It’s been a fantastic year …. for live music in Denver, Colorado. I saw amazing large production concerts such as hometown heroes One Republic at Fiddler’s Green and Zac Brown at Coors Field. Since Jack White (my lord and savior) hasn’t toured in recent years, I got my fix watching his disciples Lillie Mae (fiddle playing phenomenon), Pokie Larfarge (old school honkey tonk singer), and Olivia Jean (Goth rock goddess). I was in the audience when the soulful country crooner Chris Stapleton and the world music of Purple Martini played incredible Red Rocks shows. I witnessed Thao (from the Get down Stay Down) channel feminism rage with a banjo. I caught the Nashville guitar powerhouse Diarrhea Planet blow the roof off the Marquis Theater. But five other shows stood out from a year packed with stunning appearances. So without further ado…. Here are my top shows of the year:
5. Michael Franti and Spearhead at Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton, CO on 10/8/17 – Michael Franti inspired a bunch of beer drinkers through life affirming songs about peace and positivity. The hurricane relief concert had the entire crowd singing and dancing around the jumping barefooted singer (Franti had knee surgery at the end of this tour. Go figure). After the bouncing ended, almost every Spearhead member continued to spread the love by hugging the entire front row including me.
4. Father John Misty at Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Morrison, CO 8/25/17 – I am thankful Josh Tillman AKA Father John Misty decided to become a musician instead of forming an occult. If he started his own religion, I am afraid many of his followers would be wearing the Heaven’s Gate Nikes and drinking the Jonestown Kool Aid. After his passionate performance everyone in the audience was worshiping at the alter of Misty.
3. Regina Spektor at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, CO on 3/29/17 – The petite former Soviet Union immigrant dazzled the audience with her miraculous piano playing and quirky lyrics. My favorite moment was when she abandoned the piano and rapped during her song Small Bill$. Despite a few audience members storming out when she shared her thoughts about the president’s immigration policies, Spektor’s charm made the rest of the crowd smile in adoration.
2. Elephant Revival at Shambhava Yoga Eldorado Ashram in Boulder, CO on 5/19/17 – The members of the folk roots rock band rewarded volunteers from Wildlands Restoration to a free show in return for a few hours of restoring a hiking trail. The setting was spiritual, the message was peace, and lead singer Bonnie Paine played the saw (that’s right a musical saw). It was the most Boulder experience in my life. And it was awe-inspiring.
|John Paul White – All Photos taken by
The Rock and Roll Princess
1. John Paul White at the Bluebird Theater in Denver, CO on 5/10/17. The former member of the duo Civil Wars somber songs about lost love, death, and despair made a deep connection with the audience. The majority of the songs performed were from his album Beulah (biblical word meaning a place of peace and isolation from strife). The memory of this performance still gives me salvation from a year of divisiveness, disasters, and evil.
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one wishing your new year is full of happiness, music, and possibly a visit to an ashram.