The best jam-band shows in December
SAT-TUES | STRING CHEESE INCIDENT at 1STBANK | 12/28-12/31
String Cheese Incident will be presenting its twentieth-anniversary celebration with various openers during its New Year's run at 1STBANK Center. The group has Bootsy Collins joining forces on Saturday, December 28, and confetti rockers Flaming Lips on Sunday, December 29. Past SCI New Year's shows have been real spectacles, so don't be surprised if the place is a circus, perhaps with aerialists and all. Mixing many genres from psychedelia, bluegrass, latin, jazz and more, the band attracts a colorful array of fans bearing light-up toys and butterfly wings. This one's sure to be a memorable run.
FRI & SAT | MOE. at OGDEN THEATRE | 12/6-12/7
moe. return to Denver fresh from recording a brand-new album. These jam-band veterans are celebrating their 25th anniversary next year, yet they're still creating interesting new stuff while also refreshing old classics. Bassist Rob Derhak spoke with us recently and said the band is excited to get back to the energetic Colorado crowds of moerons. The outfit doesn't rely on tons of lasers to excite an audience, just group communication and lots of improvisation to keep your ears tuned in to what's coming next. Keep an eye on Backbeat for a full interview with Derhak.
YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND at BOULDER THEATER | 12/27-12/31
Yonder Mountain String Band is a fast-paced string band that manages to blow your mind with its excellent technicality while toying with your emotions with heartfelt lyrics. Together the four guys work in musical harmony, with animated lead singer and mandolin player Jeff Austin always delighting the crowd. While the Flood Benefit show the band is hosting on Monday, December 30, is sold out, you can still get tickets to these exciting string-shedders on the remaining four dates.
SAT-TUES | UMPHREY'S MCGEE at FILLMORE | 12/28-12/31
These guys have steadily climbed up the jam-band ladder over the years, wowing crowds across the country and consistently packing Red Rocks. Lighting director Jefferson Waful is considered to be one the best lighting designers out there right now, and his work is definitely something that should be seen at least once. The musical changes on stage are quickly followed by stunning light cues.