The best concerts in Denver this weekend
ALABAMA SHAKES @ OGDEN THEATRE | SAT, 3/9/13
A number of bands are returning to a Southern-rock sound these days, but much of the music they're making is too derivative to be interesting. Alabama Shakes, fresh off a date warming up for Neil Young, bucks that trend. The group's members, who met in high school and forged the kind of personal bond that shines through in the music, don't sound like they went back and mined their parents' record collections in an effort to emulate some bygone glory days. Instead, singer and guitarist Brittany Howard sings with an impassioned believability that sounds like she has experienced a fuller life than her young years could hope to contain. Her earthy vocals and the band's solid, vibrant musicianship are both remarkable for their emotional depth. The band's 2012 album, Boys & Girls, captures a taste of its soul-driven rock, but it's best experienced live.
SNOWBALL MUSIC FESTIVAL @ WINTER PARK | FRI-SUN, 3/8-3/10
If the idea of standing outside in the cold and snow sounds positively unappealing to you, either you're not from Colorado or you're new here. Whatever the case, don't let any of that dissuade you from heading up to the mountains for the aptly named SnowBall Music Festival in Winter Park. We're pretty sure that the exposure won't faze you amid all the great music you'll be, er, exposed to at the third annual edition of the festival. An avalanche of talent is lined up for the three-day fest: Pretty Lights, STS9, Big Gigantic, Porter Robinson, Kendrick Lamar, Portugal. The Man, Flying Lotus, Poliça, Japandroids, Surfer Blood and much more.
GATHERING OF THE CLOUDS @ WALNUT ROOM | THURS-SUN, 3/7-3/9
The lineup for this year's edition of the Gathering of the Clouds has been revealed. The three-day festival, kicking off this Thursday, March 7, and running through Saturday, March 9, is being headlined by the Warlocks, Wovenhand, Gliss and the Black Ryder and features a slew of kindred locals like Land Lines, the Morning Clouds and Hindershot. Tickets for the festival, taking place within the much more intimate confines of the Walnut Room, are on sale now and range from $50 for a three-day pass to $17 for single tickets for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
CHURCHILL @ OGDEN THEATRE | FRI, 3/8/13
When Tim Bruns and Mike Morter came together with the other members of Churchill -- drummer Joe Richmond, bassist Tyler Rima and pianist/vocalist Bethany Kelly -- their goals were rather humble: They just wanted to play at the hi-dive and then eventually make music for a living. "Right away," says Morter, "when we first started the band, we had six-month and twelve-month goals. It was setting that precedent right away that made us achieve." And achieve they have. Last fall, Churchill secured a major-label recording deal with A&M/Octone Records, an imprint that's home to acts like Maroon 5 and Hollywood Undead, and since then, the outfit has enlisted Brendan O'Brien, landed an opening slot on Pink's upcoming European tour and made its national television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live. This week, the outfit makes good on its rescheduled date at the Ogden, on the heels playing back-to-back nights at the Bluebird.