Denver’s music scene rivals such cities as Los Angeles and New York, in terms of opportunities to catch live music. Coming from out of town, the sheer number of concerts is undoubtedly overwhelming, so to simplify things, Denver music experts at 303 Magazine have compiled a list of the must-see Denver shows that you cannot miss. These concerts are also exclusive to the region.
August 24 - Reggae on the Rocks @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
With a bill featuring some of the genre’s finest — Rebelution, Proteje and Collie Buddz amongst others, it's one of the few nights solely dedicated to Rastafari.
August 26– 27 - OneRepublic with the Colorado Symphony @ Red Rocks Ampitheatre
OneRepublic is one of those staple Denver bands that made it big and still give their hometown the love it deserves. After their release of debut album Dreaming Out Loud featuring hit song “Apologize,” the band’s trajectory skyrocketed them to fame. Since then, OneRepublic has become an iconic pop band, breaking the mainstream with the band’s unique integration of string instruments amongst pop-heavy, catchy choruses. This combination of sounds is the perfect sonic cocktail for this year's concert, with the Colorado Symphony backing the band at the famed Red Rocks Ampitheatre. The Colorado Symphony has often worked with modern bands to create something incredibly special, including the likes of The Flaming Lips and Belle & Sebastian. This collaboration takes from all prior experience and brings the show to the next level, with OneRepublic coming home to Denver’s wide-open arms.
August 30–September 1 - Phish @ Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Phish returns to Denver once again for their annual Labor Day run of shows. If you haven’t been able to catch Trey Anastasio and the gang at one of their most beloved performances — you’re missing out. The weekend plays out like a festival for the most dedicated of fans and an annual retreat for others. Whatever way you swing on the Phish scale, one thing's for sure — it’ll be a trip.
September 3 - Bon Iver @ Red Rocks
Justin Vernon’s mystique driven indie-folk band, Bon Iver will embark on a very brief run of US fall shows, one of which will head to none other than Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Bon Iver has not played the venue since 2012, so for the band — whose music lives and breathes the wilderness — the forthcoming show will be a warm welcome. Just imagine sitting in the amphitheater soaking in the moment as Vernon strums out “Skinny Love” or “Re: Stacks” — words alone cannot describe how amazing such an experience is bound to feel. Are you crying, because I’m certainly not crying.
September 7 - The Original Misfits @ Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
Denver’s in for a special one here. The Original Misfits (the surviving ones at least), Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only surprisingly came back together for the first time in 33 years in 2016, and have been a rare act to catch on the road since. That all changes for Denver, however, when the band comes through with one of three planned outings this year. The punk pioneers will perform at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre on September 7. The Original Misfits will be joined by The Distillers, The Damned and Cro-Mags, creating a night for punk fans new and old to come together for one sole purpose. Considering the tumultuous history and the age of the musicians, if you’re a fan of the Misfits in any capacity, you will not want to miss this.
September 23 - The Black Keys @ Pepsi Center
With their tour dubbed “The Let’s Rock Tour,” you can probably imagine how ready the Black Keys are to get on their first tour in nearly five years. The band, with their newly released single “Lo/hi” are setting the stage for a comeback of epic proportions, and their performance at the Pepsi Center, the first arena date of the tour, should be no exception. Hitting the venue with Modest Mouse, the show will certainly shake you up, put you down and ruffle your feathers. Leather jacket and American Spirits not included.
September 23– 24 - Greta Van Fleet @ Red Rocks
If you or a loved one ever felt infatuated with Led Zeppelin, Greta Van Fleet is here to bring the memories flooding back. The Michigan-based band has ascended rapidly thanks to streaming service algorithms and a paint-by-numbers approach of replicating the ’70s rock band’s sound with shocking precision. Though they sound so eerily similar, Greta Van Fleet is one of the best bands on the road to send you hurtling down memory lane, even if they’re playing songs you may have never heard of. If you can’t get the originals, these guys are the next best thing.
