Best U.S. Locations For Live Music: Does Colorado Make The List?

Denver came in at No. 10 in a report titled “Best Cities for People Who Love Live Music” that was released last month by In an article about the study, the authors wrote “Like Las Vegas, Denver is a popular stop for touring bands during their trips across the country, so it’s a great place to live if live music is important to you. Among Denver’s many music venues, the naturally beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheatre is its crown jewel. This iconic venue sits just 30 minutes outside of downtown Denver, and since many musicians consider it a career benchmark to play there, you can always find a Red Rocks show to attend.”

The mile high city beats out NYC, L.A. and Nashville, with 27.1 live music venues per 100,000 people. Great music isn’t just found in Denver though, there are hundreds of stellar artists and bands all over the Centennial State. And lucky for me, I’ve been able to catch several of these amazing Colorado musicians performing live, this past summer.

Listeners of #VWRadio know that the station broadcasts from our home base in Grand Junction, and Colorado Phil airs his live show Monday – Friday afternoons from Denver. 

#VWRadio currently has several artists from Colorado in rotation, including Chris Daniels & The Kings with Freddi Gowdy of the Freddi Henchi Band, Nathanial Rateliffe & The Night Sweats, Kerry Pastine & The Crime Scene, Cass Clayton, Taylor Scott, Rob Drabkin, Vermillion Road, David Starr, F.C. Westcott, Elephant Revival, Left Over Salmon, South To Cedars, Clandestine Amigo, Firefall, The Fray, OneRepublic, The Lumineers, and The Wood Brothers,  to name just a few. And we’re also spinning Colorado natives that now make their home in other cities, like Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Mike Bauer, Neoni (formerly Facing West) and Whiskey Kate

#VWRadio did our best to cover some of the best and brightest mile high stars this year. It started with the 35th anniversary concert for Chris Daniels & The Kings at the Boulder Theater in April (read the full feature on this event here) and included some amazing performances  throughout the summer, by Colorado’s own Cass Clayton, Kerry Pastine & The Crime Scene, and F.C. Westcott.


We were fortunate enough to see Cass Clayton and Kerry Pastine perform more than once – Cass opened for Chris Daniel’s 35th Anniversary Concert (full article here) and Kerry Pastine was one of the headliners at the Brews & Blues Festival (full article here.)

Then, we braved Friday the 13th and a full harvest moon this September, to hit Dazzle in downtown Denver for the Double Album Release Party for Cass Clayton’s Play Nice, and Kerry Pastine & The Crime Scene’s City Of Love. Read the full feature article here.

We wrapped up the summer season with F.C. Westcott & The Aficionados performing outside, underneath the Colorado stars, at the Ale House in Grand Junction.

F.C. has been a local favorite for many years, and performs original songs, as well as a few very credible covers. You can read the full feature article on this event here.

We’ll be catching more live performances this fall/winter, (weather permitting), including Freddi Gowdy’s induction into the Colorado Music Hall Of Fame,  and the annual Chris Daniels & The Kings Christmas Concert at Swallow Hill in December. 

Stay tuned to #VWRadio for all the best music from Colorado and beyond, and subscribe here at #VWMag for all the latest music news.

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