Go live: Grand Valley is pressing play on concerts, festivals

Zolopht Photo credit: Brooke Lucas



Tinsley Ellis



The Infamous Stringdusters



Tinsley Ellis



Sometimes it’s actually good to be able to blame things on hormones.

Say, cortisol and cortisone. Stress hormones. Bad for health.

Because of them you need live music.

Really, you do. Two researchers from Imperial College London found there were “significant decreases” in both cortisol and cortisone in people who had attended live concerts. Daisy Fancourt and Aaron Williamon wrote up the findings of their study in the journal Public Health in March 2016, and now you can use science as the reason you must address the stress hormones in your life by getting out to see some live music.

Fortunately, this is a good time to do just that because there is a wealth of live music set to play the Grand Valley. There’s rock and reggae-rock, modern bluegrass, blues, country, funk, rockabilly, hip-hop and more and all kinds of mixtures thereof.

You can pick your favorite genre and stick to it, or take in as much live music as possible no matter what or where. But to make the most of it, you need to start planning.

And Out & About is here to help. Here are some of the festivals and shows you should have on your radar for this weekend and the next couple months.

■ The 2017 Four Peaks Downtown Music Festival and Grand Junction Off-Road goes Friday through Sunday, May 19–21. There are three stages on Main Street and more than 20 bands playing through the days and into the evening. The headliners are The Infamous Stringdusters and Zolopht. Look for details on this festival on pages 6-7.

Don’t forget to check out the shows at area bars and venues during and after festival hours. There are all kinds shows to take you deep into the night. Peruse the Music Scene on pages 4-5 to map out your route.

One of those after parties is Triple Play Records’ 29th anniversary celebration with DJ Squatch, Sobear and Tauru5 on the rooftop of Avalon Theatre. See Rock Cesario’s music column on page 3 for some details on that show.

■ Everclear rolls into town on its So Much For The Afterglow Tour on Sunday, May 21. With Vertical Horizon and Fastball, Everclear performs at Two Rivers Convention Center with music from the fan-favorite album and tour namesake that marks its 20th anniversary this year. Read about that concert on page 9.

■ “Tinsley Ellis: Blues is Dead” leads off the Colorado Riverfront Concert Series on Thursday, May 25. If you’re a fan of the blues, if you’re a fan of the Grateful Dead, if you’re a fan of concerts along the Colorado River, this is a show for you. Read about Ellis and this concert on page 4.

And keep in mind the next two concerts in this series: Big Sam’s Funky Nation on June 8 and the Fabulous Thunderbirds on June 29.

■ Area festivals are always good for good music. The Mike the Headless Chicken Festival in Fruita is no exception. The Williams Brothers Band and D&G Railroad are on stage at the festival on June 2, and The Smithereens and El Camino Burnout are up on June 3. Go to miketheheadlesschicken.org for information.

■ Electric violinist and acoustic guitarist Daniel Park will perform his live-looping show on June 4 at Avalon Theatre. The Las Vegas musician was a Season 7 contestant on America’s Got Talent. Learn about Park at danielparkmusic.com.

■ The 2017 Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival, set for June 9–11, is packed with bands and jam sessions, both planned and spontaneous, at Riverbend Park in Palisade. The headliners are SHEL, Jeff Austin Band — there’s also a Grateful Ball featuring the Jeff Austin Band and The Travelin’ McCourys — and Keller & the Keels. Go to palisademusic.com for more details.

■ For four days, June 15–18, Country Jam 2017 pumps the atmosphere full of some of the best current country music around. The headliners are Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Justin Moore and Randy Houser. Go to countryjam.com to see the full lineup.

■ Michael Martin Murphey has played in the Grand Valley before, but this time he’s playing a show in the Devil’s Kitchen Picnic Area of Colorado National Monument. The show is scheduled for June 30 and hosted by the Colorado National Monument Association. Learn more at sandstoneconcerts.com.

■ Las Colonias Amphitheater opens July 6 with a ribbon cutting and concert featuring Stray Grass. More is coming for this new venue, so keep an eye on lascoloniasamphitheater.org for more concert announcements.

■ Take a break from the mid-summer heat on July 20 with acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke, who is well-known for his fingerpicking style and Americana music. He performs at Avalon Theatre and information can be found at sandstoneconcerts.com.

■ With 34 local bands and two stages Local Jam is going big this year. It is set for July 21–23 at Edgewater Brewery. Zolopht, Jack + Jill, Suckafish, Tim + Richard are all set to play and more band names will be released soon, according to organizers. Look for your favorite locals and event information at localjamgj.com at on Facebook at gjlocaljam.

■ Head for the Hills is set to play the Chilled by the River event July 22 at Las Colonias Amphitheater. This Colorado band has visited the Grand Valley several times in recent years growing its fan base for its bluegrass music. Get the details at lascoloniasamphitheater.org.

■ While not yet on Las Colonias Amphitheater’s website, a July 29 concert featuring country artists Mark Wills and John Berry at the new venue can be found at eventbrite.com. Information about this concert also can be found at The Moose 92.3’s Facebook page.

And this is not all. Not even close.

Keep your eyes on Music Scene and the Entertainment Calendar each week for even more good live music: The Cross Orchards Concert Series, Hazel Miller, Music in the Grapevines, Hear it Through the Grapevines, Thursday Concert in the Park Series, Sinners & Saints, local musician and band album release concerts.


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