The fifty best concerts of the spring

Categories: Best Concerts

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Oh, man! What a spring concert season you have in store. We originally set out to assemble a list of the 25 best concerts this spring, and we found there were so many great shows, we had to expand it to the fifty best shows, from hot buzz bands like Poliça and Purity Ring to elder statesmen like Yo La Tengo and Built to Spill to metal legends like Exodus and Soulfly to hotly anticipated acts like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Rodriguez and Prince. Continue on for the fifty best concerts of the spring.

See also:
- Tom Hunting of Exodus on how building a song is like building the best sandwich
- KMFDM's Sascha Konietzko on Kill Mother F*cking Depeche Mode
- Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces on staying current, Quincy Jones and Miles Davis

ARLO GUTHRIE @ BOULDER THEATER | SAT, 3/30/13
Like his father, Woody, before him, Arlo Guthrie has never been about the range or perfection of his singing voice or technical ability as a guitar player. Heck, it really isn't even about his songwriting, though he writes good ones. Arlo's primary offering is his ability to entertain while making meaningful statements. As part of his solo tour, Here Comes the Kid, Guthrie pays tribute to his father, whose 100th birthday is in July.

ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE @ HI-DIVE | WEDS, 4/10/13
Kawabata Makoto, the founder of Acid Mothers Temple, started his career in music in the late 1970s. Whether he experienced Flower Travellin' Band's motes of resonating distortion or the dark, haunted droning of Les Rallizes Dénudés firsthand is anyone's guess. But since founding Acid Mothers in 1995, Kawabata has forged a path into inner and outer space with his most high-profile project. The alchemical combination of Stockhausen-esque, avant-garde electronica and transcendent, incendiary, prog-warped blues defies convenient categorization. In fact, Kawabata eschews the term "psychedelic" in favor of "trip music" because he wants the music to take the audience on a trip into an altered state of consciousness, where the mundane dissolves in a wave of mind-expanding sound.

IMAGINE DRAGONS @ RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE | THURS, 5/16/13
Who knows why some albums are a success and others go unsung? Las Vegas band Imagine Dragons hit one of those pockets of luck with its latest album, Night Visions. While the new album may seem like a breakthrough, the group has been working hard for years -- touring extensively, writing constantly -- to garner the acclaim it's currently enjoying. The bandmembers rented a house together in their formative years, playing covers in bars to near-empty rooms to pay the rent; before that, frontman Dan Reynolds reportedly drew inspiration from seeing live shows of bands like Arcade Fire and Jack White. Clearly, all that hard work has paid off.

BIG BOI @ CERVANTES' MASTERPIECE BALLROOM | TUES, 5/7/13
Since Speakerboxxx/The Love Below showcased Outkast's individual talents, André 3000 has generally been regarded as the auteur of the duo. And while that might be true, there's something to be said for consistency, as the latter proved on Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, his 2010 solo debut in which the rapper (aka Antwan Patton) dabbles heavily in funk rhythms and liberally employs his trademark bursts of rapid-fire delivery for a sound that recalls the building blocks of old-school hip-hop. Just the same, Big Boi's sound is frenetic and quirky enough not to confused with merely being a throwback. Still appreciably more pragmatic than his counterpart, he splits the difference between André 3000's hyperactive peculiarities and the group's more traditional early work nicely.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS @ BOULDER THEATER | FRI, 4/12/13
The Drive-By Truckers have always been considered by many to be the torch-bearers for the alt-country genre, but with The Big To-Do, the outfit's most hard-rocking album since 2001's Southern Rock Opera, the Truckers surpassed most bands in that watered-down category with memorable stories, characters and songs, telling tales of four-day drinking binges, courtroom miseries and bar-room brawls. And just as quickly as they returned to the bombast of rock, they muffled it again with the release of 2011's, Go-Go Boots. Replacing the shimmer of a ride cymbal with the hush of a shaker, Go-Go Boots pays homage to early soul greats like Eddie Hinton. The new approach introduces a new cast of characters sitting morosely in the same bar they brawled in last night, wondering what the hell happened and, like the band itself, what they will do next. (The Truckers are also slated to perform at the Boulder Theater on Saturday, April 13.)


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30 comments
Harusami Is
Harusami Is

ONE! My entire concert budget for the next 5 years has been spent. ;)

Connie Hood
Connie Hood

Would be great to see! but to expensive for meeeeeeeeeee

mchris77
mchris77

The Train song Soul Sister (I think that's what it's called) where he talks about his untrimmed chest makes me want to vomit every time!

