Best of offseason entertainment: 8 free or $5 shows at Belly Up this fall |

Best of offseason entertainment: 8 free or $5 shows at Belly Up this fall

Andrew Travers
Courtesy photo

It gets awfully quiet around here this time of year. Once the leaf-peeping tourists leave and Filmfest and The Meeting wrap up, Aspen’s still got a month to go before the lifts start spinning and the international crowds return along with a glittering glut of nightlife and entertainment options.

But, as always, Belly Up Aspen keeps the music going through off-season with a live music lineup that includes free and cheap concerts through Thanksgiving.

This fall’s bookings include no-cover and $5 shows from regional favorites like the Grateful Dead cover band Shakedown Street and the innovative Boulder band Policulture, along with a night of funk from Orgone and one with the DJ duo Desert Dwellers. The club also shows NFL football on its big screen every Thursday, Sunday and Monday night through offseason with food and drink specials.

So, if you’re not getting a paycheck until the snow flies or if you blew all your cash on some far-flung offseason adventure or you’re saving your money for a $300 ticket to see Justice on New Year’s Eve, you’ve still got no excuse to stay in.

This autumn, Belly Up has also peppered its lineup with some high-profile bookings like Steel Pulse (Oct. 11), Tech N9ne (Oct. 13), Kamasi Washington (Oct. 25) and My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel (Oct. 30). And, as always, there’s the big Halloween party and costume contest (‘80s cover band The Spazmatics are playing it this year) and there’s a Nov. 11 appearance by Michael Franti two months removed from his buoyant Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience set.

Here’s a run-down of the free and cheap shows on the bill at Belly Up through the shoulder season (more info at

The DeadPhish Orchestra

Friday, Oct. 12

Free until 10 p.m. $5 thereafter

The Colorado quartet gives the wooks what they want, merging the sounds of the Grateful Dead and Phish for the ultimate jam-band cover-band experience.

Magic Beans

Friday, Oct. 19

Free until 10 p.m. $5 thereafter

A genre-hopping Denver jam band on the rise, the Magic Beans released their debut album “Casino Cabaret” in March.


Wednesday, Oct. 24


The California-based funk and soul band and Aspen regulars return to Belly Up with what’s always a dance-friendly, party-starting set.

Desert Dwellers

Friday, Nov. 2


The globe-trotting DJ duo of Amani Friend and Treavor Moontribe promises to bring a heady mix of trance and dance music.


Wake Up and Live

Saturday, Nov. 3


Born out of a Bob Marley birthday celebration in 2013, the Denver band led by guitarist and singer Dave Halchak mixes up covers of Marley’s reggae classic with improvisation.


Thursday, Nov. 8

Free until 10:30 p.m. $5 thereafter

Folk, soul, hip-hop, some positive vibes and vocals from songwriter Drew McManus have made Satsang a live music staple of the mountain west. Members of another Aspen favorite, Medicine for the People, open the night so it’ll be worth showing up early.

Shakedown Street

Saturday, Nov. 10

Free until 10 p.m. $5 thereafter

Running for decades and making seasonal stops in Aspen, this Grateful Dead cover band is a Colorado institution that doesn’t disappoint.


Friday, Nov. 16


This Boulder-based five-piece invented what they call “original mountain reggae,” bringing a heavy drum-and-bass sound and a high country jam mentality to the reggae tradition.