Turning up ’24

Your guide to the can't-miss concerts coming to the Front Range this year


It’s never too early to start planning your concert calendar for the year. That’s why Boulder Weekly is looking ahead to bring you a roundup of the best shows coming to our little corner of the Front Range over the next few months. From indie rock standard bearers Yo La Tengo at Boulder Theater to Southern “countrygaze” breakouts Wednesday at the Gothic in Englewood, these are the performances you absolutely cannot miss in 2024. 

Credit: Cheryl Dunn

Yo La Tengo 
8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St. Resale: $85+ 
8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, Washington’s, 132 Laporte Ave., Fort Collins. $30

Few contemporary musical institutions are built to last quite like Yo La Tengo. Formed in 1984 by husband-wife creative team Georgia Hubley (drums, vocals) and Ira Kaplan (guitar, vocals), the outfit gelled as the current beloved trio in the early ’90s with the addition of bassist and vocalist James McNew, kicking off a golden era for the celebrated band that continues to this day. From the 1997 masterpiece I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One to last year’s stellar-as-ever This Stupid World, the New Jersey mainstay — sometimes hushed and delicate, other times drenched in ear-splitting feedback — has surfed the waves of time and taste over the past four decades by staying true to a sound that never sits still.  

After last year’s scheduled Boulder Theater performance was postponed due to Hubley’s knee surgery, Yo La Tengo stops by the city’s historic downtown venue on Feb. 16 for a make-up show presented by Paradise Found Records and Music — followed by a second Front Range show the next night at Washington’s in Fort Collins. Whether you’re an old head or a curious newcomer, you do not want to miss these living legends in our own backyard. 

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Courtesy: Sargent House

Rev. Kristin Michael Hayter 
8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, Bluebird Theater, 3317 E Colfax Ave., Denver. $50

After retiring her trauma-tinged experimental project Lingua Ignota with a pair of sold-out shows last year at the purportedly haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, critically lauded musician and performance artist Rev. Kristin Michael Hayter returns to the Front Range with a divine new record in tow. A warbling and woozy mix of old-timey Christian hymns and haunting new originals, Saved! finds the classically trained pianist and singer trembling with the terrifying power of a fire-and-brimstone revival barker on offerings like “All My Friends Are Going to Hell” and “There Is Power in the Blood,” leveraging a straight-faced and strangely powerful spin on a religious folk tradition to dazzling effect.

“A lot of people see Charismatic Christianity and the evangelicals as smarmy, and there’s truth in that. And there’s a lot of ugliness that I’ve found with many, many, many forms of swindling and scandal and alienating — othering — of people,” she told Paste in a recent interview. “But, at its heart, the teachings of finding communion with God through a miracle, through your personal experience is, I think, really fascinating.”

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ANGELLA CHOE© Credit: Angella Choe

Indigo De Souza
8 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, Gothic Theatre, 3263 S. Broadway, Englewood. $25

On the heels of her transcendent third LP All of This Will End, released last spring via independent juggernaut Saddle Creek Records, singer-songwriter Indigo De Souza brings her bigger, bolder brand of pop-minded, folk-tinged indie rock to Englewood’s Gothic Theater on April 2. From the melancholic loneliness of fading friendships (“Losing”) to white-hot anger sparked by the transgressions of a problematic romance (“You Can Be Mean”), the latest from the Brazilian-American musician is the sound of an artist expanding the boundaries of what’s possible in her own carefully crafted sonic universe. 

“There was a lot less questioning and a lot more strength in execution [on All of This Will End]. It was a wild energy that we were harnessing, and [that] felt more fun, and more explorative at the same time,” the Asheville-based 26-year-old artist told the LGBTQ magazine Them last spring.  “There was so much room to explore within that structure of the album, because of how strong the structure was, and the foundation of all the songs. It was a very easy space to move around within; it felt like it offered a lot of space to play.”

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Credit: Ryan Clemens

Chappell Roan
8 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St. $35

Missouri-born pop singer Chappell Roan wants it all — and she gets it on her 2023 debut, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess. The maximalist mission statement from 25-year-old Kayleigh Rose Amstutz thumbs its nose at gate-kept notions of taste, scrambling the boundaries “high” and “low” art in a singular, infectious package that has earned the singer high praise among critics and growing legion of devoted fans who are no doubt stoked about the emerging star’s upcoming April 9 performance at Boulder Theater.  

“I think Chappell’s a drag-queen version of me because it’s very larger-than-life: kind of tacky, not afraid to say really lewd things,” Amstutz told Vanity Fair in a Sept. 2023 interview. “The songs are kind of the fairytale version of what happened in real life. A lot of the songs are just enhanced versions of what happened — or maybe they never happened at all.”

