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Denver rocks!

Ted AlvarezVail, CO Colorado
Elissa Alvarez/Special to the Daily
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Metal band Mastodon’s recent album “Blood Mountain” spins the tale of an unnamed protagonist’s impossible ascent of the titular peak, and the epic battle that ensues with all manner of mythical beasts he encounters along the way. This past Tuesday night, the group descended upon the Fillmore Theater’s stage in Denver, looking like bedraggled Vikings while roaring and stomping through their magnum opus. The 2,000-strong throng undulated and bellowed back, in that communal maelstrom that forms at kickass, big-city shows.By all accounts, the Vail Valley has better music options than it has any right to; we spend most of the year spoiled by a wealth of musicians who bypass towns of similar size only to wash up on the shores of our resort town. Summer will bring outdoor concerts galore, but true music bums will do well to head east to sample all of Denver’s concert offerings as well. The city is particularly useful for those who want to catch metal, hip-hop, indie rock and other underserved genres in the valley. Use this handy guide of venue highlights to map out your easterly rock n’ roll excursions for the summer.Red RocksRed Rocks is perhaps the finest outdoor venue in the country. The acoustics are fantastic, there isn’t a bad seat in the house and the stunning orange rock formations only accentuate the audio experience. Avant-garde chanteuse Bjork makes a stop this summer, along with jazzy crooner Norah Jones, multilingual party-rocker Manu Chao, dance legends Daft Punk and Denver heroes The Fray.Full schedule:May 15: Björk May 17: The Killers May 23: Celtic Woman May 28: Crystal Visions Tour/Stevie NicksJune 1: Norah Jones Jun 2: Big Head Todd & The Monsters June 7: My New Orleans Tour/Harry Connick Jr. and his Big Band June 8: Manu Chao June 10: True Colors Tour/Cyndi Lauper, Erasure, Debbie Harry, Dresden Dolls June 15-16: John Mayer June 19: George Thorogood/ Buddy GuyJune 22-24: Widespread Panic at June 27: Goo Goo Dolls June 30: etown Rocks/Michael Franti & Spearhead July 13: Lyle Lovett/ k.d. lang July 14: O.A.R. July 21: Global Dance Festival July 24: Bob Weir & Ratdog/ Keller Williams July 27: ABBA – The Tour July 30: Snow Patrol July 31: Daft Punk Aug. 4-6: The Fray Aug. 7: Paid Dues Festival Aug. 8: Snakes & Arrows Tour/RUSH

Aug. 15: 311 Aug. 18-19: Reggae on the Rocks Aug. 23: Steve Miller Band Aug. 25: “1964” The Tribute Aug. 27: Diana Krall Sept. 1: 2007 B. B. King Blues Festival Sept. 2: Yonder Mountain String Band Fillmore AuditoriumThe Fillmore’s wide-open general admission floor is ringed with tables along the outer edges, so visitors can choose whether to watch from the sidelines or get mixed up in the fray below. Despite its huge size and large capacity, it often has vibe of a much smaller venue. Though you’ve already missed the mind-destroying antics of Mastodon and the mopey spectacle of Morrisey, look out for Joss Stone, The Charlie Daniels Band, Nelly Furtado, Deftones and Lucinda Williams.May 11: The Bouncing Souls with Single File, P.O.S., Love Me DestroyerMay 21: Dimmu Borgir with Unearth, DevilDriver, KataklysmMay 27: Joss Stone with Ryan Shaw, JavierMay 29: KBPI Birthday Bash featuring Static-X, Hellyeah with OTEP, Invitro, Horse, Adam’s RuinMay 31: Volunteer Jam with The Charlie Daniels Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, The OutlawsJune 15: Nelly FurtadoJune 21: Three Days Grace / Breaking Benjamin with RedJune 22: Deftones with Dir en grey, The Fall of TroyJune 23: Lucinda Williams with Kelly Joe PhelpsJuly 21: Kottonmouth Kings with Tech N9ne, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Subnoize SouljazAug. 8: Sounds of the Underground with Gwar, Shadows Fall, Chimaira, Every Time I Die, Job For a Cowboy, Darkest Hour, Amon AmarthDenver Botanic GardensGreen upscale, intimate – the Denver Botanic Gardens hosts concerts perfect for picnicking and drinking wine to a live show. Upcoming artists include Steve Winwood, The Neville Brothers and Wynton Marsalis, though you may just want to catch him here during Bravo!June 5: Linda Ronstadt with Nina StoreyJune 20: Madeleine Peyroux with Josh RitterJune 24: Steve WinwoodJune 25: Wynton MarsalisJuly 15: The Neville BrothersJuly 20: Leo Kottke and Loudon Wainwright IIIJuly 31: Patty Griffin

