Top Live Music Concert Venues In The Denver Area

When the topic of great live music venues in Denver and the surrounding area comes up in conversation everyone immediately mentions the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

This open-air concert venue is located in Red Rocks Park which is 15 miles west of downtown Denver, near the city of Morrison, Colorado. The park and its contents are owned and operated by the City and County of Denver.

The amphitheatre is world renowned for the large, red sandstone boulders that surround the stage. Through the years, the breath-taking setting has hosted many of the top names in popular music: Dave Matthews Band, Neil Young, R.E.M., The Allman Brothers Band, Fleetwood Mac, and John Tesh.

Pollstar magazine named Red Rocks the best small outdoor venue so often that it changed the name of the honor to the "Red Rocks Award" and retired the amphitheatre from consideration.

While Red Rocks gets most of the attention, and deservingly so, Denver and the surrounding area are home to several other great live music venues. These charming facilities, many of which date back to the 1920's or earlier, offer music fans opportunities to hear and see a variety of top artists.

Bluebird Theater
3317 East Colfax Avenue

This Denver music mecca began life in 1913 as a movie theater. In 1994, the theater was relaunched as a premiere concert venue. Today, the Bluebird hosts acts like The Album Leaf, Yeasayer, The Spill Canvas, and Finntroll. Visitors can park across the street in the lot belonging to Paradise Cleaners. If that lot is full you should park on the street. Concert-goers should avoid parking on Adams and Cook as those streets are for residents with permits.

Boulder Theater
2032 14th Street
Boulder, Colorado

Dierks Bentley, Drive by Truckers, and King Sunny Ade are just some of the diverse artists that have performed at the Boulder Theater. This historic venue opened in 1906 as the Curran Opera House but from 1927 to 1978 it was a popular movie theater. Recent renovations have turned the Boulder Theater into one of the most versatile entertainment venues in the Denver area.

Fillmore Auditorium
1510 Clarkson Street

Named after the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco, Denver's Fillmore Auditorium is the largest indoor general admission venue in the city. The auditorium has a capacity of 3,700. The building opened in 1907 as a skating rink but since then it has gone through many incarnations. It became a live music venue in 1999. Today, the Fillmore welcomes acts like The Hold Steady, Yo La Tengo and Ok Go. In the past, the Fillmore has seen icons like Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and The Grateful Dead grace its stage.

Gothic Theater
3263 South Broadway
Englewood, Colorado

The art deco Gothic Theater is one of best live concert venues in the Denver-area. Music fans can attend the Gothic to hear such diverse bands as Puddle of Mudd, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and HIM. This venue opened its doors in the 1920's to Colorado cinema fans. It was saved from the wrecking ball in 1998 and extensively remodeled. The inside of the venue now sports a wrap-around balcony and a refurbished original marquee.

Grizzly Rose
5450 North Valley Highway (Lincoln Avenue)

They may have a mechanical bull and a Chuck Wagon Grill but Grizzly Rose is widely recognized as one of the top country music clubs in America. The venue's 40,000 square feet hosts live music (of all kinds) six nights a week. Despite their advertised diversity, the Grizzly Rose is primarily known for bringing some of the biggest names in country music to Denver, superstars like Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, and Taylor Swift.

Hi Dive
7 South Broadway

Voted "Best Rock Club" in the city on three separate occasions, the Hi Dive consistently brings the hippest and coolest bands to Denver. The Hi Dive is the best place in town to hear tomorrow's bands today. The venue opened in 2003 in the space once occupied by the Ellsworth Tavern. If listening to live music makes you hungry you can always grab a bite to eat at their sister restaurant, Sputnik, located next store.

Larimer Lounge
2721 Larimer Street

The Larimer Lounge brings some of the nation's best independent rock bands to Denver. The funky lounge offers patrons a relaxed and a cozy atmosphere (as well as an outdoor patio) in which to listen to great live music. Many reviewers describe the Larimer as watching a band at your friend's house. Some of the awesome acts that have played the Larimer include Koufax, The Burning Brides, The Billy Nayer Show, and XIU XIU.

Magness Arena
2240 East Buchtell Boulevard

Located on the campus of the University of Denver, the Magness Arena is a 7,200-seat multi-purpose sports and concert venue. The Magness opened in 1999 and since then has hosted big time music acts like Christina Aguilera, The Scorpions, Slipknot, and Gwen Stefani. However, the largest event ever held at the arena was a 2008 campaign rally for Barack Obama. The Magness is known for its great sight lines and its quality acoustics.

Marquis Theatre
2009 Larimer Street

The Marquis Theatre is Denver's best venue for underage rock fans. More good news for parents, those of drinking age are completely separated from those who can legally imbibe. The venue, which was named "Best All Ages Venue" in 2008, offers a large area in front of the stage with clear sightlines for all of its young fans. This club has seen several burgeoning acts make their debut, in particular Cobra Starship and the Jonas Brothers.

Ogden Theatre
935 East Colfax Avenue

The legendary Harry Houdini once performed at the Ogden Theatre which was built way back in 1919. It was designed by the same architect who worked on the Bluebird. The Ogden was originally a place for vaudeville acts to perform but eventually, like many theatres in Denver, it became a popular movie house. Nowadays, the Ogden hosts nearly 150 concerts a year. Patrons can expect a wide range of acts, everything from Ani Difranco to Public Image Limited to Lupe Fiasco to Coheed and Cambria.

Paramount Theatre
1621 Glenarm Place

The stylish and lavish Paramount Theatre, with its "Zig Zag Art Deco" design, hosts a wide range of performances from rock concerts to stand-up comedians. The 1,870-seat Paramount also houses one of the two remaining Wurlitzer twin-console organs left in the United States. Back in the day, these mammoth organs and their 1,600-pipes were used to supply music and sound effects to silent movies. Currently, the Paramount hosts acts like Pat Metheny, the Moscow Ballet, and Sigur Ros.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre
18300 West Alameda Parkway

As one of the most unique concert venues in the world, Red Rock's open-air amphitheatre has hosted every significant popular music act from the Beatles to U2. The venue is also a favorite of jam bands like the Grateful Dead and Widespread Panic. This gorgeous facility is located 15 miles west of Denver off of 1-70 (exit #259). The amphitheatre is surrounded by three rocks. To the north is "Creation Rock", to the south is "Ship Rock," and to the east is "Stage Rock." The venue seats up to 9,450 people.



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