Most everything in the town of Aspen is slow and mellow in the off-season. The two months between closing weekend of the mountain and the kick off of summer’s festivals is a joy for locals and vacationers alike; it’s a treasured time to enjoy uncrowded restaurants and a leisurely vibe about town. Despite the mellow scene about town, the music is alive and kicking this off-season, with multiple shows from top talents coming to town. Over two dozen amazing acts will hit the Aspen music season between now and mid-June, with everything from rock to reggae gracing Aspen’s favorite in-town stages.
The Belly Up! doesn’t miss a beat in May with acts lined up almost nightly. Beginning May 19, Bobaflex flexes their muscles with hard- core gritty metal and tunes like “Hell in My Heart and “Bury Me With My Guns On” for a not-so subtle end to the week on this Sunday night. Following up on May 21, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club takes the stage with their brand of San Francisco style Southern folk rock while blasting out samples from their most recent album, Beat the Devil’s Tattoo. Joining them at BellyUp! on the 21st, is the new no2, a collective effort of talented artists who have worked with recording legends such as George Harrison, Coldplay and Ben Harper. They put forth a sound that “artfully blends psychedelia, dub, reggae, and electronica into a deeply inventive and irresistibly dreamy sound that Harrison labels ‘grunge ‘n’ bass’ or ‘Hawaiian dub-hop’.” Capital Cities’ Dancing With Strangers Tour, the pop-rock group dubbed “the best band in LA” by social blogger Perez Hilton, headlines May 22 with their brand of infectious dance-inducing pop. The rhythmically talented Australian quintet Gold Fields joins Capital Cities for a night to be remembered. Closing out the week are 3 free shows- aka no cover- over Memorial Day weekend: One Drop with 21 Dread on May 23, Local Artists’ Showcase on May 25 and Afrolicious on May 26. On Memorial Day May 27, swing by Hotel Jerome's Garden Terrance from12-3 there for live music by Salem, $3 beers and a classic Memorial Day cookout.
The last week of May has another 5 amazing back-to-back shows, beginning May 27 with Sons of Fathers broad spectrum American rock. Then on May 28, do not miss the chance to see the man dubbed “The Godfather of Gangsta Rap”, Ice Cube. One of the first (1990), and most successful, R&B/ rap artists of all time, Ice Cube is enjoying his new generation of success after returning to the mic 6 years ago. Switching gears the next night, Billboard World Music chart-topper Bombino performs his incredible style of Northern-African influenced soulful tribal sound. Bop Skizzum on May 30 jolts the Belly Up with “alternative pop-rock vibe with groove-based funk, dance and hip-hop influences, creating an invigorating blend of unique instrumentation and phenomenal vocals”. Friday May 31 folk vocalist master Ruthie Foster takes the stage at 8:30, followed by a no-cover late show at 10:30 from JJ Berkel Beats. In the first part of June, look forward to upcoming BellyUp! shows from Sublime tributarians 40 Oz to Freedom, on June 1, Anuhea on June 6, Shakedown Street June 8, Don Carlos on June 11 and The Dandy Warhols June 12. Ticket information is available here.
The Wheeler Opera House welcomes 2 huge shows before the summer is in full swing, both slated for June. First off is the Bobby Mason Alive Concert on Saturday June 8. The evening celebrates the vibrant life of Bobby Mason, an Aspen local transplanted from Hollywood who one year ago battled through open heart surgery to live and continue his wonderful music career. Bobby has recorded and performed with legends such as Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John Denver and Black Pearl. Joining him on on June 8 will be several other fabulous local musicians. Thursday June 13 you don’t want to miss The Fabulous Thunderbirds, who have been entertaining America with iconic blues and rock for over 30 years. This night will be extra special as it is the last performance before The Wheeler’s closure for a remodel- the dance floor will be ready to rock! Click here for ticket information. Spend a few days this off season relaxing and soaking up the sun and sounds of Aspen!