15 Must-See Concerts In Colorado This Summer
Written by Shannon Shumaker
By the time spring hits in Colorado, chances are you’re already eagerly awaiting the even warmer summer months and the outdoor activities that come along with them in this beautiful state. Not only are Coloradans privileged to have the Rocky Mountains to hike, bike and camp in (among other things) but summer is especially exciting for the state's music lovers, with plenty of concerts and festivals coming up this year! Denver alone has nearly too many venues to count (both big and small) and Morrison is home to one of the most renowned and beautiful venues in the world - Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Because of this, it may be hard to narrow down all of the incredible concerts in the state to just a few to catch this summer, but there are a handful of shows that are must sees! Here are some of our most anticipated shows of summer 2016, in chronological order.
1. PVRIS @ Summit Music Hall - May 29th
Technically, the first day of summer isn’t until June 20th, but we will make an exception for PVRIS’ first headlining tour, which hits Summit Music Hall in May. Recently, the band toured as support for artists like Fall Out Boy, Bring Me The Horizon and Pierce The Veil, and played the main stage on the Vans Warped Tour last summer. It’s about time they finally embark on their own headlining tour, and the supporting artists - Polyenso, Lydia and CRUISR - couldn’t be better! This show is nearly sold out, so don’t sleep on it!
2. Kaleo @ The Gothic Theatre - June 4th
We had the chance to catch Kaleo when they were out supporting Vance Joy last year, and the Icelandic band absolutely blew us away. This time, they’re back at the same venue, earning a headlining spot over killer duo, The Wind and The Wave. With their debut album, A/B releasing only six days after their Denver performance, the band is sure to be on top of their game.
3. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis @ 1st Bank Center - June 5th
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have been laying low between their massive album The Heist, released in 2012 and brand new album, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, which dropped in February, but it’s safe to say that Colorado will welcome them back with open arms. Not only are their performances high energy, fun and emotional, but it’s well known how much Macklemore loves Colorado. Don’t believe us? Check out the “Macklemore Loves Colorado” shirt!
4. Pierce The Veil @ Summit Music Hall - June 7th
With their highly-anticipated new album, Misadventures set to release on May 13th, Pierce The Veil’s upcoming headlining tour is sure to be one of the hottest shows this summer! Not only will the San Diego four-piece be performing the new album in its entirety, but the Colorado date is only the second date of the tour, which means the band will be on top of their game! Supporting artists, I the Mighty, who recently finished up a tour with Coheed and Cambria, and Movements are not to be missed.
5. Taste Of Chaos Tour @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre - July 6th
Quite possibly one of the most exciting shows at Red Rocks this year is the Taste Of Chaos tour, which features Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin (with Anthony Green) and The Early November. This show is basically the best emo tour of the summer. Yo Taking Back Tuesday, can you host an afterparty?!
6. Big Gig @ Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre - July 9th
Channel 93.3’s Big Gig is always one of the best concerts of the summer, and this year promises to be no exception. With a stacked lineup of Cage The Elephant, Young The Giant, X Ambassadors, Mister Wives, Vinyl Theatre and The Unlikely Candidates, it’s a surprise that this show hasn’t sold out yet! Grab tickets while you can!
7. Eagles Of Death Metal @ The Ogden Theatre - July 19th
Eagles Of Death Metal’s upcoming tour marks their first North American tour dates following the terrorists attacks in Paris last November. If you haven’t already given the band and their new LP, Zipper Down a listen, we highly encourage it!
8. Halsey @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre - July 21st
Halsey is easily one of 2016’s biggest breakout artists, so it’s no surprise that the singer will be performing at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre this summer following an incredible performance at Coachella. Also, Red Rocks also kind of looks like the cover of her album, Badlands, which just makes this show even more magical!