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Not a fan of Prince but I won't deny his talent . It's cool he cramming into a small venue bot I would have done four consecutive nights . A long career = a ton of hits if you're into him .

Imagine if Like Metallica played four straight nights & plugged in three hours each . I'd go because that would guarantee their TRUE classics .

That's really the only a band of that caliber can pull it CORRECTLY off .

I'm seeing Anthrax & Suicidal @ the Summit over the next two weeks, and couldn't be happier !

HUFset
HUFset

ummmm Ab-soul. Raider Klan.

Julie DonCarlos
Julie DonCarlos

I can see 8 or more shows for the price of one Prince show. Otherwise I would love to go.

Josh Haggit
Josh Haggit

where/when is brmc and black moth super rainbow i would like to catch both of those shows

Alex Seguin
Alex Seguin

Acid Mothers Temple, BRMC, Yo La Tengo, Iceage pluuuuus Marnie Stern, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Boris, Torche, Tallest Man on Earth.

Tracy Daigle Tabone
Tracy Daigle Tabone

Ok, I take some of that back... just looked at tickets for the aforementioned bands and the front row seats are over $250! What the heck! Don't these people know the economy sucks!? lol

Kyle Hartman
Kyle Hartman

@Tracy- Except no one wants to see Matchbox Twenty or The Goo Goo Dolls. Prince is a legend, he's up there with Michael Jackson. $250 for an intimate show in a smaller venue doesn't seem unreasonable to me. How much are Super Bowl tickets or tickets to see the Rolling Stones? Same difference.

Kyle Hartman
Kyle Hartman

Besides Prince and Rodriguez this list of shows is sort of lame. The good ones are retreads who have been here recently already. Also really Zack Brown Band?! Have you no shame or respect for music? The fact that he has three nights at Red Rocks is a slap in the face to good taste. And on a related note, can we please talk about the complete lack of any decent shows coming to Red Rocks this year? (Case in point Zack Brown Band) There is not a single noteworthy show coming this summer and THAT is sad.

Tracy Daigle Tabone
Tracy Daigle Tabone

I laughed when I seen the $250 price tag on this one. I'm still wondering if it's a typo! I can get tickets to see The Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty for $15.00 off Groupon! They were big in their time, maybe not as big as Prince or (silence for the symbol since there was no name), but $250 for a 1980's musician is just nuts.

Zeta Brown
Zeta Brown

the amount of money this one costs is also unfair

Cory Taco Byrd
Cory Taco Byrd

prince at the OGDEN. so intimate for such a huge star. i'd pay it if i had it lol

Micah Carmack
Micah Carmack

Would love to see Prince, but for that money he can suck my butt.

mymondo
mymondo

Prince+Ogden= EPIC!!!

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

I'm SHOCKED Anthrax & Suicidal Tendencies weren't mentioned . You gave Exodus a few lines to a show where not only are they openers, this show ULTIMATELY celebrates 30 yrs of some of the BEST metal EVER recorded ! With Joey back on vocals, this is a metal requirement !

OH, & by the way, Anthrax hit's the 'Summit' next Tuesday !!! With S.T., (Suicidal Tendencies), the following week ! One hell of a way to open the METAL scene, this summer !!! Get an inept interview from Joey if at all possible . You'll see me back-stage BURNING 'FATTIES' w/one of the bands who inspired me nearly 30 yrs ago to play ! 

I'd pass on a threesome w/ a cpl 'hotties', for this show w/o a 2nd thought ! Anthrax HEADLINING w/ Joey back in the band !!!

Robbie Camin
Robbie Camin

They missed Spiritualized (4/4) and Sigur Ros (4/6). Shamefull! Hope to see you there.

dave.herrera
dave.herrera moderator editor

@Robbie Camin Agreed. Sigur Ros was actually on the original list, and somehow it got erroneously deleted before this version was published. Reload: I've added it back in. I also added in Spiritualized, and deleted two shows (Cave Singers and Low) that have already happened since this list was first published.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@David Nelson Perhaps if they paid ME $250 !!!

Prince ?????

" Uh, No thanks .... "

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Joey IS back in the band & they ARE the show's Head-Liners .

NOTHING AGAINST EXODUS !

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