The ten best concerts in Denver this weekend
THE OH HELLOS @ BLUEBIRD THEATER | FRI & SAT, 6/28-6/29
Last fall, the Oh Hellos released their first full-length, Through the Deep, Dark Valley. And while that album's got some solid tunes like "The Valley" and "I Was Wrong," it's "Hello My Old Heart," a track from their self-titled debut that perked up everybody's ears and landed them in regular rotation on KTCL, a admirable feat for an unsigned and then unknown band from Texas. The response to the song has been overwhelming, as evidenced by these back-to-back sold out shows at the Bluebird Theater, a decent way to mark the band's first trip to Denver.
SPELLS @ LOST LAKE LOUNGE | SAT, 6/29/13
Scene veterans Chuck Coffey and Rob Burleson talked about making music together for a long time. Coffey played in a number of local acts, including Eyes & Ears, while Burleson has been a member of many groups over the years, including the Symptoms and Lionsized. For SPELLS, their eventual collaboration, Burleson mentioned his friend Ben Roy as a potential singer, and right off the bat, the three men had undeniable chemistry. The trio then brought in one of Coffey's old collaborators, Don Bersell, on bass, and the lineup was complete. With a sound that's equal parts East Bay Area pop punk and Rocket From the Crypt, SPELLS has been writing fun songs with more than their fair share of punk-rock snarl.
SHANNON & THE CLAMS @ LARIMER LOUNGE | SAT, 6/29/13
In a scene oversaturated with bands mining the 1960s, Shannon and the Clams manage to stand out in stark contrast to their peers. That's partly because their songwriting is simple and strong, but mostly because of Shannon Shaw's powerful, soulfully melodic and emotionally gripping voice. Shaw sounds like she took a time machine back to 1965, burned through producers at the Brill Building and Motown, then set out to do make music on her own, on the heels of getting ditched by the love of her life. If the Clams' last album, the monumental Sleep Talk, was a bracing indication of potential, the act's latest release, Dreams in the Rat House, is perhaps a notch better. Shaw's talent is no studio trickery, and live, she's even more charismatic and thrilling.
VANS WARPED TOUR @ SPORTS AUTHORITY FIELD | SUN, 6/30/13
Kevin Lyman is a genius. Somehow he's managed to keep the Vans Warped Tour relevant year after year -- a marvel considering that most of the snot-nosed punks who came out in the early days now have punks of their own attending. But while Lyman should be commended for continually switching things up to keep the offspring engaged, he's also making sure this year's tour appeals equally to the retirees, the Blink-182 dads whose pulse probably quickened after seeing the lineup for the inaugural Riot Fest this fall. In addition to offering free admission to parental units with ticket-holding kids, we hear there's an air-conditioned "reverse daycare" tent for the oldies stocked with cold drinks and movies. Well played, sir, well played.