Skip to content
Muse headlines the Pepsi Center on Oct. 2.
Muse headlines the Pepsi Center on Oct. 2.

This fall’s going to be an amazing concert season for Boulder and Denver.

The economy may still be down, but the number and quality of concerts in this market has just gone up.

Here’s your guide to the best shows — and some of the clunkers that will be hitting town this fall.

Rock on!



Yonder Mountain String Band, Friday at Red Rocks: Boulder’s ultimate bluegrass, jam and rock band gets its own night on the rocks. If you like your twang mixed with a little rock and great stage banter, this is the show to see.

Green Day, Saturday at the Comfort Dental Amphitheare: Green Day is the ultimate alt-rock band, and this group knows how to put on one hell of a show. The only drawback to this concert — it’s at the sound-challenged Comfort Dental Amphitheatre, aka the old Fiddler’s Green in Greenwood Village.

NedFest, Saturday and Sunday at Nederland’s Barker Reservoir: NedFest is the locals’ annual jam-band festival. For better or worse, jam-band music still has a market in Colorado. This year, Steve Kimock and Hot Buttered Rum are featured acts.

Reggae on the Rocks, Saturday at Red Rocks: Reggae on the Rocks is the ultimate late-summer reggae bash, and this year, Israel Vibration and Dubskin highlight the show.

David Gray with Ray LaMontagne, Monday at Red Rocks: If you like emotive singer-songwriters, then this show is your ticket to musical nirvana. Gray and LaMontagne are favorites in this market and tix will probably sell out.



John Mayer with Owl City, Wednesday at Red Rocks: It’s an odd pairing, but locals are excited to hear Mayer’s folkie-blues mix and Owl City’s electro-pop tunes at Red Rocks.

Vampire Weekend, Sept. 3 at Red Rocks: OK, so the band’s getting sued because they didn’t get permission from the woman featured on the cover of their latest CD, Contra. That said, this young band creates an amazing fusion of indie, electro and world beat sounds. This is a must-see show.

Taste of Colorado, Sept. 3-5 at Denver’s Civic Center Park: If you want to have a blast from the past, then check out this three-day music and food fest. It will be a little cheesy, especially since this year’s special musical guest is “Celebrity Apprentice” winner and Poison frontman Bret Michaels. This is what happens when you don’t make the “American Idol” new judge list.

Gov’t Mule with The Avett Brothers, Sept. 4 at Red Rocks: This is another interesting pair-up at Red Rocks. Gov’t Mule cranks out heavier blues and rock grooves, while the Avetts are one of the hottest alt-country/rock bands on the road. Two good bands for one ticket price.

Scissor Sisters, Sept. 6 at the Ogden Theatre: This band is hot, saucy and very danceable. The Scissor Sisters pump up the dance party with their mix of glam, pop, disco and electro beats, and the band’s promoting its new CD, Night Work.

Charlie Hunter, Sept. 9 at the Fox Theatre: Going to a Charlie Hunter show is like taking “Music 101” in Boulder. The musician’s a favorite with local audiences, and he always changes up his styles from blues to jazz to funk.

Sound Tribe Sector 9, Sept. 9 at the Boulder Theater and Sept. 10-11 at Red Rocks: STS9 wrote the book on fusing electro and jam sounds, and the band always sells out its Colorado shows. Better buy your tickets now (the Boulder Theater’s already long sold-out).

Pavement, Sept. 9 at the 1stBank Center: This reunited ’90s slacker act should blow the rafters off the newly re-named music hall in Broomfield along U.S. 36. If you like your music laid-back and on the lo-fi side, this is the show for you.

!!!, Sept. 10 at the Fox Theatre. Don’t worry, no one can pronounce this hot band’s name (it’s chk-chk-chk). The group mixes up a fusion of drum ‘n’ bass and electro beats to create a very ambient dance party.

Paramore, Tegan and Sara, and New Found Glory, Sept. 13 at Red Rocks: Close out your outdoor summer concert season with this very eclectic pop-rock concert. Paramore adds edge to the music, Tegan and Sara will show off their indie-pop sounds and New Found Glory is a great-alt rock outfit.

Uproar Festival, Sept. 14 at the Comfort Dental Amphitheatre: If you like your metal music hard and raw, this is the show for you. The fest features sets by Disturbed, Sevenfold, Stone Sour and more.

Hot Hot Heat, Sept. 17 at the Bluebird Theater: Hot Hot Heat cranks out an edgy blend of indie-pop music that has a surefire retro kick. Check this band out.

Alberta Cross, Sept. 19 at the Fox Theatre: There’s a buzz on Alberta Cross. The band’s on Dave Matthews’ ATO Records and plays an intense mix of rock, blues and alt-country sounds.

Tech N9ne, Sept. 24 at the Fillmore Auditorium: This rapper should just move to Colorado, because he plays here so often. Tech N9ne has been adding a little more positive energy to his rhymes, so check out his new and improved show.

Rose Hill Drive, Sept. 25 at the Fox Theatre: Rose Hill Drive is back — and is now a four-piece band with the addition of player bassist Jimmy Stofer. Expect Rose Hill to sound bigger and better.

Local Natives, Sept. 28 at the Fox Theatre: The California buzz band will stop off at the Fox to show off its very inventive and lush mix of indie rock and psych-folk songs. The band’s been selling out venues around the country.

David Banner, Sept. 30 at the Fox Theatre: The well-known rapper is making a special club appearance at the Fox. There aren’t a lot of rap and hip-shows booked for Boulder this fall, so you might want to check this show out.



