OpenAir’s concert picks for April: Arcade Fire, Chvrches, Shakey Graves, and more

T.S. Eliot once wrote “April is the cruelest month,” but we’ll go ahead and guess that he wasn’t a music fan living in Colorado in 2014.

In fact, this April marks one of the most stacked lineups for live music in Colorado in recent memory. We’ve accumulated 20 fantastic concert options during Mr. Eliot’s least favorite month, ordered chronologically. And it's a list that is by no means comprehensive: Check out our OpenAir event calendar for even more great shows!

So take a look at what’s coming up in April, and be sure to mark your calendars for the 19th, this year’s Record Store Day (our favorite holiday!). We’ll be rolling out some special announcements leading up to the event.

See you at the show(s)!

Black Lips @ Bluebird Theater (4/2)

The Atlanta punk band plows through Denver in support of new album “Underneath the Rainbow.” You also might catch a sneak preview of the show by keeping it in the OpenAir this month…

photo: snowball festSnowball Music Festival @ Sports Authority Field (4/4-4/6)

The three day Colorado music fest moves from Winter Park to Denver this year. Headliners are EDM giants Pretty Lights and Knife Party, and the lineup also features indie (Warpaint, Jagwar Ma, Yeasayer), rap (Earl Sweatshirt, Busta Rhymes, Chali2na), and local music (Inner Oceans, You Me & Apollo, Rose Quartz). Check out our interview with SnowBall producer Chad Donnelly before the fest.

In the Whale w/ Residual Kid @ Hi Dive (4/4)

In preparation for new EP “Nate,” local hard rock duo In the Whale play a two-night stint at the Hi Dive where they have been known to fill the venue with their raucous energy. Austin-based youngsters Residual Kid will open after stopping into our Performance Studio prior to the show.

Mike with Gary Numan at SXSWGary Numan @ Gothic Theatre (4/4)

The electronica pioneer made a big splash at this year’s SXSW (where our own Mike Flanagan managed to snag a photo with him), so expect Gary Numan to ride that momentum into his Gothic Theatre stop.

Mark McGuire w/ Jenny Hval @ Moe’s Original BBQ (4/5)

Moe’s Original BBQ in Englewood continues to bolster its concert lineup with more and more great acts (recent shows include Moonface and Speedy Ortiz), and the night of April 5 is no exception. Mark McGuire’s excellent sonic soundscapes on new album “Along the Way” are sure to intrigue live, along with Norwegian singer-songwriter Jenny Hval’s peculiar minimalism.

Okkervil River @ Bluebird Theater (4/8)

Okkervil River returns to Denver after a frigid Chipotle Cultivate Fest performance back in 2012. Last year’s “The Silver Gymnasium,” like all Okkervil River albums, features heartfelt and articulate folk-rock that seems to get better and better with age.

photo: Bombino posterBombino @ Larimer Lounge (4/8)

Omara “Bombino” Moctar hails from the West African nation of Niger, and has lived as a refugee in Algeria, Libya and Burkina Faso. Somewhere in his hectic formative years, he learned to play guitar and write incredible rock music with a distinct African influence.

J. Roddy Walston & the Business w/ Ark Life, Blake Brown & the American Dust Choir @ Fox Theatre (4/9)

Walston and his band rock out like few others live, with throat-shredding vocals, piano-driven rock n’ roll, and hair that defies gravity. Can’t miss local acts Ark Life and Blake Brown & the American Dust Choir open. Keep it in the OpenAir for your chance to hear J. Roddy & the Business in our CPR Performance Studio too.

Typhoon @ Bluebird Theater (4/10)

Typhoon's latest "White Lighter" is their most ambitious album to date, and the Portland band needs a lot of ambition to tour as well: The group currently features 14 members that expand the indie rock sound with a team of horn and string players. Another act you might hear perform on OpenAir this month...

Phantogram @ Ogden Theatre (4/15)

Electronic rock duo Phantogram continue to rise in popularity thanks to new album "Voices," an appearance on "Jimmy Fallon" and reports that they're recording with Outkast member Big Boi. They're also the type of act that's sure to translate seamlessly into a live setting.

photo: Shakey Graves/Esme posterShakey Graves w/ Esme Patterson @ Larimer Lounge (4/16)

Shakey Graves is a legend of sorts in his hometown of Austin, where the mayor proclaimed Feb. 9, 2012 to be “Shakey Graves Day.” His one-man-band act will be joined by local favorite Esme Patterson, who officially releases new record "Woman to Woman" this month.

Flume @ Gothic Theatre (4/17)

22-year-old Australian producer Flume has been making waves in the electronic music scene as far back as 2011, and the world has definitely taken notice. His U.S. headlining tour includes a now sold-out show at the Gothic Theatre.

The Other Black @ Larimer Lounge (4/20)

The Other Black are simply one of the largest Denver bands we've experienced, and not solely by the number of members (we counted at least 12 when they came into our CPR Performance Studio last winter). Their sound incorporates everything from funk to soul to rock to hip-hop. They'll perform an early show at the Larimer this Easter.

The Knife @ Fillmore Auditorium (4/21)

Swedish experimental duo The Knife rarely tours the U.S., and announced only a handful of shows for their “Shaking the Habitual” tour. Luckily, it includes a Denver stop. Previous performances have included insane light shows and something called “danceaoke,” but predicting what the night of the 21st holds in store is likely a losing battle.

photo: Temples pressTemples w/ Drowners @ Bluebird Theater (4/22)

An excellent bill of two recently formed indie acts, both of whom have released debut albums this year that we’ve been excited about, and both of whom have roots in the U.K. You’d be well-advised to acquaint yourself with either of these standout rock groups.

Waxahatchee @ Marquis Theatre (4/22)

An act that has gracefully flown under the radar for a few years now, Katie Crutchfield’s Waxahatchee is as passionately raw and expositional a singer-songwriter project as any in recent memory.

Arcade Fire @ Pepsi Center (4/23)

Will we get Arcade Fire or The Reflektors on the night of the 23rd? Either way, the band has asked you to dress nicely (but not really) for the arena-size performance of their arena-size new album “Reflektor.” Don't miss opener tUnE-yArDs either.

photo: Chvrches pressCHVRCHES @ Ogden Theatre (4/24)

The Scottish electro-poppers hit Denver for the first time since wiggling into our ears and hearts with undeniable songs like “The Mother We Share” and “Lies” last year.

Local Natives @ Ogden Theatre (4/26)

The so-called “hardest working band in music” returns to Denver after a spotlight-stealing performance at Red Rocks last September. Attendees of their Ogden Theatre show are sure to experience pristine harmonies that result from the hours upon hours upon hours of performing that Local Natives spent in 2013.

Bombay Bicycle Club @ Gothic Theatre (4/27)

Bombay Bicycle Club’s latest album “So Long See You Tomorrow” is possibly the most charming record we've heard so far in 2014. Its effervescent rhythms and blend of world music and indie electro-pop should prove superb in a live setting.