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

Monday, September 10, 2012

Front Range - Recommended shows, 9/10

A couple of all star bands and some other changes of pace. This is a great week of music - choose wisely.

12 September (Aggie Theatre, Ft. Collins CO)
13 September (Fox Theatre, Boulder CO)
14 September (Cervantes Masterpiece, Denver CO)
Easy Star All-Stars

The Easy Star All-Stars are touring behind their Michael Jackson cover album, Easy Star's Thrillah (review), which is their latest reggae reinvention. This is a great band to catch live and we're lucky to get so many stops along the Front Range. The All-Stars will have a stage packed with talent, with several charismatic players taking front duties in rotation. Aside from the Michael Jackson songs, expect a sampling from their other albums with songs by Pink Floyd, Radiohead, and the Beatles. As strange a combination as it sounds, the reggae/dub backbone creates a consistency that creates a perfect flow.

Even if your interest in reggae is limited to that one time you heard your college roommate's copy of Bob Marley's Legend, you will definitely enjoy this show.

12 September (Boulder Theater, Boulder CO)
13 September (Pikes Peak Center, Colorado Springs CO)
The B-52s

I haven't seen the B-52s since they opened for the Who in 1982 (along with Joan Jett). Despite the hostile crowd, the band's confidence never faltered and they played a great, if short, set. Their surf-tone new wave sound, outré lyrical themes, and party attitude made the B-52s one of my favorite bands of the early '80s. Decades later, the band is still going strong, with more focus on touring than the studio. Come out ready for classics like Rock Lobster and Love Shack as well as more recent tracks like Funplex.

14 September (Fox Theatre, Boulder CO)
15 September (Ogden Theatre, Denver CO)
North Mississippi Allstars

Get down deep, dirty and funky. North Mississippi Allstars have their fingers on the rootsy pulse of southern rock and blues, which grounds them even as they spin out into psychedelic funk jams or barrel house boogies. They may be treading paths laid by the Allman Brothers and others, but they have an earthier feel. The band is adept at moving from rollicking rockers to deeply heartfelt, traditional tunes. They come through the Front Range fairly often, but it's always worth catching their show.

14 September (Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison CO)
15 September (Boulder Theater, Boulder CO)
Umphrey's McGee

Like most progressive jammers, Umphrey's McGee's studio work barely scratches the surface of the band's talent. Their concerts showcase the band's range and give a better sense of how they meld technical proficiency with a gifted sense of coordination and timing. Umphrey's McGee has a unique tone among the other big name jam bands because they incorporate some wider ranging influences from prog and metal. The Boulder Theatre show is already sold out, but Red Rocks is the perfect venue to experience their show.

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