The ten best concerts in Denver this weekend
GIGANTOUR @ 1STBANK CENTER | FRI, 8/2/13
Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine first conceived of Gigantour as a platform to showcase acts whose music featured virtuosic guitar playing. In addition to his own band, the festival's inaugural roster, in 2005, included prog-rock vets Dream Theater, extreme-metal unit Nevermore and skronky math-core heroes the Dillinger Escape Plan. More recently, the traveling festival has evolved into something more diverse. This year's iteration still packs plenty of guitar wallop with the perennial headliners, plus Black Label Society (led by Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde), Device (featuring Disturbed singer David Draiman), Hellyeah, Death Division and Newsted (led by former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted).
RUSH @ PEPSI CENTER | FRI, 8/2/13
For one of the most successful bands in history, Rush remains a pretty cryptic bunch. Formed in 1968, the Canadian trio of guitarist Alex Lifeson, drummer/lyricist Neil Peart (who joined in 1974) and singer/bassist/keyboardist Geddy Lee began as a Zeppelin-esque hard-rock combo before mutating into rock's most progressive, subversive A-lister. Despite such a formidable mystique, though, Rush has always possessed a quirky, heart-on-its-sleeve nerdiness, even when surrounded by intricate rhythms and consummate riffs.
GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV @ BOULDER THEATER | SUN, 8/4/13
Whatever size room he's playing, there's something about Gregory Alan Isakov's voice -- which feels like not much more than a whisper at times -- and his engaging songs that demand attention. He creates an unmistakable intimacy with both. Recorded over the past year and a half on analog gear and mixed to tape, The Weatherman -- Isakov's latest album, whose release is being celebrated this weekend -- captures the familiarity and rawness of his live shows. Jamie Mefford's lush, reverb-laden production makes some of the cuts feel more expansive than those on Isakov's previous two full-lengths. Bob Dylan once sang, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows," and you don't need to be a singer-songwriter to realize that Isakov has created something truly stunning here.
KID ROCK @ FIDDLER'S GREEN | SAT, 8/3/13
Say what you will about Kid Rock -- love him, hate him, or, hell, deem him irrelevant and completely unworthy of mustering any sort of opinion whatsoever -- you have to admire the dude's valiant efforts to bring the party to the masses this summer. By now you've heard about his $20 Best Night Ever Tour, for which the Kid made all tickets to see him, ZZ Top and Uncle Kracker affordable for everyone. He's also arranged for cheaper beers and parking. And he's not just flapping his gums here: He's reportedly putting his money where his mouth is by taking a smaller guarantee. In a down economy, that's no small gesture. If this little experiment works, perhaps some other acts will follow suit. If not, well, you've gotta give it to the Kid for trying.
Keep reading for the weekend's best bets and see even more shows in our constantly-updated, super comprehensive Denver Concert Calendar