The best concerts to see in Denver this week
THE AVETT BROTHERS @ RED ROCKS | FRI & SAT, 7/5-7/6
The country is awash in Americana fever as scores of rock-radio favorites dabble in the sounds of yore. Though it might be cute, many of the current banjo-picking types fail to elevate their style beyond gimmick. A huge exception is the Avett Brothers, a North Carolina act helmed by, yes, brothers Scott and Seth. Sure, they're nominally folk-influenced, with their relatively stripped-down, deeply earnest sound and penchant for things like harmonicas. But what sets the Avetts apart is a serious, genre-defying talent for songwriting. Their melodies soar and stick, regardless of the folksy window dressing.
THE UNCLUDED @ MARQUIS THEATER | FRI, 7/5/13
If you dug the sloe-eyed undie-rap science Aesop Rock dropped over Kimya Dawson's hyperactive folk plaints on the latter's Thunder Thighs, the Uncluded is right up your alley. What the pair fosters, for better or worse, is the experience of two strong creative minds brainstorming simultaneously, out loud, often in confusing contradiction. It's thrilling sometimes, exhausting at others.
MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD @ RED ROCKS | WEDS, 7/3/13
Michael Franti is known for his social activism through his music. He started off as a rapper, spitting aware (and angry) rhymes in his early years, before moving into what he calls "rebel rock," a sort of fusion of folk, pop, hip-hop and whatever else is influencing him at the time. As his popularity has grown, he's been drawing larger crowds.