This weekend marks my daughter’s fifth birthday. Not coincidentally, it also marks five-and-a-half years – and counting – of my last real road trip. I miss it all, from loading up the car to festival burritos to that first shower after going four days without bathing. And the music, of course.
Following is a selection of concert and festival destinations in Colorado in the coming concert season.
Steve Kimock Band
Friday and Saturday, May 14-15,
at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom
and Sunday, May 16, State Bridge Lodge
Steve Kimock, a fixture of the San Francisco rock scene and a dazzling guitarist, leads a band that moves from fusion to jams to hard rock. Frequent Colorado visitors, the band’s new album is “Live in Colorado Vol. 2,” recorded Dec. 30 of last year at Denver’s Gothic Theatre.
June 5-6, Fox Theatre
Among the many strongly held opinions of a former colleague was the belief that hip-hop was a studio music that invariably failed on the live stage. Jurassic 5 is the exception that proves the rule. This sextet, headed by four soulful singers, rocks in concert.
Great High Mountain Tour
June 12, Red Rocks
The “O Brother” train has picked up steam, joining forces with another film heavy on old-time music, “Cold Mountain.” (T-Bone Burnett produced the soundtracks for both the films.) The Great High Mountain Tour packages artists from the “O Brother” soundtrack – Alison Krauss + Union Station, Ralph Stanley and the Nashville Bluegrass Band – with “Cold Mountain” soundtrack contributors n see Road trips on page B11
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Reeltime Travelers and Dirk Powell joining in.
June 15-16 and 18-20, Red Rocks
The Dead have shuffled the deck again, dropping singer Joan Osborne – who earned raves in her stint as the first frontwoman in the Grateful/Dead’s lengthy, odd trip – and keyboardist Rob Barraco. Replacing them with Warren Haynes, singer-guitarist of the Allman Brothers, Phil Lesh & Friends and his own Gov’t Mule, seemed almost inevitable. As some have derisively noted, adding Haynes to six-stringers Bob Weir and Jimmy Herring means the Dead now have a two-and-a-half guitar lineup.
Haynes opens with a solo set the first two shows; the last three feature opening sets by Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.
The Doors of the 21st Century
June 18, Universal Lending Pavilion
The Doors of the 21st Century feature original Doors, keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robbie Krieger, plus singer Ian Astbury of the Cult. Beyond that, this is anybody’s guess.
Sound Tribe Sector 9
June 23-24, Fox Theatre
and June 25-26, Mishawaka Amphitheatre
Among the bands combining electronica sounds with a jamming sensibility, Sound Tribe Sector 9 is known for segueing from intense instrumentals into lush ambient textures.
North Mississippi Allstars
July 5, State Bridge Lodge
With last year’s “Polaris,” the North Mississippi Allstars dipped a toe into modern rock, adding another layer to their blues-drenched rock. The results, demonstrated recently at the Wheeler Opera House and Jazz Aspen’s Labor Day stage, are encouraging.
State Bridge, a Riverside camp near Bond, has upgraded its facilities and its music offerings. Other notable dates: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (July 11), Burning Spear (Aug. 5) and the Stockholm Syndrome, featuring Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools, Jerry Joseph and Wally Ingram (Aug. 8).
The Allman Brothers Band
and String Cheese Incident
July 9-10, Red Rocks
It only seems like Colorado’s String Cheese Incident has been joined on stage by every single musician with any claim to the jam-band world. In fact, the Cheese and the Allmans Brothers have never crossed paths. That oversight gets corrected with two nights at Red Rocks that figure to be historic. And to make sure that the stage gets really crowded, former Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson opens with his band, the New Earth Mud.
Fact is, the Allmans are on the top of their game and worth the price alone. The current incarnation of the Bros have proved their merits with a recent studio album (“Hittin’ the Note”), DVD (“Lie at the Beacon Theatre”) and live album (“One Way Out”). If I were making one road trip this summer, this would be it.
The Allmans close the first show, String Cheese the next.
