The Fourth of July is officially celebrated on Monday, but Colorado venues are taking advantage of the full weekend. The local music roster includes shows by Umphrey's McGee, rapper Tech N9ne and Paper Bird. Plus, Shug's opens its doors to live music. Here's some of the weekend picks:
Prog rockers Umphrey's McGee are playing Red Rocks on Sunday and the Boulder Theater on Monday. The band's ready to rock Colorado with special holiday concerts and light shows. "There's definitely a lot of things going on with our sound now," keyboardist Joel Cummins said. "We're really steeped in the vibe of the ¤'70s, but we're a 21st century band.
"We have a great relationship with our fans and that's always allowed us to do something new and unique." Umphrey's is touring to support its latest project, Hall of Fame: Class of 2010.
"It's parts of concerts that took place over 2010 and we put this whole thing together," Cummins said. "It was fun to put together and we released it on limited edition vinyl. "A full studio record's in the works. It will be mix of new songs and road-tested material. It's definitely a rocking mix of funkier tunes."
Umphrey's will be testing out its new tunes at Red Rocks.
"This is the first year we have a headlining show with two sets," Cummins said. "It's a good place to get out to on the Fourth of July weekend and we're going to pull out a lot of surprises. It will be the ultimate party."
Tonight, rapper Tech N9ne and his musical buddies take over the Fillmore. The show features sets by Kutt Calhoun and Big Krizz Kaliko.
"Colorado's one of my biggest markets and we're still in the growing process," Tech N9ne said."I have a new album, All 6's and 7's. It's very personal to me."
Tech N9ne cranks out albums on a regular basis, but he's particularly proud of his new project.
"My stories and style of music have grown on this record," Tech N9ne said. "I write about my life. I write it as a feel it. This record goes back to the basics.
"6's and 7's is a state of confusion and disarray - where you're wondering if God or anybody's listening. This album also features Busta Rhymes and Snoop Dogg. I had no idea these people were aware of me." Tech N9ne's reputation for creating solid rhymes is on the rise and he's ready to headline the Fillmore.
"I do everything from all my albums at the live show," Tech N9ne said. "This is the best lineup I ever had and I can't wait to give Denver a powerful show. It will be massive, explosive and energetic."
Laughing Goat, Shug's and Trident
You don't have to hit a major concert venue to hear cool tunes this weekend. The Laughing Goat has been beefing up its line-up and Sunday, locals can check out Chelsey Flaherty.
Flaherty calls her brand of music folk triptonic soulspeak.The local performer plans to show off her passion for rock, soul and improv at the Laughing Goat.
"I got started playing at open mics, and a few gigs here and there,""It's pretty simple - it's guitar and vocals. I do some originals and some covers.
"Soul is a huge component of what I do. I like blues, jazz and anything tribal feeling," Flaherty said.
Flaherty says her show will be a special holiday experience. "My show is a very unique experience," Flaherty said. "This show will definitely be worth hearing and it really will be a lot of fun." Shug's Low Country Cuisine just opened in the old Trilogy/b.side Lounge space.Yes, the venue will be bringing in live music.
Tonight, Shug's kicks things off with a concert by Silent Bear.Look for more shows in the future.
Plus, the Trident café/bookstore turns into a concert venue this weekend. Tonight, the Shalants and Paper Bird play an 8 p.m. show for $10.It should be very cool to see these acts play an intimate café environment.