The 9 best concerts in Denver this weekend
Lorde and Robin Thicke are playing the Fillmore this weekend. Oh! Not together. No, it's a Saturday/Sunday situation. But do you know who would make one exceedingly odd twerking couple? Those two.
Timothy Norris for LA Weekly. Full review.
Elsewhere, the great Tower of Power hits our neighbor to the south, D.R.I. will be yelling at Englewood and people will play dance music while other people dance to it. It is, as always, a wonderful weekend to live in Denver.
Friday, March 21: Against Me! at Summit Music Hall
Against Me! started off as the solo project of singer/guitarist Laura Jane Grace. At that time, Grace was known as Tom Gabel but she underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2012 to address a lifelong gender dysphoria. While that garnered the band and Grace some headlines it is Grace's music that stands on its own as a populist rallying cry to people getting by in 21st century America and finding its leaders and political and economic system lacking in terms of addressing the needs of the great majority of its citizens. Whether the songs are the raw, melodic punk rock or the more countrified variety, Against Me!'s songs always seem to strike a chord. Its latest album, the clearly personally topically titled Transgender Dysphoria Blues released in 2014 reconciles Grace's various songwriting styles while commenting thoughtfully and poignantly on issues very close to home.
Friday, March 21: K Theory at Casselman's Bar & Venue
A merger of EDM and hip-hop was inevitable, and K Theory has bridged the two quite well with dance heavy tracks that feature fluid lyricism. Malcolm Anthony, the vocalist of the San Francisco-based trio, serves up a smooth lyrical flow, as opposed to the status quo of most modern dance music which simply relies on catchy hooks. The act injects a Bay Area hyphy sound into its music, offering a welcome addition to this convergence of styles, bringing rattling high hats, deep bass drops and crisp rhyming to the dance world. Dylan Lewman and Dustin Musser fulfill the EDM side of the equation with song structures that leave room for crowd-commanding vocals, while also providing just the right amount of instrumental flair to keep the dance party's momentum going. (With Krooked Drivers and Marvel Years).
Friday, March 21: Mark Farina at Bar Standard
Mark Farina plays mushroom jazz, and that's just the way it is. Seamlessly fusing funk, soul, jazz, and hip-hop into a fluid soundtrack, Farina has grown into a household name at Bar Standard where he regularly plays sets in what could be called his home away from home. Denver Disco prides itself on bringing nu-disco to the masses, but when Mark Farina gets behind the decks. disco-goes-rogue and turns into a nostalgic funk fest where nothing is safe from the remixing skills of one of the best in the game.
Friday, March 21: Plume Varia at Sidewinder
Shon and Cherie Cobbs originally hail from Minneapolis, but they started their Plume Varia project in Denver in 2013. You can practically hear the gentle fall of snow and see the drift at the tail end of a mid-winter storm in the melancholic and melodic music on the duo's debut EP, Prize Enable. It has the same chilling-yet-stirring, darkly hypnotic quality that made Chelsea Wolfe's Pain Is Beauty, also released last year, so striking. A sense of movement characterizes Plume Varia's compositions, but the pace is still deliciously languid, recalling down-tempo bands like Portishead and nightmarish dream-pop acts like Cranes. The Cobbs developed their sound beyond the promise of that debut EP by playing the underground circuit in Denver, but Plume Varia won't stay obscure for long. You can hear them at the Sidewinder Tavern on Friday, March 21.
Friday, March 21: Tower of Power at Pikes Peak Center
Just as San Francisco's late-'60s psychedelic scene was winding down, legendary concert promoter Bill Graham helped raise the Bay Area's collective consciousness by bringing in artists such as Miles Davis, Sam & Dave, Otis Redding and B.B. King. By the time Oakland's Tower of Power hit the scene in the early '70s, people were ready for its horn-driven brand of soul and funk. Over the last four decades, the act has released nearly twenty recordings, including 2009's homage to classic soul, The Great American Soulbook.