September 24 – Chance the Rapper @ Pepsi Center
Chicago-bred, independent hip-hop phenomena, Chance the Rapper will bring his “debut” album, The Big Day to The Pepsi Center in September. Coming into global fame with a slew of mixtapes and lucrative spots with Kit Kat and alongside the Backstreet Boys in a particularly memorable Doritos Super Bowl commercial, the young MC went from underground rhyme slayer to one of the most talked-about entertainers of the past decade. With an outlook poised on family, faith and freedom, Chance the Rapper’s long-awaited arena performance will not be one to miss.
September 29 - The Who @ Pepsi Center
The who? The Who! The ‘60s rock band is still going strong on “The Moving On Tour,” set to come to Denver in late September. The iconic group is hitting the road in celebration of their first album in 13 years. Who knows how long the group will continue to tour, so if nostalgia of this magnitude calls, you better pick up the phone
October 6 - Mac DeMarco @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Many people have dubbed indie zeitgeist Mac DeMarco as a present-day Jimmy Buffett, and it's honestly not a stretch. The eternally chill rocker will return to Red Rocks, bringing along his new album, "Here Comes the Cowboy." Expect severe quirkiness, shotgunned beers, as well as, DeMarco’s telltale charisma in spades. DeMarco will make Red Rocks the place to be as the final threads of warm weather unwind.
October 9 - The Raconteurs @ Mission Ballroom
It’s been a whopping eight years since The Raconteurs performed together live, that is until they announced they were getting back together again, with new music in tow. The Jack White led alt-rock band, known for songs like “Steady, As She Goes” and “Salute Your Solution” will charge through the brand new Mission Ballroom on October 9. Considering the near decade it took to get the band running full steam again, who knows when you’ll get another chance like this.
October 9 - Maná @ Pepsi Center
Iconic Latin rock superstars, Maná will dive into their best-selling and acclaimed discography for a rather rare visit to Denver. Witnessing the band’s prowess isn’t so much about nostalgia as it is reveling in groups historic rise in the Latin music sphere. The “Labios Compartidos” performers are sure to be a huge hit, seeing as they haven’t visited Denver since 2012 during their “Drama Y Luz World Tour.”
October 13 - Phil Collins @ Pepsi Center
As the title of the tour states — Phil Collins is “Not Dead Yet.” And while that was never a question in our minds, Collins is out to prove he’s still got it with a 15-date US jaunt, which includes a stop at the Pepsi Center. So put aside your air guitar moves and start practicing your imaginary drums because god knows you’ll want to hit every beat when “In the Air Tonight” drops.
October 27 – Twenty One Pilots @ Pepsi Center
Twenty One Pilots are a force to be reckoned with. The alt-rock heroes known for massive singles like “Stressed Out” and “Heathens,” are heading out on a victory lap of their wildly successful Bandito Tour. Hitting Denver again in October, the duo, known for their dynamic performances are sure to light a fire in the belly of the Pepsi Center yet again. Be sure to snatch up those tickets quickly, the last time Twenty One Pilots came to the arena, it sold out so fast it made fans do a double-take.
November 25 - Cher and Nile Rodgers & CHIC @ Pepsi Center
Fresh off her appearance in "Mamma Mia" and her wildly successful ABBA cover album, Dancing Queen, the inimitable Cher will head to the Pepsi Center in continuation of her “Here We Go Again Tour.” Coming along for the ride, Nile Rodgers & CHIC will join in on the festivities making for one hell of a funky affair. So, if you've ever caught yourself belting “Believe” in your spare time, it’s your chance to catch the real deal — we believe in you.
December 1 – The 1975 @ 1stBank Center
If you hadn’t already heard, English pop-rock band, The 1975 will have another album coming in 2020, and they’ve already begun to push out the new material. One of the first chances to hear some of the new tunes will come when the band drops in on none other than the 1stBank Center, following a cancellation earlier this year when the band got caught in a blizzard on their way to Red Rocks. With only a handful of dates coming at the tail end of 2019, there’s never been a better time for a do-over.