The 8 best jam-band shows in Denver this March
Courtesy of Paradigm Agency War plays March 22 at 1STBANK Center
American Babies at the 1Up Colfax 3/4/14
In 2007, Philly-based Brothers Past frontman Tom Hamilton went back to his roots and started American Babies, a band that focuses on songcraft and takes influences from everyone from Lou Reed to the Grateful Dead. The Babies' live shows are high-energy, with surprise covers that have included the entire second half of Abbey Road, and you'll often see the musicians rotating to different instruments, sometimes even bringing talented friends on the stage with them for a spell. There is no entrance fee, so definitely go down and check out the 1Up when American Babies are playing: It's clean, spacious, good sound and it's fast becoming a local favorite.
McTuff at Park House 3/7/14
One of the bands on our "Jam Bands to Watch in 2014" list, this Seattle power-jazz trio creates a huge sound, a big part of it having to do with the frenzied playing of Joe Doria on the Hammond B-3. All instrumental, McTuff relies heavily on improvisational solos and all-systems-go demonstrations of instrumental prowess, making for a nonstop night of aggressive yet smooth music. Guitarist Andy Coe adds a raw rock feel to the sound with fuzzed-out distortion while acclaimed drum teacher Tarik Abouzied holds everything down and leads the band into different grooves.
ekoostik hookah with Rastasaurus at The Donkey OT 3/7/14
Forming around 1991, longtime jam band ekoostik hookah has seen it all and played with them all, even creating its own festival, Hookahville, the true sign of having a passionate fan base (they'll come camp for you for days). Fusing together funk, bluegrass, blues and rock with some psychedelic effects, ekoostik hookah continue to delight their happy fans years later. Psych-reggae act Rastasaurus open the night, taking well-crafted originals and covers to wild dimensions then bringing you safely back to ground over and over.
Galactic at the Fillmore 3/8/14
A night of New Orleans funk and jazz is always fun at the Fillmore since you tend to have room to dance there, and touring favorite Galactic hosts the night on Mar. 8th with Robert Randolph and the Family Band opening. Hip hop elements give a modern and fresh twist to Galactic's fusion sound, with drummer Stanton Moore employing phrase samplers to add even more intricate rhythms for saxophonist Ben Ellman to blare and skronk over.
Mike Gordon at the Boulder Theater 3/14/14
Just off the release of his critically acclaimed new album Overstep, Phish bassist Mike Gordon hits Colorado again with his band at the Boulder Theater. We just spoke with Gordon the other day, and he said that this time around they were going for a "more is more" approach, and had some tricks up his sleeve he couldn't wait to show the fans. The album is filled with catchy, quirky pop tunes that have some very complicated rhythms going on in the background, so expect a night of clever melodies, and get ready to jump together when they play "Jumping."