The best concerts to see in Denver this weekend
FRI & SAT | BIG GIGANTIC at FILLMORE / RED ROCKS | 9/27-9/28
When Big Gigantic played Red Rocks last year, the feeling of hometown pride was unmistakable. As the act went into "Colorado Mountain High," a giant projection of the state flag draped the rocks, and the crowd went absolutely bananas. The duo ended up delivering its best set ever. That said, this year's return of Rowdytown -- which is being preceded by a second show at the Fillmore tonight, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting flood victims -- is highly anticipated.
FRI & SAT | SIDEWINDER, CRASH 45 | 9/27-9/28
In 2011, former Backbeat scribe (and former Foxy Digitalis contributor and current stringer for Decoder) Crawford Philleo founded the Goldrush Music Festival with his friends Jake Martin and Ryan Pjesky, aiming to highlight some of the most interesting underground music of the day. The following year, Philleo more or less booked the festival himself, and it included such noteworthy experimental musicians as Ttotals, Barn Owl and Panabrite. For this year's edition, Goldrush is bringing in an equally impressive selection of artists who are well outside the mainstream but respected by fans of creatively daring music. Noveller, Rene Hell, Scammers, MV&EE and Caddywhompus all bring completely different flavors to the festival (and to Colorado). In terms of local talent, Hideous Men makes a rare return appearance alongside Accordion Crimes, Paw Paw and many others.
FRI | THE WIREDOGS (CD RELEASE) at MARQUIS THEATER | 9/27/13
Although the Wiredogs have been known as the Hate for the past two years, the members felt that the handle didn't accurately represent them. What's more, they wanted a name that grabbed people's attention by the collar. And so after much debate, they whittled it down from 200 possible names, always going back to the Wiredogs, a nickname for Marines who set up telephone wires. The band's new record (the release of which is being celebrated tonight) is also a better representation of where the band is right now. [read the full The Wiredogs profile in this week's paper]
FRI | VARLET (CD RELEASE) at HI-DIVE | 9/27/13
"So You Go Along," the opening track on Varlet's new album, American Hymns (the release of which is being celebrated tonight), sounds deceptively like something out of a 1970s musical, only the textures are richer and the lyrics darker. And that's a perfect image for this album, a project on which Lilly Scott indulges her inner jazz-and-blues singer, especially on songs like "Liquid Wasteland." Mixing this sound with a more Laurel Canyon-flavored psychedelia on "Meteor" and elsewhere, the band reveals a developed sense of depth, using space as a musical element to great effect. No instrument dominates the mix, and Scott's prominent vocals seem to dance in perfect synch with the music. There's always been a strong jazz vein in Varlet's musical DNA, but this time out, it's fully integrated into the band's pop songcraft, most appreciably on the elegantly crafted title track.