Ultra5280's Best Of 2018: Top Shows

2018 brought us some amazing shows. From comebacks to the unexpected to the rebirth of a local festival. Denver finally got it’s own big festival after months of rumors with Grandoozy. Red Rocks continued to impress with probably its best lineup in years. It’s hard task when asked to name your Top 5, but we sat down with some of our friends and finalized our lists. The consensus from our panel would be that David Byrne returned in 2018 with the best show of the year, landing number one on many lists. Taylor Swift toured with her amazing production landing a few spots on the list. Other notable shows were Janelle Monae, Childish Gambino and a few new faces such as CupcakKe and Jungle. With 2019 announcements already starting to roll in we expect it to be bigger and better. Thank you to our amazing friends at Live Nation, AEG Presents, Illegal Pete’s, Do303, The UMS, Levitt Pavillion, Open Air, Behind The Scene Podcast, without you we wouldn’t be able to attend so many amazing shows. Until next year…..

Robert Castro / Editor In Chief Ultra5280

  1. Janelle Monae- Austin City Limits Music Festival

  2. Travis Scott- Pepsi Center

  3. David Byrne- Austin City Limits Music Festival

  4. Taylor Swift- Mile High Stadium

  5. Childish Gambino- Pepsi Center

Amy Osgood / Certified Peace Sign Thrower

  1. SZA- Coachella

  2. Taylor Swift- Mile High Stadium

  3. Beyonce- Coachella

  4. Janelle Monae- Paramount Theatre

  5. Florence and The Machine- Grandoozy

Bruce Trujillo / Programming Assistant at Open Air

  1. Los Mocochetes/Pink Hawks/Vic N The Narwhals- Hi Dive

  2. Tammy Shine (of Dressy Bessy)- Sally Centigrade

  3. Ms. Lauryn Hill- Red Rocks

  4. Paul Simon- Fiddler’s Green

  5. Childish Gambino- Pepsi Center

Tobias Krause / Event Director at Underground Music Showcase

  1. DUCKWRTH- Underground Music Showcase

  2. PPL MVR- Underground Music Showcase

  3. Dragondeer (as Bowie)- Globe Hall

  4. Childish Gambino- Pepsi Center

  5. Madge- Underground Music Showcase

Zoe Lanterman / Marketing Manager at Live Nation Colorado

  1. Jungle- The Gothic Theater

  2. Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever- Larimer Lounge

  3. Cold Cave- Marquis Theatre

  4. Sylvan Esso- Red Rocks

  5. BROCKHAMPTON- The Ogden Theatre

Peter Wallace / General Manager at Do303

  1. David Byrne- Red Rocks

  2. Big Gigantic (Rowdytown 3D)- Red Rocks

  3. PHISH- MGM Las Vegas

  4. Travis Scott- Life Is Beautiful Music Festival

  5. Dave Chapelle- Summit

Joel Rekiel / Levitt Pavillion Denver

  1. David Byrne- Red Rocks

  2. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats- Levitt Pavillion Denver

