It’s basically 2022 and who even knows what the hell happened to 2020. It feels like both six years ago and three weeks ago at the same time.
I didn’t realize how much I missed live music until made myself peel myself off of the couch for a post-vax June show at Denver’s hi-dive featuring Slim Cessna and Friends, along with Boulder’s Ted Thacker (The Red Tack). I danced, I sweat out a couple cans of PBR, I air-hugged a bunch of local musicians and I went to sleep on a high note after seeing my favorite Colorado bands back on the stage.
My last concert prior to that closed 2019 with a New Year’s Eve show at, you guessed it, the hi-dive with, yup, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. (My last show of 2021 will likely ring in 2022 with Slim Cessna’s Auto Club at the hi-dive. I like to mix things up.)
Now live music is raring back with rescheduled shows and venues packing in the talent. Here’s a rundown of some fall highlights and music festivals at area venues — just be sure to check with concert halls and organizers about local COVID rules for attending. And also read at what Colorado says about gathering and public health orders here: covid19.colorado.gov. We are still in a pandemic, people. Rock the hell out with extreme caution, happy energy and many smiles. (Don’t make us Duct tape you to your chair.)
Welcome to Boulder show for CU students features Matt Young and Gogimal at the Fox Theatre Sept. 3-4, $15-$20; axs.com.
New Earth Sanctuary’s Stronger Together Music Series No. 3 is raising funds for the animal rescue service with local live music Kate Farmer and Kyle Donovan at 5-8 p.m. Sept. 4; $25; newearth-sanctuary.org.
Village at the Peaks is throwing an all-day party and beer festival that will feature family activities and a beer garden. Tribute to the Tap will rock tribute music from Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, The Police, Heart, Prince and Journey; noon-9 p.m. Sept. 4; free; villageatthepeaks.com.
The Niwot Jazz Festival welcomes headliner Sharon Clark and the Colorado Jazz All Stars and more; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 4; free; niwotjazz.org.
Willow Farm in Longmont is hosting Rocking the Farm and the 5th semi-annual Colorado Guitar Festival, with music from Alfredo Muro, Michael DeLalla, Ben Johnson, Steve Mullins, Izzy Fincher David Tutmark and Duo Mosaico to celebrate the classical and Flamenco guitar Sept. 4-5; $15-$20; facebook.com/WillowFarmCO.
Onetime Boulderite, now Denverite, future-funk star GRiZ headlines Red Rocks Sept. 6; redrocksonline.com.
Longtime Austin rockers Spoon perform at Boulder Theater with Nicole Atkins, Sept. 7; $35-$39.50, axs.com.
Harry Styles brings his Love On Tour to the Ball Arena in Denver Sept. 7; ballarena.com.
Sunnyside Music Festival hits North Denver’s Chaffee Park Sept. 11 with acts Los Mochochetes, Gumbo le Fungue, Pick & Howl, Cast Iron Queens and Shakedown Street; free, sunnysidemusicfest.org.
Brandi Carlile will be at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony and Tanya Tucker on Sept. 11-12; redrocksonline.com.
Greensky Bluegrass will perform a trio of shows at Red Rocks Sept. 17-19 with Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Circles Around the Sun and Railroad Earth; redrocksonline.com.
Westword Music Showcase on Sept. 17-18 will feature national headliners Young the Giant, Kaytranada, Thundercat, Duke Dumont, Matoma and Hippo Campus outside Mission Ballroom in Denver. Local acts include A Meazy, Yasi, Brothers of Brass, Mawule, Bison Bone and The Mañanas; $40-$100; westwordshowcase.com.
Colorado Symphony kicks off its 2021-2022 season with Peter Oundjian, director of Boulder’s Colorado Music Festival, Sept. 17-19, with Emanuel Ax as featured soloist, various prices, coloradosymphony.org.
Ricki Lee Jones comes to the Boulder Theater Sept. 18; $35-$45; axs.com.
Boulder-born Big Gigantic brings its RowdyTown IX to Red Rocks with Peekaboo, slenderbodies and Dreamers Delight Sept. 24-25; redrocksonline.com.
Modest Mouse and Future Islands host a Red Rocks show with opener Empath Sept. 28; redrocksonline.com.
Tyler Childers hits the stage at Red Rocks for two shows Sept. 29-30 with openers Margo Price, Ona and John R. Miller; redrocksonline.com.
Leon Bridges will be at Red Rocks Oct. 6 with The Marias and Abraham Alexander; redrocksonline.com.
Saint Motel brings its indie dream pop to the Boulder Theater Oct. 8; $26-$28; axs.com.
Crossover electronic artist Illenium hits Red Rocks for three nights of shows Oct. 7-9; redrocksonline.com
YouTube “Gayle” creator and comedian Chris Fleming will perform at the Boulder Theater on Oct. 10; $35-$45; bouldertheater.com.
