(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Front Range recommended shows, 9/16

I hope everybody is staying as dry as possible. Warm thoughts go out to friends in Jamestown and Lyons that were hit hard by flooding in the last week.

Tuesday, 17 September (Pepsi Center, Denver CO)

I caught Muse three years ago at the Pepsi Center (review) and it was a spectacular show. The venue
accommodated their impressive multi-level, moving stage setup, but the music alone would have blown me away. Pacing, staggering dynamics, and emotional intensity make Muse a tremendous live act. Expect the same from this show.

Tuesday, 17 September (Bluebird Theater, Denver CO)
The Slackers

It's been a couple of years since I last saw The Slackers (review), but their patented R&B flavored ska perfectly captures the early days of the genre. They've got the beat, the energy, and the horns, but their key weapon is the one-two punch of two strong frontmen. Trombonist Glen Pine has a huge stage presence and soulful delivery while Vic Rugiero tears it up on organ and serves up a great mix of irony and attitude.

Tuesday, 17 September (Boulder Theater, Boulder CO)
Jimmy Cliff

Of course, you could follow the ska path a little further down the time line and catch reggae great Jimmy Cliff on his Many Rivers tour. Cliff hasn't been resting on his laurels and rehashing history; he's got newer material from last year's Rebirth and he's still finding relevant connections with today's crowds. His iconic voice is still strong and he remains an articulate activist and performer.

Wednesday, 18 September (Gothic Theatre, Denver CO)
Brother Ali

Rap artist Brother Ali is hard to separate from all of the stereotypes he shatters, but his strong voice and political perspective makes it clear that his message is more important to him than any of that other stuff. His most recent album, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color (2012), doesn't pull any punches while questioning the status quo and the powers that support it.

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