  3. Godspeed You Black Emperor-The Ogden Theatre

  4. MGMT- The Fillmore

  5. Rainbow Kitten Surprise- Velorama Music Festival

Shon Cobbs / Host of Behind The Podcast

  1. The National/Sharon Van Etten- Red Rocks

  2. Jesus and Mary Chain/NIN- Red Rocks

  3. Ghostpulse-Syntax Opera House

  4. The Milk Blossoms- Lost Lake

  5. Beach House/Sound of Ceres- The Ogden Theatre

Virgil Dickerson / Fun Pusher at Illegal Pete’s

  1. David Byrne- Red Rocks

  2. Lizzo with Maggie Rogers and Haim- Red Rocks

  3. Janelle Monae- Paramount Theatre

  4. Cupcakke- Marquis Theater

  5. Shannon and The Clams- Crescent Ballroom

Ryan Garbarino- Marketing Manager at AEG Presents

  1. David Byrne- Red Rocks

  2. Khraungbin- The Bluebird Theater

  3. The War on Drugs- Grandoozy

  4. John Prine with Nathaniel Rateliff- Buell Theatre

  5. Taylor Swift- Mile High Stadium

Rikki Aston / Talent Buyer at Live Nation Colorado

  1. David Byrne- Red Rocks

  2. Pearl Jam- Safeco Field

  3. Against Me!- Summit

  4. Janelle Monae- Paramount Theatre

  5. Sofi Tukker- Gothic Theater (can I have 5 more!!!)

Lina Skrzypczak / Lifestyle and Music Writer at Ultra5280

  1. Black Moth Super Rainbow- The Bluebird

  2. Washed Out- 420 Block Party

  3. Childish Gambino- Pepsi Center

  4. Mac Demarco- Red Rocks

  5. Tycho- Summit

Danny Sax / Talent Buyer at AEG Presents

  1. Bouncing Souls- The Bluebird Theater

  2. Highly Suspect- The Ogden Theatre

  3. Dropkick Murphy’s/Flogging Molly- Fox Street Compound

  4. Mac Demarco- Red Rocks

  5. Rancid/Bad Religion/Pennywise/The Interrupters/Mad Caddies/Potato Pirates - Fiddlers Green

Geoff Brent / Talent Buyer at Live Nation Colorado

  1. Itchy-O Hallowmass- Summit

  2. Against Me!- Summit

  3. Turnstile & Culture Abuse- Marquis Theater

  4. BROCKHAMPTON- The Fillmore

  5. The Frights- The Bluebird

Black Star Performed One For The Ages This Past Weekend In Denver

The history of rap will go down with the mention of certain individuals, eras, but most importantly albums that defined what the genre was all about. Released in 1998 Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star defined a movement for one of the most influential hip hop albums of all time. The album played heavy on the political and conscious stigmas that were present in the late 90's. Unfortunately it was the only album the duo would ever come out with. Both Mos Def and Talib Kweli went on to enjoy commercial success as individuals spanning an array of solo projects and leaving the door open for another album (which coincidentally was announced by Yasiin Bey/Mos Def later on that evening at a Madlib show across town). For many in attendance it was an opportunity to listen to two of the greatest lyrical emcees go back and forth playing out the tracklist from one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. We will ever get to see Black Star come through town again, I would think so especially if a new album is on the way. The 8th Light was definitely shining bright on Saturday night, we hope it never dims.

Vans Proudly Presents: Landline World Premiere In Denver with Performances by Dinosaur JR. and Thurston Moore DJ Set


This January, Vans presents the official release of the brand's long awaited first-ever full-length snowboard film, LANDLINE. Directed by the progressive filmmaker Tanner Pendleton, LANDLINE. is primarily shot on Kodak 16mm film and conveys a raw, behind the lens perspective of the Vans snowboard team as they travel the globe expressing their creative talents and eclectic personalities. Featuring full parts from Vans seasoned pros, rising stars, and bona fide pioneers of the sport, LANDLINE. embodies the true spirit and culture of modern snowboarding today.
House of Vans is slated to host a historic pop-up experience for the world premiere of LANDLINE. on January 25, at the Ogden Theater in Denver, Colorado. The night will include live music from featured LANDLINE. soundtrack artist Dinosaur Jr. and a DJ set by Sonic Youth's very own Thurston Moore. With behind the scenes photography from the two-year making of LANDLINE. showcased in the venue, House of Vans will also host a panel discussion in partnership with Kodak on the day of the event, featuring film director Tanner Pendleton, filmer Jake Price, and Vans global snow team riders Jake Kuzyk and Darrell Mathes. For a chance to hear from Vans, Kodak's motion picture team, plus witness the new Kodak S8 camera, RSVP for the House of Vans workshop here! The official RSVP for the Denver World Premiere evening event can be found on HouseofVans.com.


The LANDLINE. global tour will kick-off in Innsbruck, Austria and travel through Germany, Canada, United States, China and South Korea. Visit  to learn more about the film, explore world premiere dates, locations, ticket information and to find a local premiere near you. Pre-order the LANDLINE. video on iTunes now




Innsbruck, Austria


Munich, Germany


Vancouver, Canada




Denver, Colorado


Beijing, China


Seoul, South Korea



Moon Taxi Cruised Through Denver Last Friday

Moon Taxi (Photo Credit: Michael Hecker)

If you've never heard of Moon Taxi the best way to introduce them is the sort of band grown 30+ year old jam folks see to take a break from Phish and The String Cheese Incident tours. They're a complex mix of an alternative pop jam combination with soulful vocals. Kings of Leon meets Twiddle meets COIN, if you will. 

The Nashville based band is set to release their fifth album "Let The Record Play" January 19th, 2018. The LP features their hit "Two High," a seemingly tropical uplifting song with plenty of raw emotion, is currently at #1 at Triple A Radio and with over 64 million streams on Spotify, along with 9 other included mystery tracks. The recently released music video for "Two High" featured below! Live "Two High" was our favorite original Moon Taxi song as it was just as charming and bouncy as the studio version, and the rest of the city agreed as the Ogden was transformed into a gigantic wave pool. 

If you didn't see our Instagram story that night Moon Taxi blessed us with a brilliant cover of The Eagles' Hotel California (most likely as a kind tribute to recent events), our favorite from the evening! In usual Colorado fashion, the Ogden was filled with smoke and chill vibes. Check out our photos from the night below! 

Moon Taxi performing at The Ogden Theatre last Friday night. (Photo Credit: Michael Hecker)

Gucci Mane Brought His Trap God Tour To A Sold Out Ogden Theatre Crowd

The 420 festivities were in full effect on Thursday in The Mile HIGH City. Although rainy weather dampened much of the outdoor festivities, The Ogden Theatre was warm and cozy for the nights festivities. Fresh off a set at Red Rocks Amphitheatre just a few hours earlier, Gucci Mane came in and threw down an epic set consisting of all those hits we have been accustomed to hear. You never know who is going to show up during 420 shows as every hip hop artist seems to spend time in our city doing a slew of shows. For his surprise Gucci brought out none other than 2 Chainz, who also played his own set at the 420 Rally at Civic Center Hall just a few hours earlier as well. One thing is for certain, Denver does love them some Gucci and the feeling seemed mutual even though Gucci couldn't participate with the crowd that were lighting up. I wish I could light up with y'all but "i'm on probation". Regardless the show was pretty amazing.

-Words and Photos Robert Castro