What’s on at Belly Up Aspen this summer?
During these sleepy weeks of offseason, as tumbleweeds blow through a largely shuttered Aspen, Belly Up’s summer concert announcements are a welcome reminder of the wild season of live music to come.
While the Aspen Music Festival announces its season all at once — dropping hundreds of classical events on us at once — and Jazz Aspen does the same with its full slate of summer JAS Café shows, Belly Up slowly but surely fills up its summer concert calendar and makes regular announcements.
One day it’s Gomez and the Flaming Lips. A week later it’s The Kills and Mary Chapin Carpenter. By mid-May, we’ve got a pretty good idea of what the season will look like. Although, true to form, the music club certainly still has some splashy, big-name announcements still to come.
Here’s how it’s looking so far:
The venue’s summer season opens with a trio of local favorites and Belly Up regulars, with the electro-rock duo Boombox (June 1), the heady Aussie folk-jam virtuoso Xavier Rudd (June 3) and the legendary freak-rockers the Flaming Lips (June 8). No matter how many times the Wayne Coyne and the Lips come back to Belly Up, it boggles the mind to see them cram their epic spectacles into the cozy subterranean confines of Belly Up.
Over Food & Wine weekend, the club has booked Pink Talking Fish for a Sunday night show (June 17) but Friday and Saturday are still open — fingers crossed for some party-friendly acts for Aspen’s big bacchanal.
And it wouldn’t be summer in Aspen without a Marley family member reggae show. This year, it’s Ziggy (June 18). He’s followed by a sleeper of a show that has the potential to be a phenomenal night of nostalgia for the Gen X and Old Millennial set: the Brit rockers Gomez (June 19) are reviving their 1998 cult classic “Bring It On” for its 20th anniversary and playing the album in full.
The cornerstone of the summer season is Thievery Corporation’s long-running Independence Day residency (July 4 and 5).
The big jam-band show of the season is moe. (July 11), which is already sold out and comes the night before the band headlines Red Rocks Ampitheatre.
Summer is always prime season at Belly Up for classic rock and what the industry’s come to call “heritage acts” — this year the throwback shows include Mary Chapin Carpenter (June 24), Ann Wilson of Heart (July 15), Michael McDonald (July 19) and a new wrinkle in a vintage sound with Jason Bonham’s “Led Zeppelin Evening” (July 23). The club also recently announced Boz Scaggs to kick off Labor Day Weekend (Aug. 31) but the rest of the holiday weekend is still open, so expect a big name or two to drop for those days.
The ‘90s rock is also well-represented this summer, with Melissa Etheridge (July 26) and Chris Isaak (July 26) making their annual pilgrimages to the mountains, followed by the return of the Indigo Girls (Aug. 22).
Mid-August brings a pair of performances by notorious crowd-pleasing duos: the lo-fi rock outfit The Kills (Aug. 16) and the indie-pop dance party-starting heroes Matt and Kim (Aug. 18). Both of those are odds-on bets to be the most talked-about sets of the season at Belly Up.
And, to get live music fans’ mouths watering for some big fall shows, Belly Up made early announcements on a pair of gems that promise to be some of the best concerts of 2018: Lake Street Dive (Sept. 7) and Kamasi Washington (Oct. 25).
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