9. letlive. @ Summit Music Hall - July 22nd
If you’ve had the privilege of seeing the legendary letlive. live before, then you know what to expect from their upcoming headlining tour in support of If I’m The Devil…, their highly anticipated new album. And if not, then a letlive. show is something that you need to experience at least once in your lifetime. The last time the band headlined in Denver, the stage was left in ruins. Support for the show is very diverse, which will make for a very fun and exciting night. Come early to catch Seahaven, Silver Snakes and Night Verses!
10. Panic! At The Disco & Weezer @ Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre - July 24th
Panic! At The Disco and Weezer may seem like an odd combination at first, but they just may be a match made in heaven. Both bands are riding the waves of success from their new records - Panic’s Death Of A Bachelor and Weezer’s White Album - and are bound to sound better than ever. Add Andrew McMahon And The Wilderness to the bill and this will be one of the hottest shows this summer!
11. The Avett Brothers @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre - July 28th, 29th & 30th
Nearly every time The Avett Brothers play Red Rocks, it sells out, so this year, they’re performing three nights back to back. The three dates come only a month after the band releases their new album, True Sadness, which promises to be one of this summer’s best releases. If you haven’t had the chance to make it out to a great show at Red Rocks this summer, The Avett Brothers will be an incredible time, regardless of how familiar you are with the band.
12. The UMS (Underground Music Showcase) - July 28th-31st
The UMS is the biggest independent music festival in the Rocky Mountain region, and it just so happens that 2016 marks the festival’s 16th year! There are over 400 performances taking place on 20 stages this year, which promises to be one of the biggest events of the Summer. This year, some of our favorite artists performing are The Bright Light Social Hour, Wiredogs, Slow Caves and Strawberry Runners.
13. Riot Fest @ The National Western Complex - September 2nd-4th
Even though the lineup for this year’s Riot Fest in Denver has yet to be announced, it is safe to say that the festival will be another one for the books. Each year, Riot Fest brings a very diverse lineup of both big and small artists from every genre. Last year, System Of A Down and Ice Cube played on the same night, and in years past, Riot Fest has included quite a few local acts in the Denver dates as well. We can only imagine what they’ll pull out this year, and are anxiously awaiting the lineup announcement along with everyone who has already purchased early bird tickets!
14. Blink 182 @ The Pepsi Center - September 13th
It may come at the end of the summer, but Blink 182’s recently announced performance at The Pepsi Center with The All American Rejects and A Day To Remember is a must see! Not only is it Blink’s first show in Colorado in nearly three years (the last being at Riot Fest’s inaugural weekend in Colorado back in 2013) but it will also be the band’s first tour with Matt Skiba, in support of their upcoming album, California. Needless to say, this will be a monumental tour and performance from this legendary pop-punk band!
15. Tegan and Sara @ The Ogden Theatre - September 21st
A perfect show to close out a perfect summer, Tegan and Sara are headlining The Ogden Theatre on the second to last day of the summer! It has been quite a while since the duo has headlined in Colorado, and with their new album, Love You To Death out June 3rd, this show promises to be one for the books.
Twenty One Pilots @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre - July 12th & 13th
Twenty One Pilots have one of the most dedicated fanbases in the world, so it’s no surprise that both dates at Red Rocks sold out almost immediately. Not only is a Twenty One Pilots show guaranteed fun, but opening up for the band is Mutemath, who sold out The Gothic Theatre this year in support of their new album, Vitals. Show up early to check out Mutemath, and if you manage to find a ticket on StubHub, or if a friend offers you one, don’t miss this show!
Brand New & Modest Mouse @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre - June 29th
Another show that sold out almost immediately, the mysterious Brand New and iconic Modest Mouse are hitting Red Rocks for what promises to be an incredible show, if Brand New’s most recent stop at The Fillmore Auditorium and Modest Mouse’s performance at Riot Fest last year are anything to go by.
Vans Warped Tour @ Pepsi Center Parking Lot - July 31st
It goes without saying. The Vans Warped Tour is one of the largest touring festivals, and will be hitting Denver again this summer at The Pepsi Center. Warped Tour is the perfect first festival for younger concert goers, and this year’s lineup is sure to keep the older fans happy as well!