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John Ondrasik, aka Five for Fighting, will play a free show in Denver on Saturday.
John Ondrasik, aka Five for Fighting, will play a free show in Denver on Saturday.

If you go

Who: Five for Fighting, Fishbone, The Aggrolites and more

When: 2:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Denver Day of Rock. Held at various downtown Denver locations

Cost: Free


Five for Fighting could easily pack any venue in Boulder and Denver, but the act’s playing a free show for Denver’s Day of Rock.

Saturday’s free music party takes place at various locations in downtown Denver and raises awareness for local children’s charities. Other acts on the bill include Fishbone, The Aggrolites, The Romantics, The Fixx and Something Underground.

Five for Fighting is better known as John Ondrasik, and the musician has been cranking out hits since his tune “Superman” became a top-seller. These days, the artist’s touring behind his latest CD, Slice.

“I’ve been expanding what I’ve been doing,” Ondrasik said. “I’ve had fun co-writing with other artists — and writing music for films has been nice. Writing for movies can be very creative and there’s no pressure to write a hit.

“It doesn’t take anything away from my work with Five for Fighting. Though, it was nice to see my song ‘Chances’ played in the closing credits of the movie, ‘Blindside.’ I’m a huge sports fan — the stars must’ve been aligned to be part of that explosive franchise.”

It’s been several years since Ondrasik released a Five for Fighting album. The artist takes time to choose his songs, so he wrote lots of tunes before he selected the music for Slice.

“I have to write 100 songs before I get 10 to 15 for an album,” Ondrasik explained. “I try to pay attention to each song. That’s why it takes me two years to make an album.

Slice is my first full piano record. I cut it like the old style records of the ’70s, but the lyrics cover contemporary issues and stories. I wanted to write songs that would stand the test of time.”

Ondrasik has also been working on his For the Troops CD project. The records are given to U.S. forces and feature songs by acts like The Fray, Maroon 5, Daughtry, Goo Goo Dolls and 3 Doors Down.

The latest CD, For the Troops III, features material by comedians Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and Kevin James.

“We’ve given away over 100,000 CDs to the troops,” Ondrasik said. “It’s just a little way to express my gratitude.”

Ondrasik has also been hitting the entertainment news. He just appeared on the TV drama “Army Wives,” and Conan O’Brien and Jim Carrey performed an offbeat version of “Superman” on one of O’Brien’s recent tour dates.

Five for Fighting’s now ready to perform at the Denver Day of Rock.

“I’ve been out on an acoustic tour, but I’m bringing my full band to Denver,” Ondrasik revealed. “We’re going to play all the hits — and I’ll talk some sports along the way.”