impressive than the group's harmonies was the intimacy the group created in such a massive space. Fans standing what seemed a couple miles away in the top rows were just as much a part of this as those in the VIP section. Anyone who's spent time in a ratty college apartment knows the best way to create a vibe like this is with Christmas lights. Mumford & Sons had those, too."

14. TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS @ 1STBANK CENTER | 4/19/12
"Tonight, we thought it would be fun...," Tom Petty said a few songs into two-hour set, "we're going to go pretty deep into some deep tracks for you tonight." Sure enough, Petty & the Heartbreakers ran through a number of hits during the second night of the band's two-night stand, but they delved into a few rarities as well. Petty himself admitted later in the set that while people ask him all the time what his favorite song is that he's written, he answers, "There are far too many for me to pick out one, and they're very often not ones that were really well known."

13. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & E STREET BAND @ PEPSI CENTER | 11/19/12
Bruce Springsteen fused pure rock and roll, Pentecostal fervor and Celtic bravado in the course of three hours. He collected signs from the audience bearing requests for obscure tunes and played at least three; he brought a twelve-year-old onstage to sing the chorus of "Waitin' on a Sunny Day"; he crowd surfed and hammed it up while wearing a coonskin cap. There were too many of these memorable moments to count. The effect was dizzying, inspiring and intoxicating, all at once.

12. LEONARD COHEN @ 1STBANK CENTER | 11/3/12
There were no low points in Leonard Cohen's perfectly paced show at the 1STBANK Center -- impressive, considering it went on for three and a half hours. The high point came when Cohen and his band went into "Hallelujah." The crowd sang along; they had done so during other parts of the performance, but not like this. They were excited, and their response seemed to have a subtly visible impact on the people on stage -- like they knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that they had connected with people this night, and that the music they were performing had been affecting people for years and had become part of their life story.

11. ICELANTIC'S WINTER ON THE ROCKS @ RED ROCKS | 1/27/12
Under a star-speckled sky and with freezing temperatures, Atmosphere delivered a greatest hits compilation at Red Rocks Amphitheatre for the inaugural Icelantic's Winter on the Rocks. Nostalgia aside, when he greeted everyone at the venue and opened into "God Loves Ugly," 10,000 winter-ready people joined in the lyrics and seemed to appreciate the beautiful chance of a lifetime to see raw, independent hip-hop displayed for the first time, during winter, at one of the most famous venues in the world.



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12 comments
Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

My list wasn't even close . I'm not familiar w/ better than 1/2 the artists you mentioned . But if it's in WW,  it must be correct .....

boyhollow1
boyhollow1

Not sure how New Order didn't make this list.  But Leonard Cohen was indeed amazing.

Eamonn Wilcox
Eamonn Wilcox

Death Grips at Larimer was probably the best night of my life

Rob Author
Rob Author

No. Die Antwoord didn't even make the list but Skrillex did? Lol.

Brian F. Johnson
Brian F. Johnson

Not listing the second night of Jacket at Red Rocks = Epic fail!

Maxwell Turtle Pants
Maxwell Turtle Pants

Beats Antique had a killer show at the Rocks that was TRUMPED by their halloween bash giving props to Pretty Lights, Bassnectar and Dom before rolling into an absurd Catskills and instrumental Bohemian Rhapsody. Railroad and Umphrey's murdered red rocks on august sixteenth and although umphrey's set seemed a little cleaned up as opposed to their usual jam...a kashmir encore with both bands made it a night to never forget. Oh and easily some of the most feel good vibes and excellent experience on the Rocka for Lotus' debut as headliner. Emancipator opened and made the crowd a loving sea of friends before a gigantic lotus flower was erected on stage to harness the EOTO magic before letting the semi hometown band come on and perform the best show of the last three years that ended in the only fashion possible, a Nomad shoutout to those that waited for this moment between the rocks, Spiritualize encore into Colorado. Hearts melted, friends were forever made, and love for the performers was sealed. Xavier Rudd at Ogden was thrilling to all in his mesmorized crowd while Die Antwoord showcased why they deserved a repeat at the ogden four months later. BUT for new music, that romantic moment that WE ALL LOVE when something happens and everyone's attention in the room captured and you witness a band become a little bigger than reality from the independent dungeon they have been hiding in came one fateful night at Larimer Lounge when Purity Ring booked a show and sold it out only to book another and sell that out as well. The Lumineers broke out in a big way but these Canadian kids made one hell of a splash in five points. Props on Jack White at No 1 as he was the king of Red Rocks this summer.

Jeremy Richards
Jeremy Richards

Nah you left out Bassnectar and Pretty Lights at the Rocks, I don't know how you could have put Skrillex before that.. WEAK

frank.a.munafo
frank.a.munafo

I don't even know how you picked 30. I went to exactly 4 shows this year, Ryan Adams, Refused, Petty and Deftones. This was a bad year for concerts in Denver and arguably the worst Red Rocks line up in years...

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

Two thumbs up on the Leonard Cohen concert. I also loved when he did Tower of Song on what sounded like a Casio keyboard; it added a touch of humor to the show and brought him closer to the audience.

I'd also cast my vote for the Frank Turner show with Larry and his Flask at the Summit in September. Insane energy level from Frank and his band. 

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