The best concerts to see in Denver this weekend
STRING CHEESE INCIDENT at 1STBANK CENTER | 12/28-12/29, 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, confetti rockers Flaming Lips on Sunday, December 29, and the Del McCoury Band on Tuesday, December 31 (Tiny Universe Horns featuring Karl Denson and Chris Littlefield are also due Saturday and Sunday). 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.
SAT & SUN | UMPHEY'S MCGEE at FILLMORE AUDITORIUM | 12/28-29
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. Umphrey's is also slated to ring in the New Year at the Fillmore on Tuesday, December 31.
YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND at BOULDER THEATER | 12/27/13
Yonder Mountain String Band is a fast-paced act that manages to blow your mind with its excellent technicality while toying with your emotions with heartfelt lyrics. Together the four members 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 see these exciting string-shedders on the remaining four dates (Saturday, December 28, through Tuesday, December 31).
FRI | TROMBONE SHORTY at OGDEN THEATRE | 12/27
A year before Trombone Shorty (aka Troy Andrews) scored a number jazz album with his major-label debut, he was already sparring with lions. Just check out the eight-minute YouTube clip of the young Shorty trading trumpet licks with Wynton Marsalis at the House of Blues in New Orleans. At the considerably young age of 27, Andrews understands and appreciates the heritage Marsalis represents. His grandfather, Jessie Hill, scored a hit with the Allen Toussaint-produced "Ooh Poo Pah Doo," and his older brother, James, a trumpet player, made sure he sat in with some of the Crescent City's greatest musicians. But Trombone Shorty is just as likely to be opening up for rock artists like Jeff Beck and the Dave Matthews Band as he is playing at a jazz or blues festival. And he's toured and recorded with Lenny Kravitz.