Hanson, Oct. 1 at the Fox Theatre: Yeah, these are the same guys that had a teen hit tune “MMMBop” and recently caused a riot with their free New York City concert. The band’s grown up and touring behind its diabetically poppy new CD. Might want to take a pass on this one, unless you’re carrying insulin.

Blue October, Oct. 2 at the Boulder Theater: Yeah, the Boulder Theater’s bringing some indie rock this fall! Blue October’s been around for awhile, but the band still comes up with some interesting and emotive pop/rock tunes.

Muse, Oct. 2 at the Pepsi Center: This is the show that was postponed from the 1stBank Center after the band supposedly got caught in the snow earlier this year. Or did the promoters want to put the band in a larger venue? Regardless, Muse puts on an amazing concert that fuses synthpop, hard rock and a massive light show.

Jimmy Eat World, Oct. 3 at the Ogden Theatre: Yeah, these guys are still around, but they do crank out a very cool melding of indie and pop sounds.

Alice in Chains, Deftones and Mastodon, Oct. 4 at Red Rocks: You might freeze your ass off, but this will be a very hot hard-rock show on the rocks. The melodic, heavy metal sounds of Mastodon alone are worth the trip down to Morrison.

OK Go, Oct. 6 at the Fox Theatre: The kings of indie video are back to play Boulder. This will be the indie rock show of the fall. Who knows — will the band be bringing their treadmills?

Ludo with There for Tomorrow, Oct. 9 at the Marquis Theatre: If you like your indie rock with an edge, catchy riffs and cool lyrics, then you’ll want to check out this double-header at the Marquis. You’re going to be hearing a lot more from these bands.

Social Distortion with Lucero, Oct. 15 at the Fillmore Auditorium: Social D sold out the Boulder Theater this summer, so now the band’s playing this new date at the larger Fillmore. The band’s been cranking out its powerhouse brand of punk rock since the late ’70s — and Mike Ness and Co. still have the chops.

Fun., Oct. 15 at the Fox Theatre: This is one fun band. Fun packs in everything from ’70s sounding pop-rock to lush orchestrations in its mix.

The Walkmen, Oct. 17 at the Fox Theatre: The Walkmen have played lots of shows in Denver, but it’s great to see the band hit the Fox. The group mixes up indie, garage and surf music into its inventive rock base.

Blitzen Trapper: Oct. 18 at the Fox Theatre: The Pacific Northwest band just hit town, but it will be back to show off its experimental, rootsy brand of folk rock. The band sold out the last time it played the Fox, so buy your tickets now.

Nickelback, Oct. 18 at the Pepsi Center: Heavy-hitting hitmakers or sell-outs? Nickelback has definitely given new meaning to power ballads for edgy rock fans.

LCD Soundsystem with Hot Chip, Oct. 20 at the Fillmore Auditorium: LCD Soundsystem’s ready to bring its brand of punk, funk and disco party beats to Denver. Party!

Portugal The Man, Oct. 22-23 at the Fox Theatre: These guys put on such great indie-rock shows that the Fox had to sign Portugal The Man up for two nights of fun.

Bassnectar, Oct. 23 at the 1stBank Center: Bassnectar is one of the most innovative DJ/producers around and he always creates amazing soundscapes for his fans. Hope the sounds he creates resonate well in the 1stBank Center.

Wood Brothers, Oct. 24 at the Fox Theatre: The Wood Brothers grew up in Boulder and went on to play in other musical projects — including Chris Wood’s stint with MMW. The bros get together to play some very cool folk and acoustic music at their shows and write some amazing tunes.

Gorillaz, Oct. 24 at the Wells Fargo Theatre: What happens when you mix up modern rock with cartoon characters? You get the very inventive Gorillaz. This is a much-anticipated Denver show, especially since members of The Clash are joining mastermind Damon Albarn on this tour.

Ingrid Michaelson, Oct. 25 at the Boulder Theater: Michaelson is quirky, spontaneous and fun — and that’s just her stage show. The singer-songwriter pens some very funny and emotive tunes. A must-see show.

Interpol, Oct. 25 at the Ogden Theatre: The indie, alt-rock outfit’s touring to promote its new CD, so this should be a great night of music.

Dr. Dog, Oct. 26 at the Boulder Theater: Dr. Dog broke about the same time as Blitzen Trapper, and both bands are hitting town this month. Dr. Dog performs a very energetic blend of lush folk, rock and roots music and they’re always a treat to see.

Gogol Bordello, Oct. 27-28 at the Boulder Theater: Get ready for the non-stop Gogol Bordello party. This band cranks out a very cool mix of Eastern European and punk music, and puts on quite the show. This is a must-see concert!

DeVotchKa, Oct. 29-30 at the Boulder Theater: Halloween parties in Boulder with DeVotchKa have become an annual ritual. These shows come off the heels of the Gogol Bordello parties. DeVotchKa continues the Eastern Euro music thing, but this band adds its own emotive, indie flair to the sound. Just move yourself into the Boulder Theater for the week.

The Motet, Oct. 31 at the Fox Theatre: This year, the local band’s going to be dressing up and performing the music of classic soul act Earth Wind & Fire. Get your boogie on and your ’70s costumes out of the closet.



Playing For Change Band, Nov. 5 at the Boulder Theater: The movie “Playing for Change” has become an international success, as the project formed alliances with artists from around the globe and showed off their love of street music. This show will feature an international array of performers playing their music for peace.

One eskimO, Nov. 13 at the Fox Theatre: The British band’s been playing lots of shows in Colorado. You want to check out the group’s quirky brand of pop and its very cool animated videos.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.