Class of 2016: The Performers

2016-performers

2016 was another great year for live music in Colorado (and elsewhere). My final count came to 210 performances, across 88 shows and a festival. I was able to see AC/DC on my birthday, right before Brian Johnson’s exit from the band. I got to witness one of Sabbath’s final performances just a few days later. I saw Kanye right before he lost his mind and Sharon Jones right before she lost her battle with cancer. I was surprisingly impressed with pop divas such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Sia, as well as completely floored by Steven Wilson at the Gothic Theatre. I traveled to NYC to welcome Wolf Parade back into the world and I got to see Dolly Parton for the first time, at Red Rocks no less. Nathaniel Rateliff had a few glorious homecomings and I was able to attend two of them. I also finally experienced a Sunn 0))) show. It was another extremely diverse year in venues large and small, and although most of the shows were worth a mention, I decided to limit this list to my 21 most memorable performances.

acdc

AC/DC
02.08.16
Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
couldn’t be stopped as the place exploded in fire and brimstone

black-sabbath

Black Sabbath
02.15.16
Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
sounds of thunder, rain, church bells, and dread

flm

Father John Misty
04.09.16
Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver, CO
the man and the myth infected everyone in the room with a sort of manic energy

kacey

Kacey Musgraves
04.20.16
Bluebird Theater, Denver, CO
enough to silence those who protest the lack of diversity among 420 acts in Colorado

sunn

Sunn O)))
05.03.16
Gothic Theatre, Englewood, CO
everything that existed above the most basic and primal instincts was obliterated

rihanna

Rihanna
05.09.16
Viejas Arena, San Diego, CA
part pop diva, part rock star, part sex symbol, all while never being anything but Rihanna

beyonce

Beyoncé
05.12.16
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
first ever all-stadium female tour in history…flawless visuals, sound, and choreography

wolfparade

Wolf Parade
05.21.16
Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
signature cymbals, chimes, and high notes all coalesced into memories

flaming-lips

The Flaming Lips
05.26.16
Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
just one more amazing night in this crazy circus called life

sia

Sia
06.22.16
Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
voice rose up, hit a ceiling, cracked into a million pieces

sufjan

Sufjan Stevens
07.18.16
Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
one of those performances that had to be heard, and seen, and felt…personally

dolly

Dolly Parton
07.27.16
Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
rose petal confetti rained down over our heads, as diamonds sparkled on the rocks

national

The National
07.31.16
Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
stream-of-consciousness vocals about fucking things up

lcd

LCD Soundsystem
08.02.16 / 08.03.16
Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
awakens some primal urge to dance and destroy shit at the same time

eric-church

Eric Church
08.09.16
Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
nothing to augment his voice expect for simple guitar strings and the echo of the crowd

nathaniel

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
08.21.16 / 12.17.16
Red Rocks, Morrison, CO / Ogden Theater, Denver, CO
welcomed home by 10,000 screaming fans, friends, and family

sharon-jones

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
09.12.16
Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
I got cancer; cancer don’t got me!

jason-isbell

Jason Isbell
09.14.16
Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
one of the greatest singer-songwriters of his time

clams

Clams Casino
09.17.16
Cervantes, Denver, CO
Michael Volpe helped me understand the draw of DJ sets

kanye

Kanye West
10.22.16
Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
heads upturned in anticipation of first contact, the crowd was lost in darkness

steven-wilson

Steven Wilson
11.12.16
Gothic Theatre, Englewood, CO
emotionally drained…but I was grateful to be alive

Class of 2016: The Soundtrack
Class of 2016: The Overachievers
Alums

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