LoDo Music Festival
July 9-10, Lower Downtown Denver
The 12th annual LoDo Music Festival, held in the streets adjacent to Coors Field, aims for a wide audience, or people with broad musical tastes. Day 1 features soul-rock band Sonia Dada, electronica/jam-band Particle and smooth jazzers Tower of Power. Day 2 has aged hard-rockers Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and groove-band Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe.
July 10, Universal Lending Pavilion
Former Creedence Clearwater Revival leader John Fogerty doesn’t emerge often. But when he does, it’s worth paying attention. When he last showed his face, it was in 1997-98, with back-to-back hits “Blue Moon Swamp,” a wonderful studio album, and “Premonition,” a solid live album. Fogerty follows a summer tour with a new CD, scheduled for a fall release.
KBCO World Class Rockfest
July 17-18, Winter Park
This year’s World Class Rockfest sports an eclectic lineup with an emphasis on the roots. Day 1 features New Orleans icons the Neville Brothers, blues rockers the Bodeans and Jonny Lang, and jam-rock act the Pat McGee Band. Day 2 is headlined by rock-band Cake, and features Colorado progressive bluegrass quartet Yonder Mountain String Band, guitar wiz Keller Williams and folky singer Mindy Smith.
Vans Warped Tour
July 18, Invesco Field
Calling all kids. The youth-oriented Vans Warped n see Road trips on page B12
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Tour features hard-core acts Bad Religion, NOFX and Bouncing Souls, with a bunch of lesser-knowns with catchy names: My Chemical Romance, Don’t Look Down, and Flogging Molly.
July 24, Coors Amphitheatre
Headbangers, prepare your armor. Ozzy Osbourne hasn’t abandoned the stage in favor of his TV career. The former Black Sabbath is front and center for the ninth annual Ozzfest. Joining Osbourne on the 14-hour, two-stage bill are Slayer, Slipknot and Judas Priest, reunited with singer Rob Halford and working on their first album since 1991.
July 24, Chautauqua Auditorium
Senegalese singer-songwriter Youssou N’Dour was introduced to the wide English-speaking world in the ’80s, when he was featured on albums by Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon. Recent albums on the Nonesuch label “Nothing’s In Vain” and “Joko” show N’Dour can make his own captivating Afro-pop.
Other dates of note at Chautauqua: Bruce Hornsby (Aug. 4), Los Lobos (Aug. 22) and David Grisman (Aug. 28).
Big Head Todd and the Monsters
Aug. 7, Red Rocks
Big Head Todd and the Monsters don’t seem to be in a career-expansion stage. Artistically, however, they continue to impress; their latest album, “Crimes of Passion,” is magnificent and treads new ground for the trio. And a hometown show by the Denver-born band is always a cause for celebration.
Opening is Kentucky band My Morning Jacket who have a notable new album of their own, “It Still Moves.”
Reggae on the Rocks
Aug. 21-22, Red Rocks
This year’s reggae party at Red Rocks is a huge, top-shelf outing, featuring Andrew Tosh, the Skatalites, Ziggy Marley, Toots & the Maytals, Third World, rapper Common and more.
The Sweet Harmony Traveling Revue
Aug. 28, Fillmore Auditorium
The Sweet Harmony tour packages three of the finest voices, all female, in the acoustic sphere: Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and Patty Griffin. Sweet indeed.
Sept. 23-24, Red Rocks
The good news on Norah Jones is that n see Road trips on following page
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“Feels Like Home,” the follow-up to her dazzlingly successful debut “Come Away With Me,” shows the singer-pianist is no flash in the pan. The not-so-good news is that Jones’ music remains hushed and she is hardly the most dynamic performer – not a great combination in playing an amphitheater like Red Rocks.
Sept. 30, Magness Arena
Fifteen years ago, Boston’s the Pixies pointed the way for the alternative rock movement. Kurt Cobain confessed that, in writing “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” he was “basically ripping off the Pixies.” The recent reunion, featuring all of the original quartet, is receiving rapturous attention from Pixie fans, who have been waiting a decade for the punkish band to reunite.
Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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In the 1960s The Red Onion as the Aspen Ski Club would host an annual ski fashion preview, which in addition to clothing also included live music and a strip auction.