The best concerts to see in Denver this weekend

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Camille Garmendia

SAT | CAT POWER at GOTHIC THEATRE | 11/23/13
Cat Power is the sometimes solo, sometimes full-band, project of Chan Marshall. Although born in Atlanta, Marshall made her way to New York City in the early 1990s and became involved in the underground music scene in the Big Apple. In 1993, Marshall earned an opening slot on Liz Phair's tour, where she gained some great exposure. By 1996, Marshall joined Matador Records, and since then, her ups and downs and occasionally erratic behavior has been well-documented. But to put to much focus on that would be to overlook the fact that Marshall's music resonates with a great many people, and she has a gifted ability to write about the complexities of living an authentic life in way that's genuine. Last year, Marshall released Sun, arguably her best album yet.

See also: All upcoming concerts in our constantly updated Denver Concert Calendar

SUN | LUPE FIASCO at OGDEN THEATRE | 11/24/13
Lupe Fiasco's career has had some ups and downs, or, more specifically, a lot of ups and then a lot of downs, but at any and every moment, he is a dynamic ball of talent; he put together arguably the greatest, most epic story hip-hop has ever told across at least two albums, the tale of Michael Young History. Recently, Lupe Fiasco hasn't been able to catch a break; he was too mainstream with Lasers, and too preachy with Food and Liquor II. But you have to admire the heart, and when he finds a compelling delivery device -- like MYH or skate culture like he has before -- he's on top of his game.

SAT | BIG FREEDIA at BLUEBIRD THEATER | 11/23/13
Freddie Ross began performing in his home town of New Orleans in 1999 as a backup dancer and singer for Katey Red, a local drag queen who performed bounce music. Nicknamed "Freedia" by a friend, Ross created a stage persona appropriately dramatic and super-hero-esque -- not unlike Bootsy Collins, who crafted his own inimitable performance style. Big Freedia is a powerfully compelling and visceral live act, and one of the most charismatic gender-bending figures in music since David Bowie. A bit of a cult figure in the more adventurous dance and hip-hop circles, in 2010 he started performing with funk/jam band Galactic and came to the attention of a national audience. A tour with the Postal Service only helped Freedia's upward trajectory in the public consciousness. Do believe the hype.

FRI | MORBID ANGEL at BLUEBIRD THEATER | 11/22/13
Formed in Tampa -- the home of death metal -- in 1984, Morbid Angel may not have put out the subgenre's founding document (an honor generally bestowed on Possessed's 1985 masterpiece, Seven Churches), but it can rightfully be considered one of its pioneers. The group's own debut album, 1989's nightmarish Altars of Madness, proved very influential; Trey Azagthoth's aggressive, slashing guitar style and technical yet creative leads can be heard in the sonic DNA of countless death-metal and thrash bands that followed in its wake. Morbid Angel enjoyed some breakthrough commercial success with 1993's Covenant, a pummeling storm of an album that will be played in its entirety at this show.

FRI | ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO at SOILED DOVE | 11/22/13
Alejandro Escovedo has made a career out of taking chances. He started in punk with the Nuns, joined cowpunks Rank & File, and formed the country-oriented True Believers with his brothers before going solo. Even after being diagnosed with hepatitis C, Escovedo's rock-and-roll lifestyle helped define his music. That is, until he collapsed on an Arizona stage. Following a year in the hospital, he painfully chronicled the ordeal on The Boxing Mirror. Real Animal, on the other hand, released two years later, was about celebrating life.


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