03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Denver's Essential Concert Calendar

The Problem of Leisure: Denver's Essential Concert Calendar

Go shimmy to the beat of DJ Z-Trip before catching one of the best local line ups in recent memory, as well as up-and-comers We All Have Hooks For Hands. A hook, a wheel, and a trip -- nobody better get hurt.

Dec 11: DJ Z-Trip


Even though he's has a regular gig in Vegas, and a presence in DJ Hero, DJ Z-Trip hasn't lost his love of touring. Look for Z-Trip to drop a motherlode of culturally significant samples during his Friday night show. After all, he's been bringing the mash up to the rock kids since Gregg Gillis was in short pants. Z-trip has a gift for putting his finger on a song's big moment, and he finds a way to include a wide range of music in his sets, from classic rock gods such as Led Zeppelin and AC/DC to current hybridizers like M.I.A. Montreal-based DJ and graphic novelist Kid Koala (a.k.a. Eric San) will open the show in support of his latest release, Kid Koala Presents: The Slew.

Ogden Theater 935 E. Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80218

Dec 12: Third Annual Variety Show curated by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel


Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel headline a showcase of local bands whose talent goes as deep as any Division I basketball team's bench: TAUNTAUN, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, Bad Weather California, Houses, Bela Karoli and Ian Cooke. With a well-received CMJ show and a Daytrotter session to their credit, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel are poised to show the world what Denver has known for ages: the heartbreaking work of this aching genius deserves to be shared outside the city limits. The show's promoter takes variety very seriously. On the raucous end of the spectrum TAUNTAUN bring heart stopping, mosh pit birthing heavy metal while Snake Rattle Rattle Snake grab a couple of barre chords by the throat and toss them headlong towards a stomping dance beat. Houses and Bad Weather California, in contrast, offer mellower and more meandering, though no less lively, musical visions.

Bluebird Theater 3317 E. Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80206

Dec 15: We All Have Hooks For Hands


In case you missed their gig a few weeks ago at Moe's Original Bar-B-Que, We All Have Hooks For Hands are gracious enough to visit Denver again this Tuesday in support of their sophomore release, The Shape of Energy. This six-piece may hail from from the quaint prairies of South Dakota, but their sound is every bit as hip as bands who share lofts in Williamsburg and Bushwick. WAHHH's rootsy and infectious music, which bears titles like "Howlina and Bellowing" and "Made Up of Tiny Lights," should translate well to a live setting. Don't miss opener I Sank Molly Brown whose striated sound pairs particularly well with We All Have Hooks for Hands.

Larimer Lounge 2721 Larimer Street, Denver CO 80205

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