With temperatures consistently rising into the 70s and 80s, and the flurry of late spring thunderstorms seeming to subside (hopefully), it seems Colorado is at long last ready for summer.
And along with the magnificent mountain hikes and ample city parks to frequent in the sunny weather comes the summer concert season. June brings a plethora of great live music shows to venues both indoor and outdoor.
We’ve collected some of our picks for the best concerts to see this June. Check out our list below and head to our OpenAir event calendar for even more great options!
June kicks off with a Red Rocks performance from two legendary singer-songwriters. These modern music icons have been going strong since the '70s – Prine with his sardonic and catchy folk tunes and Harris with her angelic country harmonies. The two sharing the stage at Red Rocks should be sight and sound to behold.
Australian electronic-soul man Chet Faker appears to be on a victory lap after releasing debut full length "Built on Glass" in April, and in doing so he quickly sold out the Bluebird Theater for what looks to be a particularly energetic and genre-blending performance.
Guided By Voices continue to establish themselves in the touring circuit after reforming in 2010. The band's two albums of 2014 "Motivational Jumpsuit" and "Cool Planet" also maintain their mean streak of winning lo-fi indie rock.
John Darnielle brings his latest incarnation of longstanding project The Mountain Goats (this time an acoustic duo) to Colorado for the first time. Darnielle hasn't released a new record since 2012's "Transcendental Youth," so expect the Goats to traverse across their extensive and excellent catalog on June 5.
The British post-punk group keep their songs short, fast, and loud throughout their self-titled debut, so fans should expect a high-octane set Saturday night at the Larimer. Earplugs might be a good investment based on the sheer volume of tracks like "Possessed" and "Nerve Endings."
Local blues-rock group Dragondeer shared their debut full-length "Don't That Feel Good" with us earlier this year, but come June 7, it's time to celebrate. The band will play a record release party at Lost Lake that Saturday night, and they'll certainly be in good company: Eldren, Mosey West and Scott Lane of The Congress will open.
Singer-songwriter Mayfield will bring a new sound to the Hi-Dive in June, one that features snaky guitar riffs and hard-nosed rock in contrast to her previous folk leanings. Keep an ear out for our Performance Studio session with Mayfield before the show, as well.
Andrew Bird recently announced a new record of Handsome Family covers, and he's hitting the road with The Hands of Glory for a series of acoustic shows. His performances at the Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder should prove a perfectly apt setting for his intricate yet inviting baroque pop.
The annual Westword Music Showcase takes place June 21 across 12 stages in Denver. The main stage lineup boasts national acts Diplo, 2 Chainz, Man Man and King Khan, but there will also be 150 local acts performing, including A. Tom Collins, Colfax Speed Queen, Ian Cooke, Eldren and many more.
Billed as the "Hardcore DEVO" tour, the new wave pioneers will embark on a brief 10-stop tour this summer that includes a stop in Denver. The shows intend to focus on the band's early, experimental music they created between 1974-1977.
After selling out the Ogden in April of 2013, Nick Cave returns to Denver, this time playing the significantly more spacious Buell Theater. Cave & the Bad Seeds head to Colorado after a performance at Bonnaroo, and he's recruited opener Warpaint, who released their excellent sophomore album earlier this year.
Hot off the release of her finest record to date, Brooklyn singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten headlines the Bluebird. Ironically, she plays on the same night of the artist she opened for her last time in Denver, Nick Cave (see above). Those who have not mastered being in two places at once will unfortunately have to decide between these two superb options on the night of the 24th.
The four sisters of SHEL craft exceptionally charming folk-pop, locally grown in Fort Collins. They headline the Larimer Lounge at the tail-end of the month, and local Americana-rock group Bonnie & the Beard will open.