The ten best concerts in Denver this weekend

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Eric Gruneisen

BIG HEAD TODD & THE MONSTERS @ RED ROCKS | SAT, 6/8/13
Twenty years ago, things were considerably different in the local scene. Denver had yet to produce any massive breakout artists on the level of the Lumineers or the Fray. Back then, Big Head Todd and the Monsters were the biggest fish in the pond, and Sister Sweetly, the band's third album, its first on a major label, spawned three singles (the title track, the iconic "Broken Hearted Savior," and "Bittersweet") that gave us all a certain amount of pride hearing them on the radio. Tomorrow night, to celebrate its twentieth anniversary, the outfit will be performing Sister Sweetly front to back in its entirety.

See also:
- Psychedelic Furs' Tim Butler on being like Roxy Music with the attitude of the Pistols
- Wampire's Eric Phipps on why a live band is more exciting than a guy with a laptop
- Umphrey's McGee's Joel Cummins on the act's elaborate hand signals/cues

UMPHREY'S MCGEE @ RED ROCKS | FRI, 6/7/13
In terms of bands that traffic in long-form compositions, there are prog bands and there are jam bands, the former being characterized by linear compositions with rigid structures, the latter for its loose, well, jamming. Umphrey's McGee splits the difference between the two quite nicely. And if you haven't seen them live, the guys can play. Cramming changes by the bucketful into every song for a hyperactive sound not unlike that of Frank Zappa (if a little less insistently weird), the band tends to expand sections to allow for plenty of solos, proving its musicianship is just as accomplished on stage as it is in the studio.

KS-107.5 SUMMER JAM @ FIDDLER'S GREEN | FRI, 6/7/13
The KS 107.5 Summer Jam features a star-studded lineup of some of rap's hottest artists, including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, whose song "Thrift Shop" has absolutely ransacked airwaves across America, 2 Chainz, whose studio debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story, has already gone gold, and Future, who has revived auto-tune with his infectious, spaced-out style. The bill is rounded out by J. Cole, Wale, Trey Songz and B. Smyth.

ZUMIEZ COUCH TOUR @ FLATIRONS CROSSING | SAT, 6/8/13
While Summer Jam is deservedly attracting the attention of local rap fans this weekend, there's another dope lineup this weekend that you should know about. It's the Zumiez Couch Tour, and it's going down at Flatirons Crossing Mall in Broomfield. I know what you're thinking -- at the mall?! Hold on. Check the lineup. The gig features the Baby Face Killa himself, Freddie Gibbs, and the Spitta, Curren$y. Along with performances from those two, there's also going to be pro skateboard demos and bunch of other stuff.



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