In Colorado there are two seasons we all know and love: there is ski season and at the 303 Music Desk there is our personal favorite–Red Rocks season. As the snow begins to to recede for the summer, out pops one of the world’s greatest outdoor venues nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Arguably the better half of the year is about to begin, and with one of the most stacked lineups Red Rocks has ever seen on its way, we came up with the difficult task of giving you the top ten Red Rocks shows to catch this summer.
Tuesday, May 17
We start the season with British siblings Guy and Howard Lawrence also known as Disclosure. This world famous duo gives house music a more universal fan base with infectious dance melodies and a full live show, as apposed to just DJing where this genre of music originated. This will be one of the most global acts of the summer, Caracal, Disclosure’s recent sophomore album features vocals from Sam Smith, the Weeknd and Lorde, giving anyone a reason to hop on this show to start the summer off right.
Friday, May 27
The Devil Makes Three
Colorado’s giant love for string music starts out with something raw and original going by the name of The Devil Makes Three. Even though this New England trio could be considered alternative country, they are very proud of their bluegrass and even punk-rock inspirations. Accompanied by the extremely talented Shaky Graves, this lineup will be geared for all those ready to stomp the night away with a whiskey bottle in hand.
Tuesday, May 31
The M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez has described the unreleased album to be even more epic then their 2011 Grammy nominated Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. The dreamy electro rock sound should fit perfectly into Red Rocks over Memorial Day weekend with huge sounds and absolutely gorgeous harmony. And with a series of massive festivals like Coachella and Governor’s Ball on the docket for the summer, M83 is clearly preparing to showcase an album that Anthony describes as “more fun and fresh” with “a lot of eclecticism,” promising plenty of “unexpected guests.”
Tuesday, June 7 – Wednesday, June 8
Many don’t know that The Lumineers began their huge fan base right here in Denver at the Meadowlark bar. After their world wide hit-filled self-titled album, they have routinely sold out massive arena tours around the globe, and have headlined the biggest of music festivals. With their second album Cleopatra just two days away from dropping, The Lumineers look to showcase their fresh material back where it all began. Going from playing late nights on Larimer Street, to selling out two straight nights at Red Rocks, The Lumineers have all the motivation in the world to put on an amazing show.
Saturday, June 18
One of the first shows to sell out this year, Odesza is one of the hottest groups out right now. Following a gigantic 2015 marked by an entirely sold out world headlining tour, Odesza looks to step up from an opening Red Rocks set last year to their own headlining night in 2016. The dust has still not settled from their immensely successful 2014 album In Return, and no electronic group has infiltrated the masses like this since Daft Punk. There will no doubt be fresh beats from the beautiful yet energetic group, most likely bringing many surprises for one of the most sought after tickets of the summer.
Wednesday, June 29
It is becoming clear that any artist wishing to showcase a new album chooses Red Rocks as one of the places to do it. After an eight year hiatus of production, veteran rock group Modest Mouse will bring their ever original sound to the rocks as the days begin to get longer and hotter. They have no doubt stayed relevant over the years while maintaining their polished alternative rock sound. Now with an expansive stack of albums to choose from, Modest Mouse will most likely give a very memorable set alongside the ever popular Brand New, who will be touring with them all year long.
Tuesday, July 12 – Wednesday, July 13
Twenty One Pilots
It’s hip-hop fused with almost every genre imaginable, its new, its original and it just sold out two straight nights at Red Rocks. 2015 was very good to Twenty One pilots, all on the back of just two members, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun who have taken over the radio and arenas across the country. Each song seems to have its own sound, with thought provoking yet catchy lyrics, and pounding live drums. It seems like an unlikely success story for this experimental duo, but one that cannot be denied.
Tuesday, August 2 – Wednesday, August 3
If Red Rocks is a historical venue then this is the historical show the summer. Yes LCD Soundsystem is officially back. Breaking the ice with announcing their headlining Coachella spot, LCD Soundsystem will release a full length album in 2016 featuring their break thru electro-rock sound that touched so many fans between 2005 and 2010. This comes as a huge surprise considering they officially said farewell at a final Madison Square Garden show in 2011. Now we can only assume this new album and their Red Rocks show will be as amazing as their string of brilliance that began ten years ago.
Thursday, August 18
Maybe the biggest name in electronic music globally, Sydney based Flume has made a name for himself by combining glitchy synth with a beautiful and intelligent rendering. Truly redefining electronic dance music, Flume looks to test out his yet-to-be-released and highly anticipated album Skin, on a Red Rocks crowd itching to get down. Flume seems to be just as excited as us: “Last year I played there [Red Rocks] with Chromeo and Cut Copy and it was definitely a highlight of the tour,” said Flume about last year’s show “it was such an epic venue.”
Sunday, August 21
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
Hometown heroes Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats are coming off a huge year that propelled them into stardom. Now they are heading to the rocks exactly one year after their debut album released–if that isn’t something of a Cinderella story, we’re not sure what is. Their self-titled debut rocked the charts with gritty vocals, singing lyrics and a down-home vibe that you just can’t imitate. Hopefully you scored your tickets, because the show is already sold out!
Saturday, October 1
There is no way you can’t end the Red Rocks season without a bang. Still in the process of blowing up, Boulder-based Griz is looking to begin his Red Rocks dynasty with headlining show number two of his career. He is funk, he is dubstep, he is dance and he is showing no signs of slowing down and becoming the face of new young artists in Colorado. Griz is pumping out a new album every year for his super dedicated fans, and he’s got yet another one in the works for this show that sold out in about a week, and about seven months prior to the event.
My Morning Jacket – May 28 & 29
Devotchka with the Colorado Symphony – June 16
Greensky Bluegrass – July 23
Tame Impala – August 31