Soul queen Erykah Badu is comes to Denver’s Mission Ballroom on Oct. 18; $70-$150; axs.com.
Boston indie roots group Dispatch will perform at Boulder Theater Oct. 21-22 with Front Range singer-songwriter Emelise opening the show; $55-$60; axs.com.
New York folk musician Dar Williams performs at Boulder Theater Oct. 24; $29.50-$39.50; axs.com.
Mini-fest concert with a lineup featuring nearly the entire Dreamville Records team, Dreamville on the Rocks will bring J.I.D., Ari Lennox, EarthGang, Bas, Cozz, Lute and Omen to Morrison; $50-$130; redrocksonline.com.
Indie artist Mac DeMarco, who recently had a (very) limited-run toy made of him, is playing Denver’s Mission Ballroom on Oct. 26; $45-$80; axs.com.
Bluegrass king Del McCoury will be in Colorado for a Boulder Theater show on Oct. 26, a Fort Collins show at Aggie Theatre on Oct. 27 and a Denver show at the Gothic Oct. 29; axs.com.
The ‘90s rhythmic hybrid crew of 311 is coming to Colorado for a show at the Fox Theatre on Oct. 29, Denver’s Ogden Theatre on Oct. 30 and Stanley Hotel in Estes Park on Oct. 31;
Boulder-born band DeVotchKa is hosting its third Halloween Masquerade Ball on Oct. 29-30 at Estes Park’s Stanley Hotel in a two-day party with guests Heavy Diamond Ring as well as aerialists, acrobats and more; stanleylive.com.
$uicideBoy$ come to Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Oct. 31 alongside openers Chief Keef, Slowthai, Turnstile, Night Lovell, Germ, Shakewell, Ramirez and Chetta; $60-$100; redrocksonline.com.
The late John Prine’s brother Billy Prine and his Prine Time Band will perform the songs of John Prine at the Boulder Theater Nov. 4; $39.50-$59.50; axs.com.
Band of Horses has a new album and tour (“Been a Minute”) that brings it to Mission Ballroom on Nov. 4; $38.50-$75, axs.com.
Los Angeles musician Boombox Cartel with Great Dane and Suahn will put on a show at the Boulder Theater Nov. 6; $25-$32; axs.com.
Chilean-Norwegian muscian Boy Pablo will play the Fox Theatre Nov. 6 (and Denver’s Gothic Theatre Nov. 7); $20-$25; axs.com.
Philly group Dr. Dog is calling it quits (on the road) and its final tour makes a stop at Boulder Theater Nov. 7; $27.50-$30; axs.com.
Rapper Jack Harlow will bring his Creme De La Creme tour to Denver’s Mission Ballroom Nov. 10 with openers Babyface Ray and Mavi; $29.50-$35.50; axs.com.
Jamgrass staples The Infamous Stringdusters will share the stage with Boulder Americana/bluegrass band The Sweet Lilies at Denver’s Mission Ballroom Nov. 12; $35-$60; axs.com.
Hip-hop and R&B crew Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will bring Bizzy Bone, Wish Bone, Layzie Bone, Krayzie Bone and Flesh-n-Bone to Denver’s Ogden Theatre Nov. 17; $40-$76; axs.com.
California songwriter Bret Dennen will perform his See the World tour at the Boulder Theater Nov. 18; $25-$30; axs.com.
Marking the 45th anniversary of The Band’s performance of The Last Waltz, members of Polytoxic and a whole ton of Colorado musicians will bring Last Waltz: Revisited to the Boulder Theater Nov. 19 (and to Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium Nov. 24); $17.50-$25; ticketmaster.com.
Boulder’s all-vocal rock Face Vocal Band brings its holiday concert to the Boulder Theater Dec. 1; $25-$45; axs.com.
Scottish synth-pop trio Chvrches performs at the Boulder Theater Dec. 10 with Jersey musician Donna Missal ; $41; axs.com.
Brooklyn-based funk band Turkuaz and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe will both headline
Denver’s Mission Ballroom Dec. 11; $30-$35; axs.com.
Japanese-American ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro will put on his Christmas in Hawaii show at the Boulder Theater Dec. 14; $35-$45; axs.com.
Former Fleetwood Mac frontman Lindsey Buckingham will headline the Boulder Theater Dec. 20; $55-$90; axs.com.
Indie-twang rockers My Morning Jacket will play Denver’s Mission Ballroom Dec. 29-31; $68.20; axs.com.
