The Nine Best Rock Bars in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

Brandon Marshall. Full slideshow here.
3 Kings during a King Rat tribute earlier this year.
In our continuing effort to spotlight the best venues in town for music fans of all types, we bring you our picks for the best rock bars in Denver (and, in this case, its suburbs).

A rock bar, for our purposes, is a place you can reliably go to find music anchored by electric guitars and a certain undefinable atmosphere: You know a rock bar when you see one.

See also: Denver Musicians Talk About Their Favorite Venues

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Denver's Ten Best Small Venues

Brandon Marshall for Westword.
Devotcha did a three-night run for Valentine's Day at the Mercury Cafe in 2013.
It's no secret that Denver is blessed with an overwhelming amount of music venues, places boasting calendars packed full of local and national acts every night of the week. We wanted to highlight some of the best of the little guys -- venues that can hold crowds under 500 people. There are some old favorites on this list, untouched and in their original, mildly sketchy glory. But there are also some venerable spots that have had recent makeovers for the good, plus some brand new locations just waiting to be discovered. Dive in and see if there's a venue in Denver you've never been to yet and then get out there and see some music. Stay tuned for more lists looking at Denver's bigger venues, bar rooms and D.I.Y. spaces.

See also: Denver Has More Live Music Venues Than Austin. Does It Matter?

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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

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Eight more of Denver's best sound engineers


Do know what the difference is between a good show and a great show? The sound. It's always the sound. When it's bad, you certainly know it. On the other hand, when it's a great mix, you might not even notice, unless you're a particularly astute listener. You might just think your favorite band is really on point that night. And while that may very well be true, the fact that the band sounds as good as it does definitely isn't by chance. What you're hearing is the hard -- and often thankless -- work of a great sound engineer. We're compiling a list of the best sound engineers in town, and here is the second batch of in our series. Continue on to see eight more of the best sound engineers in Denver, presented in no particular order, and look for another installment next week.

See also: Eight of the best live sound engineers in Denver

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Denver's ten best jukeboxes

Jim Wills

More and more, you've probably noticed an influx of Internet jukeboxes, the kind that offer a seemingly endless assortment of songs, cropping up in bars. But there are still a handful of spots rocking old school CD jukeboxes that require a bit of taste-making. Here's the ten best, including this year's Best of Denver winner. You'll notice what might seem like glaring omissions here, last year's winner at 3 Kings Tavern, and the local-centric juke at the Sidewinder. But both of jukes weren't operational when we last visited. Continue on for the ten best jukeboxes in Denver.

See also:
- Best of Denver 2012: Denver's ten best jukeboxes
- Best of Denver 2013: A look back at the Best New Band winners from the past decade
- Best of Denver 2013 Readers' Poll: Meet this year's Arts & Entertainment winners

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Best of Denver 2013: A look back at the Best New Band winners from the past decade

Categories: Best of Denver


Our annual Best of Denver issue hits stands today. It's a painstaking issue to put together each year, but one that everyone looks forward to. This edition is even more significant, however, as it's the thirtieth edition. It's also a minor milestone for Backbeat, as it marks the tenth edition since we established the Best New Band category, when we started singling out the local act that made the biggest impression on us in the previous year. Looking back, it's quite an esteemed list. Continue on for a look back at the Best New Bands from the past decade. -- Dave Herrera

See also:
- The Dirty Few's punk ethos matches its album title: Get Loose Have Fun
- With its massive sound, Spires won't be playing small rooms for long
- Meet the snake charmers of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake

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Take our Best of Denver 2013 poll

Categories: Best of Denver


Fancy yourself an expert on all things Denver, do ya? Think you know which place has the best jukebox in town? What about the best new club night? Best new band? What was the best concert you went to last year? What about the best album? Don't let all that hard-earned knowledge go to waste. Feel free to weigh in below informally -- you know, so all of us other knowallogists know where you stand, then spend our morning haggling over the validity of your picks -- and then be sure to register your vote officially on our Best of Denver 2013 poll.

See also:
- Denver's ten best jukeboxes
- Denver's ten best karaoke bars
- Denver's ten best dance clubs