The best concerts to see in Denver this week
THURS | JOHN LEGEND at ELLIE CAULKINS OPERA HOUSE | 11/21/13
A child prodigy who's been playing the piano since age five and attended college at sixteen, John Legend played with Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys and Janet Jackson, among others, before Kanye West noticed his talent and took him under his wing. Legend is touring in support of his fourth album, Love in the Future, which the singer has said is a "celebration and meditation on love." Legend is slated to appear at an official afterparty at Epernay Lounge at 1080 14th Street.
TUES | THUNDERCAT at LARIMER LOUNGE | 11/19/13
Stephen Bruner Jr. is one interesting dude. When he's not doing session work for Snoop Dogg, Eric Benet and Flying Lotus, Bruner plays bass for Suicidal Tendencies. Yeah, that Suicidal Tendencies. When Bruner isn't helping out others in the studio and on the road, he records his own bass-driven, jazz fusion music under the name Thundercat. The music he creates is an overwhelming mixture of bass funk, experimental jazz and electronic-minded rhythms.
WEDS | CULTS at BLUEBIRD THEATER | 11/20/13
There's no more sun in Cults' eyes. The Manhattan-based indie-pop act best known for the cloyingly sweet singles "Go Outside" and "Oh My God" have returned with Static, a departure from what set sights on them in the first place. The only familiar part of their aesthetic is the album cover itself, placing vocalist Madeline Follin and vocalist/guitarist Brian Oblivion's silhouettes at the forefront. Most everything else, however, is different. Oblivion and Follin, once an item and something like the Sonny-and-Cher of the Pitchfork-savvy free world, split up during the making of Static, resulting in a laser focus on their breakup during the press cycle for the record. However, their maturing sound has been well-received, in some part due to their Hiro Murai-directed video for "High Road."
THURS | YELAWOLF & HOPSIN at OGDEN THEATRE | 11/21/13
Both of the artists featured on this bill share the admirable quality of being unafraid to say anything. Through his "Ill Mind of Hopsin" series, Hopsin has been unafraid to touch on a wide range of subjects from industry fakers, to played-out, real-life archetypes and drug addiction. When Hopsin stays away from corny wordplay and triteness, he has demonstrated a firece independence backed up by a solid flow. Yelawolf's career -- since blowing up with Trunk Muzik, an outstandingly good mixtape, and signing to the illustrious Shady Records -- has unexpectedly slowed. However, the mixtape Trunk Muzik Returns shows that Yelawolf still has the capacity to make good music, and the short film "Growin' Up in the Gutter" (which is disturbingly graphic) shows that he still has plenty of artistic ammunition.