The 12 best concerts in Denver this week: March 3 to March 7
Editor's note: Hall & Oates are now going as Daryl Hall & John Oates, because apparently that's the way you add gravitas to a catalogue that will turn your pants pastel and put shoulder pads in whatever shirt you're wearing if you listen long enough. Here's the thing: They needn't bother -- the songs still sound great. There are a few other good ones in town this week, including jazz guitar titan and fellow big hair enthusiast Pat Metheny. And something else...what is it? Something about a twerk? I'm sure you'll figure it out. The rest of our picks follow.
Garry Harris via Flickr Look! They traded moustaches!
Monday | Daryl Hall and John Oates at 1STBANK Center | 3/3/14
Despite the fact that he once recorded Aleister Crowley-influenced songs with prog master Robert Fripp -- seriously, we can't make stuff like that up -- Daryl Hall has never been given the credit he deserves. Of course, you can't blame the public for its perception of Hall and his sidekick, John Oates; as Hall & Oates, the twosome once epitomized slick, plastic-coated pop. But their '80s hits like "Maneater" and "Private Eyes" have a soulfulness and sophistication that drew from their stint as '70s R&B balladeers -- and taken as a whole, their catalogue is an impressive one, full of risky moves and inveterate trendsetting. And just to show how universal their appeal remains, Hall and Oates worked on a collaboration with funky neo-wavers Chromeo. It's a bit of a step down from Crowley and Fripp, but it just goes to show that Hall (and his group's smooth hooks) can hang with just about anybody.
Monday | Richie Ramone at Herman's Hideway | 3/3/14
When Richard Reinhardt auditioned to become a member of the Ramones in 1983, few knew what an asset he would be to the legendary punk outfit. Not only could Richie Ramone play the hell out of the drums, he could also sing and write songs. With Richie aboard, The Ramones produced three of their best albums: Too Tough to Die, Halfway to Sanity and Animal Boy. A dispute over merchandise revenue led to Richie walking away in 1987, but he had left his mark on a quintessential American rock band. His songs, such as "Somebody Put Something in My Drink" have been covered by several punk and metal bands.
Tuesday | David Wilcox at Candelight Dinner Playhouse | 3/4/14
In richly intimate songs, David Wilcox creates audio tapestries that blend intricate arrangements and warmly appealing tunes with the musician's ongoing personal growth. Whether recording in a log cabin -- as he did for the 1997 release Turning Point -- or experimenting with unconventional guitar techniques, the introspective Wilcox has produced quality tracks filled with poetic purity. He credits his singular style -- folk standards woven with scraps of jazz and pop, rootsy arrangements often flecked with remnants of his brief classical training -- to the rustic influences of Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, but it's his own intense lyrical clarity that makes both his studio and his stage performances unforgettable.
Tuesday | Gardens and Villa at Larimer Lounge | 3/4/14
Gardens & Villa formed in 2008 and released its self-titled debut three years later. The Santa Barbara-based group crafted an expansively melodic sound that was also atmospherically thick and affecting. The act's upbeat, neon-hued, synth-focused pop songs recall an English new-wave project from the first half of the '80s with elements of R&B and soul. Live, the band proved to be powerful in a way that was unexpected from its recordings. In February 2014, the outfit released Dunes; the new material emphasizes the moodier aspects and downtempo aesthetic of the outfit's songwriting. If Heaven 17 had emerged in the 2000s with a minimalist streak, it might have sounded like Gardens & Villa.