Jam Out This Summer With 4 Local Bands

Go big or go home? With these Colorado musicians, it’s more like go big AND go home. 


Elephant Revival is one of many Colorado-native music groups currently making it big. Courtesy Elephant Revival

When it comes to a thriving, vibrant music scene, Colorado has no shortage of blooming artists. With so many festivals and a beautiful outdoor amphitheater at Red Rocks, it’s not a surprise Denver’s music is on point. We’ve rounded up four Colorado-native bands that have recently taken the music world by storm and will be coming back to their roots to perform in the state this summer.

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

Originally from rural Missouri, Nathaniel Rateliff has called Denver home since he was 18. His first album was released in 2007; a later album, “In Memory of Loss,” garnered attention after Amazon listed it as the number-one album you might have missed in 2010. Another album was released in 2013, on the same day Nathaniel set off on tour with fellow Colorado group The Lumineers. His most recent album, the self-titled “Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats,” was released August 21, 2015, led by the single “S.O.B.,” which is, to be honest, the anthem we’ve all been waiting for.

You can find Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats at Project Pabst in May; his Red Rocks concert on August 21—the anniversary of the new album—is already sold out.
What: Project Pabst Festival
Where: RiNo neighborhood: Larimer Street between 27th and 28th St., Denver
When: Saturday, May 21, 1 p.n. (Doors open at noon)

Elephant Revival

This quintet out of Nederland is on the rise. May 22 will mark their first-ever headlining show at Red Rocks to promote their newest album, “Petals,” which was released on April 1. “Petals” is the group’s fourth album. In addition to songwriters, vocalists and multi-instrumentalists, Elephant Revival prides itself on being environmentally and socially conscious. They work with a number of nonprofits for humanitarian causes, including Conscious Alliance, Calling All Crows and Trees Water & People. This commitment to humanitarian causes is evident in their soulful lyrics.

Catch Elephant Revival at Red Rocks, the second stop on their summer tour schedule.
What: Elephant Revival Headline Show
Where: Red Rocks Amphitheater (18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison)
When: Sunday, May 22, 5:30 p.m.

The Fray

This rock band formed by Denver natives and school mates Isaac Slade and Joe King took off almost immediately when their first album, “How to Save a Life,” went double platinum after its release in 2005. It was the release of their second single of the same name that brought the band worldwide fame, having been featured on TV shows including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “One Tree Hill,” “The Hills” and “Scrubs.” Following this massive success, the band released its second, self-titled album in 2009, a third album in 2012 and their most recent, “Helios,” in 2014.

Check out The Fray this July when they play Winter Park at the Divide Music Festival.
What: The Divide Music Festival
Where: Entrance to the festival is located at  566 Co Rd 72, Fraser.
When: Friday-Sunday, July 22-24. Gates open at 2 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The Lumineers

Denver-native independent Americana trio, The Lumineers, was launched into the limelight with their irresistible anthem “Ho Hey” in 2012. The No.1 single was followed by another No.1 single, “Stubborn Love,” and then a third charting single. The trio was nominated for two Grammy’s in 2013, while a song on the soundtrack of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, furthered their fame. Their sophomore album, Cleopatra, was released on April 8.

The Lumineers’ Red Rocks shows on June 7 and 8 are already sold out, but you can check out “Stubborn Love” on the the official White House Spotify summer playlist, hand-picked by President Obama. That’s right: even the President knows that for a hopping music scene, Colorado is where it’s at.

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