This week's bands each offer strong rhythms to get you feeling and moving, but some paths lead to catharsis while others lead to tension. A couple even promise ecstatic abandon.
Tuesday, 28 May (Ogden Theatre, Denver CO)
On their amazing debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006), the Arctic Monkeys have flaunted hard-edged social commentary and danceable indie rock. Over the years, their songwriting has matured and they've opened up their sound, but their music is still marked by an assertive attitude.
Tuesday, 28 May (Hi-Dive, Denver CO)
Known for composing his own moody/creepy soundtracks for lesser known horror films, Umberto (AKA Matt Hill) weaves musical themes that reach down into the subconscious and nurture feelings of unease. Last year's Night Has a Thousand Screams (review) was full of trancy darkness and evocative sounds. It will quite interesting to see how he structures his live performance.
Thursday, 30 May (Fox Theatre, Boulder CO)
A friend recommended Nigerian guitarist Omara "Bombino" Moctar to me, lauding his unique sound and strong stage persona. Listening on YouTube, I really enjoy his syncopated blues and chanting vocals. Judging from this small sampling, it will be a night of swirling sound, sweaty dancing, and transcendent music.
Friday, 31 May (Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison CO)
Saturday, 1 June (Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison CO)
Speaking of swirling, sweating transcendence, Bassnectar's show at Red Rocks should also deliver the goods. Unlike a lot of other electronic producers, Bassnectar brings a wide set of influences together to form unpredictable combinations. From remixes to heavily processed grooves, his work exemplifies the deep, heady power of electronic music when it steps between the dancefloor and the headphones.