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Credit: Rebecca Caridad

Bluebird Music Festival
Various times. Sat.-Sun., April 20-21, Macky Auditorium – CU Boulder, 1595 Pleasant Ave. $49-$259

Once the new kid on the block, Boulder’s Bluebird Music Festival now boasts half a decade of bringing some of the leading acts in roots music to the CU campus. With past performers like Waxahatchee, Ben Harper, Margo Price and more, it’s not hard to see why this annual Americana blowout has become the city’s most anticipated live-music weekend of the year.

And the 2024 bill promises to be yet another banger. This year’s spring-slated lineup is anchored by a trio of can’t-miss headliners: Boulder’s own Gregory Alan Isakov, plus Jeff Tweedy of alt-country legends Wilco and celebrated singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun. Featuring three separate events over two days, the festival once again hosts its stripped-back Strings and Stories session alongside its weekend slate of full-speed performances. 

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Courtesy: Ground Control Touring

Slaughter Beach, Dog  
8 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. $28

Rising from the ashes of defunct emo-punk favorites Modern Baseball, Philadelphia rock band Slaughter Beach, Dog has built an equally fervent fanbase in the years since their 2016 debut. That’s thanks in large part to the folk-forward sensibilities and straightforward lyrical prowess of frontman Jake Ewald, who started the outfit as a solo project but has since added a full slate of performers to the mix. Ewald will tap back into the one-man-show vibes for a special solo performance at Fox Theatre on April 17, supporting his latest LP Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling, out now via Lame-O Records

“I’ve always admired Jake’s eye for detail, and it’s on full display here,” Craig Finn of The Hold Steady said in a press release for the new record. “It’s an album filled with gorgeous imagery and vivid worlds built within each song. He careens around the country (New Jersey, Baton Rouge, San Antonio, Florida, Georgia) and engages his tastebuds (spinach, cheddar, caviar, buttercream, margaritas). He’s tender in bars and funny in cars. And vice versa. Most impressively to me, he consistently finds the divine and sacred in the everyday: church pews in a diner, toast bearing the image of Christ.”

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Credit: Alexandra Waespi

Arlo Parks
8 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. $35

British singer-songwriter Arlo Parks holds darkness and joy in equal measure. That much is clear on first listen of her accomplished sophomore album My Soft Machine, which finds the Mercury Prize-winning musician deepening her already fine-tuned approach to storytelling and songcraft. Flexing a maturity and confidence beyond her 22 years, the London-based Parks’ latest full-length collection finds the rising artist with her feet planted firmly underneath. 

“There’s moments of real wonder, ones that are incredibly affecting, even if Parks’ delivery is subtle,” NME reviewer Thomas Smith wrote of the new record upon its release last May. “It’s often not how Parks says it, but the depth of emotion and meaning of the words that tumble out of her; ‘My Soft Machine’ leaves no doubts of her talent as a songwriter, or the deftness of her phrases and structures.”

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Credit: Brandon McClain

8 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, Gothic Theatre, 3263 S. Broadway, Englewood. $28

Fresh off a breakout year, North Carolina “countrygaze” rock outfit Wednesday bring their critically lauded fusion of feedback-drenched guitar and weeping pedal steel to the  Gothic Theatre in Englewood on May 28. Led by frontwoman Karly Hartzman and guitarist Jake “MJ” Lenderman, the rising quintet made the biggest splash of their so-far brief but brilliant career with the release of their fifth album, Rat Saw God — a beautiful and bruising collection of story-driven songs that elevate everyday tragedies and triumphs by casting the Southern gothic tradition in a bold new light. 

“I think it’s worth anyone trying to think about their life as a story,” Hartzman told The Line of Best Fit last year. “Shit is happening to people all the time, even when you’re coming home from work and you see something insane on the street. We’re so desensitized to it all, but if you wrote it down and looked at it a month later, you’d probably realize just how many great stories you have to tell.”

Stories coming soon
Don’t sleep on these Boulder Weekly interviews in the weeks ahead 
  • John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band (Jan. 14 – Dairy Arts Center, Boulder)
  • Squirrel Flower (Jan. 23 – Larimer Lounge, Denver)
  • Buck Meek of Big Thief (Jan. 27 – Globe Hall, Denver)

Any music artists coming to the Front Range you’d like to see profiled in Boulder Weekly? Email arts and culture editor Jezy J. Gray: jgray@boulderweekly.com


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