The best concerts in Denver this weekend
SUN | MAZZY STAR at OGDEN THEATRE | 11/10/13
David Roback was a leading light in the Paisley Underground movement with his band Rain Parade. When that group split up in 1986, Roback formed another outfit, called Opal, with former Dream Syndicate bassist Kendra Smith. Opal released Happy Nightmare Baby in 1987, but before it could record a follow-up album, Smith was replaced by former Going Home singer Hope Sandoval, and the duo ended up changing its name to Mazzy Star. The band's 1993 album, So Tonight That I Might See contained the lushly beautiful "Fade Into You," which propelled the band to mainstream popularity. The act, which became known for crafting gorgeous melodies delivered via Sandoval's deeply evocative vocals, parted ways in 1997, but eventually re-formed in 2010; the recently released Seasons of Your Day is a worthy reminder of its power to transmute melancholy into transcendence.
FRI | GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV at BOETTCHER CONCERT HALL | 11/8/13
Whatever size room he's playing, there's something about Gregory Alan Isakov's voice and his engaging songs that demand attention. He creates an unmistakable intimacy with both. Recorded on analog gear and mixed to tape, The Weatherman, his latest effort, 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. Here, Isakov teams up with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra for should be a sublime night of music.
FRI | ELEPHANT REVIVAL at OGDEN THEATRE | 11/8/13
Looking to make a more professionally produced album that might be more radio-friendly, Elephant Revival teamed up with producer Ryan Hadlock, who's worked with the Lumineers and Brandi Carlile, to make These Changing Skies. While the thirteen-track album certainly sounds better than previous efforts, the songs are better as well; the act's ability to pen captivating tunes has grown during its seven-year existence. With a core based on folk, the group excels at vocal harmonies. While the act's following has grown considerably since 2006, the exquisite These Changing Skies clearly has the potential to push Elephant Revival to the next level.
FRI | BEN HARPER at ELLIE CAULKINS OPERA HOUSE | 11/8/13
As part of his fall acoustic tour, Ben Harper will perform songs that span the singer-songwriter's two-decade career, from 1994 debut, Welcome to the Cruel World, to his latest effort, Get Up!, which debuted at the number one spot on Billboard's Blues chart earlier this year.