The best shows in Denver this weekend
SAT & SUN | THE LUMINEERS at RED ROCKS | 9/14-9/15
Last summer the Lumineers played Red Rocks for the first time, opening for Cake. And that was just a few months after playing the Bluebird Theater for the first time. What a difference a year makes. Thanks to the inescapable single "Ho Hey," the band's fortunes have changed dramatically. Now instead of a pair of sold-out, back-to-back shows at the Bluebird, the Denver outfit returns to Red Rocks to headline two sold out shows, the first being Channel 93.3's Big Gig and the second a tour send off.
SAT | PENTAGRAM at SNOWBOARD ON THE BLOCK | 9/14/13
If you've seen Last Days Here, you're familiar with the frustrating tale of Pentagram. Formed in Virginia in the early '70s, the pioneering psychedelic metal band should have, by all accounts, realized massive worldwide fame. Instead, success evaded the outfit, thanks in part to the struggles its frontman (and sole core member) Bobby Liebling has faced over the years. Thankfully, "last days" is merely the title of the film focusing on the band. Pentagram, which has existed for decades in various forms on the fringes of obscurity, beloved by pretty much any metal fan who's come across its music, is still a going concern. Catch Pentagram with Havok, Kadavar and a slew of other acts at the first annual Snowboard on the Block festival.
SAT | ZZ WARD at OGDEN THEATRE | 9/14/13
ZZ Ward released her debut album, Til The Casket Drops, in 2012. Growing up, she honed a talent for writing bluesy R&B songs. Her knack for that can be heard prominently on that disc, and well as her proclivity for hip-hop, which is even more prevalent on her Criminal EP and her Eleven Roses mixtape. Ward has an upbeat, soulful voice that is best experienced live, whether she's performing her own material or working wonders on a handful of covers.
SAT | TECH N9NE at FILLMORE | 9/14/13
Tech is an incredibly gifted rapper technically and a good lyricist, but the most impressive thing about his rise from obscurity to being a household name has been that he's done it by himself, without the help of a major label. He's always traveling, which you've probably noticed, as Denver is one of his favorite places to come, and by all accounts, he puts on an incredible live show -- so incredible that he was famously said to be lip synching by the L.A. Times, an accusation he didn't take kindly to. To say that Tech is one of the hardest working rappers is an understatement. He's one of the hardest working musicians, period. Tech N9ne also performs tonight at the Aggie in Fort Collins.
FRIDAY | MURDER BY DEATH at BLUEBIRD THEATER | 9/13/13
Before the "indie folk" thing became a going concern, this band from Bloomington, Indiana, perfected that sound and made its name touring the American underground music circuit of DIY spaces and punk houses from early on. The group didn't really gain exposure outside of that world until close to the middle part of the last decade with the release of its 2006 album, In Bocca al Lupo, produced by J. Robbins. While the world caught up to its sound a bit, Murder By Death is one of the few bands that its earlier punk audience still seems to think of fondly, a sure sign it's still on the right track.