As summer comes to an end and the concert season begins to slow down in Denver, we want to take a look back at some of our favorite shows of this year. From stunning sunsets at Red Rocks and parties in The Pepsi Center, to intimate shows at the Bluebird Theater, Denver saw a ton of amazing music this summer. With the help of our entire music staff, we compiled a list of some of 303 Magazine’s favorite summer concerts of 2017. Check out the photo galleries below and click the links to be directed to the full review from our writers.

Chance The Rapper @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre – May 1-2, 2017

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“Chance the Rapper may very well be one of the greatest performers of our generation. After having seen him four different times and every single one being better than the last, I can’t imagine the growth that will happen over the next few years. Highlights from this year’s performance had to be the throwback to Acid Rap songs and the fact that he played a favorite track of 2016, “Ultralight Beam.””

Check out our full review by Josh Cowden here and full gallery by Kyle Cooper here.

Phoenix and Miike Snow @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre – June 7, 2017

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“At the end of the show, I was finally dry but completely dehydrated. Despite the insane amount of moisture I just experienced, I jumped and sang so hard that somehow the night ended with me craving water. It was a perfectly ironic end to one of the best and worst times I’ve ever had at Red Rocks.”

Check out our full review by Brittany Werges here and full gallery by Will Sheehan here

Portugal. The Man and Local Natives @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre – June 18, 2017

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“Portugal. The Man took off for their headlining set, walking onto the stage to a recording of “Unchained Melody” by Roy Orbison. Their latest album Woodstock came out just a few days before the performance, but the band made sure to play older tunes as well, such as “Modern Jesus” and “So American,” with Gourley dressed like a mix between John Lennon and Hunter Thompson.”

Check out our full review by Denby Gardiner here and the full gallery by Candace Peterson here

Freddie Gibbs @ The Bluebird Theater – June 25, 2017

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“Freddie Gibbs is a perfect example of how perceptions and stereotypes of the black man are still being perpetuated. Luckily for Gibbs, he had the money for lawyers and was able to fight a court case. That may be the only reason he was able to return home to his wife and daughter and bless his fans with another brand new album and show the world that the talent of Gibbs will not be denied. With the new album out of the way and a successful tour in the books, the return of Gibbs is evident and the future looks bright.”

Check out our full review by Josh Cowden here and full gallery by Alden Bonecutter here.

Bassnectar @ 1st Bank Center – July 7-9, 2017

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“The choice of the enclosed 1st Bank Center was a wise one. The show was tremendous from beginning to end, though we believe it’s safe to assume that no one in Broomfield will be confusing it for a natural disaster of any sort. Only time will tell. One thing is for certain — regardless of location, the annual party continues to impress and inspire enough to draw excited crowds year after year.”

Check out our full review by Colin Wrenn here and our full gallery by Will Sheehan here

Santana @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre – July 10, 2017

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“They returned quickly for a long, rowdy jam, during which Santana gifted a young fan a guitar. Then, all members of the band not performing on drums vacated the scene and the three percussionists took their own solos, ending with Cindy. “Smooth” and a cover of  The Police’s “Roxanne” served as the cherries on top of the spectacular evening with arguably the greatest guitarist alive, at undoubtedly the greatest venue in the world.”

Check out our full review by Denby Gardiner here and our full gallery by Glenn Ross here.

The Dirty Heads and SOJA @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre – July 19, 2017

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“It was a great night on the rocks for reggae fans and the summer vibes were high. The rain held off the entire night, and there was fantastic music being played at one the most beautiful venue in the world.  Surely these two powerhouses in the reggae world will be back, who would miss the opportunity for another amazing summer night like that?”

Check out our full review by Josh Cowden here and our full gallery by Alden Bonecutter here.

John Mayer @ The Pepsi Center – July 19, 2017

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“John Mayer took the time to compliment the Mile High City, calling it one of his favorite cities in the country. According to him, this tour stop was his third time in Denver in the last few months. The crowd demanded an encore and Mayer delivered not one but two songs for the hungry crowd.”

Check out our full review by Michael Tritsch here and full gallery by Amanda Piela here.

The 2017 Underground Music Showcase – July 27-30, 2017

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“The 17th year of the Underground Music Showcase came to a close after four days and hundreds of performances. The special showcase of talents big and small is one of great pride for our city — so much event that our governor couldn’t help but declare it a state holiday. In honor one of the most special weekends in Denver, we set out to find the best by attending as many shows as humanly possible.”

Check out our full review by Tyler Harvey, Montrece Hill, Kori Hazel and Brittany Werges here and our full gallery by Amanda Piela, Brittany Werges and Kyle Cooper here.

Umphrey’s McGee @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre – June 30-July 2, 2017

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“If people weren’t already wowed by Umphrey’s, they were after they performed “Electric Avenue to Hell.” From start to finish, Bruce Hornsby and Umphrey’s McGee made it known that July 2 would not just be another Red Rocks night, but an evening of music played in a way that only Umphrey’s can.”

Check out our full review by Caleb Anderson here and our full gallery by Alden Bonecutter here.

Julien Baker @ Bluebird Theater – August 7, 2017

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“The intimate space within the Bluebird provided the perfect atmosphere for connection between the audience and the artist. As members of the crowd shouted “I love you,” Baker jokingly responded with, “I am sure I would like you very much if we were to spend time together,” or “I love you collectively, as a group of individuals.””

Check out our full review by Stephanie Mason here and full gallery by Alden Bonecutter here .

Arise Music Festival @ Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO – August 4-6, 2017

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“There was an incredible assortment of talent bridging all genres and worldly influences. Some of our favorite performances included Brasstracks, Brother Ali, TNERTLE, Dirtwire, Proximity, SunSquabi and Rising Appalachia. But it’s safe to say Tipper took the cake.”

Check out our full review by Tyler Harvey here and our full gallery by Kiddest Metaferia here.

Sylvan Esso @ Ogden Theatre – August 10

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“The duo opened with “Sound.” It wasn’t long before the crowd felt heaping waves of bass — that kind of bass that makes your face itch from the vibrations, all matched with colorful lights. The massive LED setup was entrancing and exceptionally coordinated with the intricate minimalistic sounds of Sylvan Esso. But no amount of brightness or vibrations could distract one from Meath’s stage presence. She danced across the stage relentlessly in a lighthearted, exuberant manner. Anyone who knows Esso is probably aware of Meath’s common use of large platform boots. What we didn’t know was how hard she gets down in them — almost as if, at this point, they’re an extension of the singer’s own body.”

Check out our full review by Tyler Harvey here. Photography by Meg O’Neill

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