The ten best shows in Denver this weekend
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND @ DICK'S SPORTING GOODS | 8/23-8/24
Twenty years ago, the Dave Matthews Band played Red Rocks for the first time, opening for the Tragically Hip and the Samples, and went on to build a loyal following with early shows at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. In the two decades since, the guys have, of course, played dozens of memorable shows here, including headlining dates at the now-defunct Mile High Music Festival and return trips to Red Rocks (most famously, the one that resulted in Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95), amassing a legion of fans along the way. For last year's Away From the World, DMB recruited producer Steve Lillywhite for the first time since 1998 and created a forward-thinking, inward-searching album that earned the group the distinction of having the most albums ranked at number one on Billboard for an American band, an honor it shares with the Eagles.
AMERICA'S MOST WANTED TOUR @ FIDDLER'S GREEN | FRI, 8/23/13
The America's Most Wanted tour features some of the most talented and successful artists to come out of the South in a long time, including Lil Wayne, whose name speaks for itself and whose March album I Am Not a Human Being II has already gone gold, T.I., the self-described King of the South, who's riding high on the release of Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head and 2 Chainz, whose recent celebrity is only eclipsed by his huge personality -- and arrests (after getting off a weed charge in Maryland earlier this year, 2 Chainz was arrested earlier this week in Oklahoma on a charge of obstruction). G-Eazy, a rising star in his own right, opens the show.
REGGAE ON THE ROCKS @ RED ROCKS | SAT, 8/24/13
It's taken time and experience for Eric Rachmany to learn how to be comfortable in the spotlight. Rachmany, frontman for the Santa Barbara reggae outfit Rebelution, is soft-spoken and humble, a songwriter who's uncomfortable writing lyrics about his own experiences. Rachmany says he's dealt with the duties of fame in different ways, from writing songs from different perspectives to incorporating a saxophone player in the band's live shows. (Read full profile: Rebelution takes a spin through dubstep and acoustic)
RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS @ MOON ROOM | FRI, 8/23/13
Formed in Denton, Texas, in 1997, the Riverboat Gamblers were influenced in part by the Candy Snatchers, whose on-stage exuberance inspired enthusiastic audience reactions. While the Gamblers' earliest material was intentionally silly, the ridiculous lyrics revealing a keen sense of humor, the band played its shows with a startling vigor that propelled its driving melodies. But while these guys might have started out as smart people pulling a dumb joke with their music, these days they're proving you can have fun and still have something to say, as evidenced by the weighty words found on 2012's The Wolf You Feed.