I go to a lot of concerts. I have spent far too much time and money seeing shows; but let me tell you, it has been worth every second and every last penny. There is something special that happens when you witness music performed. Watching the emotion the artist pours into each song; how an entire group of people can be united by beauty, joy and the call to something outside of themselves. So here it is, my list of the best bands to see live!
1) Jared and the Mill
Any time these guys come through Denver you can bet I will be there front and center. They are incredibly talented musicians with an amazing capacity to connect with a crowd of total strangers. This band is one of my all-time favorites because of their live shows. They always come into the crowd to do at least one song completely acoustic. It really is a special moment when the crowd is hushed after the jumble of sound that surrounds the band as they descend the stage and join you in the crowd. These guys tour recklessly and are getting ready to release new music so it is very likely they are coming to a dive bar near you!
2) The Oh Hellos
I just saw these guys for the first time last month and was beyond impressed. I have casually like this band for a while but never really was a huge fan. After their last album “Dear Wormwood” was released I bought my ticket. I was totally surprised by their performance. What I had expected was a mellow, low key evening. What I got was equally as rambunctious and rowdy as it was moving and evocative. Their music flourishes when their zealous energy is driving it. I only regret waiting so long to see them.
3) Moon Taxi
I first saw these guys when I was at a music festival in Austin, TX. I was blown away by their dynamic stage presence and unending energy. You could see the crowd drink that energy in and be revived and enlivened by it. They managed to bring that summer festival feel to Colorado in the dead of winter when I saw them again. These guys are nothing but pure rock; they know it, we know it and I love it. Just hearing them perform “Change” is worth the price of admission.
4) The Hunts
Talk about an absolutely beautiful display of musical talent. This band is made up of seven real life siblings that spend their entire set bouncing between instruments and wowing you with how effortless they make it all look. Their humility radiates through in their performance leaving you feeling like you want them all to be your new best friend.
5) The Lumineers
I have a hard time putting into words exactly what it was like seeing The Lumineers. There are so many things that made that show one of the best concerts I have ever been to. I have been a fan since the first shouts of “Ho Hey”. But, what I felt that night was something akin to what I have felt on the top of high mountains or running at breakneck speeds on horseback. With the exception of the sacraments, it was one of the most elevating experiences on earth. It was exhilarating and beautiful. It made me want to be better and do better. And isn’t that what beauty is supposed to do, to call us to something greater? It was an experience that demanded a response.
I only included bands I have seen. There are plenty of other artists, who I am sure put on amazing shows I have not been to (The Black Keys, yeah I am looking at you, Mumford & Sons I am coming for you). If you have any suggestions for me and others COMMENT!