The ten best concerts in Denver this week
7. RON MILES TRIO @ DAZZLE | FRI, 2/15/13
Local trumpeter Ron Miles and former Denver native Bill Frisell have performed and recorded together on a number of occasions, but they've only teamed up with drummer Brian Blade a handful of times, including to record on Miles' latest disc, Quiver. One of the reasons this trio works so well is that its members share certain sensibilities, and here, their lyrical playing is beautifully understated. Their previous outings at Dazzle have been damn near magical. (Ron Miles Trio is also due at Dazzle on Saturday, February 16.)
6. CARRIE UNDERWOOD @ 1STBANK CENTER | THURS, 2/14/13
Like the menacing storm clouds that ominously roll at the beginning of the video for her latest single, Carrie Underwood has a handful of songs on Blown Away, her latest effort, that have a notably darker edge. On the album's title track, the country siren sings of a broken home ruled by a domineering man, who passes out on the couch in the midst of a tornado, while his scorned down wife prays for the wind to do her bidding. On "Two Black Cadillacs," meanwhile, she sings of a wife and mistress who meet for the very first time at the funeral of a man who presumably met his fateful end at their hands. This is Carrie Underwood, though, so naturally there are plenty of earnest moments to temper the grim vindictiveness of those tunes. Regardless of the song's subject matter, the girl sings with so much clarity and conviction that you can't help but believe her.
5. THE VACCINES @ BLUEBIRD THEATER | MON, 2/11/13
The Vaccines formed in London in 2010, when Justin Young shelved his solo project, Jay Jay Pistolet, and got together with some friends who had also played gigs with him under his old moniker. The new band came out of punk, and its songs have an undeniably raw energy despite being tuneful and melodic. Within the first year of its existence, the Vaccines were picked up by Columbia, and the band's debut full-length, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?, yielded a string of singles, with the final, "Wet Suit," having a B-side produced by Albert Hammond Jr. of the Strokes. The band's follow-up, 2012's Come of Age, topped the U.K. album charts and its songs revealed that the Vaccines had developed considerably as songwriters, as the dynamic range of songs like "Bad Mood" made obvious.