900 Baseline Road, Boulder; chautauqua.com
•Amos Lee, with Mutlu, Sept. 4•Toad the Wet Sprocket, with Stephen Kellogg, Sept. 7•Steep Canyon Rangers, with Jon Stickley Trio, Sept. 17•The Wailers, Sept. 26•Rett Madison and Brianna Straut, Oct. 7•Dawn & Hawkes, Oct. 8•Lapome, Oct. 10•Jayme Stone, Oct. 15•Pert Near Sandstone, Oct. 25•Sturtz and The River Arkansas, Nov. 5•Griffin House, Nov. 6•Seth Walker, Nov. 12•FY5, Nov. 13•Taylor Scott Band, Nov. 20
2032 14th St., Boulder, axs.com
•Here Come the Mummies, with Hearty Har, Sept. 10•Beatles vs. Stones, Sept. 12•Purity Ring, with Dawn Richard, Sept. 15•Circles Around the Sun, Sept. 16•Rickie Lee Jones, Sept. 18•Dirtwire, with Gone Gone Beyond and Blossomn, Sept. 23•Flamingosis, with Ian Ewing, Oct. 1•Tsuruda, with Chee and Esseks, Oct. 2•Bob Mould Band, with Slow Caves, Oct. 4•Pat Metheny Side-Eye, with James Francies & Joe Dyson, Oct. 7•Saint Motel, Oct. 8•Chris Fleming, Oct. 10•Malaa, Oct. 14•The Hu, with The Haunt, Oct. 18•The High Kings, Oct. 19•John Hiatt and The Jerry Douglas Band, Oct. 23•Dar Williams, with Heather Maloney, Oct. 24•The Del McCoury Band, Oct. 26•Tchami, Oct. 28•Getter, Oct. 29•The Motet, Oct. 30•Whethan, Oct. 31•Yung Gravy, Nov. 2•Billy Prine & The Prine Time Band play songs of John Prine, with Max Gomez, Nov. 4•Kyle Kinane, Nov. 5•Boombox Cartel, with Great Dane, Suahn, Nov. 6•Caribou, with Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Nov. 17•Brett Dennen, Nov. 18•The Last Waltz Revisited, Nov. 19•Founder Fights 5, Nov. 20•David Spade, Nov. 21•Dirt Monkey, with Ravenscoon, SIPPY, Nov. 24•Robert Glasper and Cory Henry, Dec. 2•Al Franken, Dec. 4•Taylor Tomlinson, Dec. 10
MACKY AUDITORIUM CONCERT HALL
1595 Pleasant St., Boulder, colorado.edu
•Bluebird Music Festival, featuring Jeff Tweedy, Jade Bird, Molly Tuttle, Otis Taylor, City And Colour, Heavy Diamond Ring, phoffman (of Greensky Bluegrass), Rayland Baxter, Willie Watson, Trout Steak Revival and Daniel Rodriguez, Sept. 25-26
THE FOX THEATRE
1135 13th St., Boulder, axs.com
•Minnesota, with VCTRE, Sept. 8•MADDS, Sept. 9•Wild Rivers, with Lindsey Lomis, Sept. 10-11•Mersiv, with Smoakland, SuperAve. and Meduso, Sept. 16•Christian French, with Sarah Barrios, Sept. 17•Yheti, with HoneyBee, Thought Process, Sept. 18•Andy Shauf, with Son Little, Sept. 22•Robert Francis, Sept. 23•Ardalan, with HARVE, Sept. 24•The Good Kind, with Fists Of The Proletariat, Sept. 25•Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Sept. 26•A-Trak, Sept. 30•Mipso. with Anna Tivel, Oct. 1•The Marías, Oct. 2•Julian Lage, Oct. 3•Brasstracks, Oct. 6•Start Making Sense, Oct. 8•The Sponges and Muzzy Bearr, Oct. 9•Shovels & Rope, Oct. 10•Shlump, with Pashmonix, Oct. 15•Champagne Drip with MIZE, Oct. 16•Whitney, with Renée Reed, Oct. 19•Back 2 Business, Oct. 21•Wreckno, with Megan Hamilton, Oct. 22•Aqueous, Oct. 23•Birdtalker with Lonas, Oct. 24•311 with DENM, Oct. 29•Satsang with Tim Snider and Wolfgang Timber, Oct. 30•Justin Martin, Oct. 31•Lawrence, Nov. 5•Boy Pablo, Nov. 6•Sierra Hull with Dead Horses, Nov. 7•Booka Shade, Nov. 10•Vanic, Nov. 11•Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Nov. 12•The Record Company, with JJ Wilde, Nov. 13•Red Fang with Starcrawler, WARISH, Nov. 16•Boy Named Banjo, Nov. 17•Elder Island with CLAVVS, Nov. 18•The Lil Smokies, Nov. 19-20•Heartless Bastards, Nov. 21•Shakedown Street, Nov. 27•Blunts & Blondes, Dec. 10•Arlo McKinley, Dec. 18