Aug. 2: John Hiatt with Shawn ColvinAug. 16: Gordon LightfootAug. 29: The Subdudes with Amos LeeAug. 31: David Bromberg, Jerry DouglasSept. 5: Natalie MacMasterCoors AmphitheatreHuge outdoor venues might not have the best views – but they can bring big ticket acts and large summer festivals. The Coors Amphitheatre hosts the Honda Civic Tour featuring Fall Out Boy, Ozzfest and a rare hip-hop opportunity via the KS 107.5 Summer Jam, which features Ludacris, Ice Cube with W.C., Akon, Rihanna, Bow Wow, Omarion and more. Personally, I’ll be holding out for Michael McDonald.May 11: Honda Civic Tour featuring Fall Out BoyJune 8: Michael McDonald with HeartJune 9: KS 107.5 Summer Jam XJune 15-16: Kool Koncert 2007June 23: Smooth Jazz 104.3’s Summer Fest 2007July 7: Uprising Festival featuring Third Day and MercyMeJuly 21: Gladys KnightJuly 29: Ozzfest with Ozzy Osbourne, Lamb of God, Hatebreed and moreAug. 31: Weird Al YankovicSept. 9: Def Leppard, Styx, Foreigner Pepsi CenterThis is the Big One, folks: massive area, tons of seats and…terrible acoustics. But they’ll have some of the biggest acts, including two all-but irresistible Police reunion shows, country’s First Couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and perpetual suburban-mom fave Josh Groban.June 9 and 10: The PoliceJuly 31: Tim McGraw and Faith HillAug. 29: Josh GrobanLarimer LoungeIt’s a dive and it smells funny – but the Larimer still manages to pull solid up-and-coming indies of all stripes. The Larimer has managed to grab a couple standouts this season, though: Rage Against the Machine Guitarist Tom Morello will make a July appearance as The Nightwatchman and guitar-whiz Marnie Stern shows up in June.May 26: King Kong (ex-Slint)May 30: Unsane and 400 BlowsJune 5: Land of Talk and the RosebudsJune 21: The Veils

June 26: Marnie SternJune 30: ShearwaterJuly 1: Big BusinessJuly 15: The NightwatchmanJuly 19: Maximo ParkJuly 21: Tokyo Police ClubJuly 27: Mondo GeneratorHi-DiveThis is probably the classiest indie-rock joint in town, with a nice setup. Not a lot of marquis players as of yet, but keep an eye out for summer surprises from your favorite independent bands.June 16: Red FangJune 20: Chinese Stars15th Street TavernNo calendar standouts as of yet, but pop in for dirty rock shows most nights of the week.The MarquisThis up-and-coming venue gives the Hi-Dive a run for style and has nabbed a ton of larger acts rolling through town. Poised to be a major player in the Denver rock scene, they’ve snagged major acts like the Strokes’ Albert Hammond, Jr.May 26: Albert Hammond, Jr. May 30: PropagandhiJune 4: Thunderbirds Are Now!June 9: Sparta with Straylight RunJune 11: Lambgoat.com tourJune 17: Funeral For A FriendJune 29: US BombsAugust 10: Fear Before the March of FlamesArts & Entertainment writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or talvarez@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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