The Ten Best Unexpected Places to See Live Music in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

Rubedo plays at DIA
Every week, there are hundreds of concerts in Denver. Most of them are at the places you'd expect -- dive bars, clubs, amphitheaters, arenas...but the city's love for live music goes beyond conventional settings. You can also hear great local and touring bands at art galleries, outdoor shopping areas and, yes the airport. Those unusual settings often make for an especially memorable experience, so we've rounded up ten of our favorite places to see live music that aren't usually music venues.

See also: A Weekend at Mutiny Information Cafe

10. Red Rocks| 18300 W. Alameda Parkway | 720-865-2494
Red Rocks is well known for its large-scale concerts and its beautiful environs, but it turns out that when there isn't a concert going on -- especially during the off season -- you can go to that stage yourself, when the park is open, and simply get up and play. People do that regularly with acoustic instruments, though occasionally more complicated set-ups will appear.

9. Denver International Airport | 8500 Peña Blvd. | 303-342-2000
With the security restrictions and by-the-book and busy atmosphere of this place, you wouldn't necessarily expect live music to fit at DIA. But in 2013, psychedelic rock band Rubedo played its more jazz-inflected material during a month-long residency. And you might see something like the zombies re-enacting bits of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" during the week of Halloween.

8. Denver Art Museum | 100 W 14th Ave. Pkwy | 720-865-5000
Music is not the DAM's focus, but on special occasions, the curators will invite a local musician to perform at special events -- most memorably, perhaps, in a 2013 collaboration with performance artist Nick Cave. Granted the choice of music is often safe by local music standards, but the potential to see something unexpected in a place dedicated primarily to another form of artistic expression is high.

Location Info


Denver Art Society

734 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO

Category: General

Cafe Max

2412 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: General

Strange Grounds Coffee

1417 S. Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: General

Forest Room 5

2532 15th St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

MCA Denver

1485 Delgany St., Denver, CO

Category: General

Denver Art Museum

100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway, Denver, CO

Category: General

Denver International Airport

8500 Peña Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: General

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison, CO

Category: General

16th Street Mall

1001 16th St., Denver, CO

Category: General

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