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Live Music for All, Even Under-Aged


Music is a driving force in the connections that human beings are able to make. Since Denver has dug its own little niche in the music scene, there are a slew of prominent venues that cater to every music geek’s needs.

Going to shows is a large part of an individual’s experience of independency. Going to that first 18-and-up show without a parent or legal guardian is a feat in itself. Here is the Sentry’s supplemental guide to Denver’s finest 18+ venues to experience another level of growing independence.

There are five primary music venues that have shows ranging from all ages to 18-and-up. These five major venues host some of the most popular shows in Denver.

The Ogden, Denver’s inaugural venue, features some of the most current musicians in the mainstream and more established music world today, hosting music virtuosos Godspeed You! Black Emperor earlier this year and experimental groups like Animal Collective. The movie theater turned music venue hosts an amalgam of musicians, but there is no doubt this is one of the most popular venues for a vast variety of musicians to attend.

The Bluebird hosts larger indie groups like Chelsea Wolfe and Swans as some of their most notable performers. The venue is the perfect medium, as an intimate performance setting that still accommodates a substantial amount of people. The Bluebird has one of the most amazing sound systems of any venue in Denver. For shows at The Bluebird, always anticipate the bass vibrating up your spine for an almost existential performative experience.

Larimer Lounge is known for being the host to most “indie” and “underground” musicians. The space is rather small in comparison to most Denver venues but that only adds to the experience of the venue. Most of the bands Larimer Lounge hosts are local acts or bands yet to break into the mainstream like King Dude, A Place To Bury Strangers, or Shannon and the Clams. Larimer Lounge is perhaps one of the most essential venues to attend in Denver; every show there harbors a completely different, but equally thrilling musical reality.

The Gothic Theatre is located farther South on Broadway, closer to Englewood than Denver, but the trek is well worth the bands that perform there. The Gothic has one of the more enticing balconies, one that wraps around the whole venue, offering an obliging view of the stage for those who would rather observe from a bird’s eye view.

Among all of these major Denver venues there are a few independent venues that are worth a gander. Mutiny Information Cafe is not only a coffee shop and used book store, but also hosts mostly local bands as well as some touring underground bands.

Along with Mutiny is the diamond-in- the-rough Rhinoceropolis, a gem within Denver, hosting DIY shows since god knows when. A show at the Rhino is a thrilling experience that will leave clothes smelling like cigarettes for weeks but also give the opportunity to meet the music nerds and artists of Denver.

—Sarai Nissan

photo: Sarai Nissan • CU Denver Sentry

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