Need a new spot to see live music? Try these three new Denver venuesBy Matt Miller | June 27th, 2013 | No Comments »
A two-mile stretch of East Colfax Avenue includes three of Denver’s busiest venues — the Fillmore Auditorium, Ogden Theatre and Bluebird Theater — where about 6,450 people can see live music on any given night. These venues, along with more than 30 others in the Denver/Boulder area, are a testament to the health of the city’s live music scene.
And that number is already growing.
Having been born into the Denver scene within the past few months, the Sidewinder, the Armoury and the Exdo Event Center are the city’s newest spots to catch live music. Located in or just around the growing River North Art District, these venues are trying to carve a niche that other bars and clubs haven’t reached.
“I’m always excited to welcome new venues into the fold, especially when they are near the Larimer because it brings people to that part of town,” said Larimer Lounge owner Scott Campbell, whose venue lands within a 10-minute (or less) bike ride from these new live music digs. “There are more options and different environments. It’s reflective of a growing scene.”
4485 Logan St.
Ticket prices: $5-$10
First show: February
When Kyle Ramirez-Fry purchased Sidewinder from its former owner, she had no idea a live-music venue was in the cards.
A little, nondescript building in the Globeville neighborhood just south of Interstate 70 sits among the modest houses on Logan Street. Inside is a living room-sized bar with some ’70s-wood paneled walls and a few chairs filled with friends and locals. There’s no room for a stage let alone the enormous TV standing in a corner. That is, until you walk through the unmarked door on the wall.
On the other side of this door is a hall that rivals the size of the Larimer Lounge. It’s complete with a stage big enough for a four-piece band, PA, soundboard and dance floor.
“We were just looking for a little bar,” Ramirez-Fry said. “When we opened the door, we were like, ‘Oh my God.’ ”
After purchasing the bar in December, Ramirez-Fry had Sidewinder’s first show in February, with the help of local musicians playing and running the soundboard. Now, even though Sidewinder is still in the process of being set up, it maintains a busy schedule on the weekends.
“If all the ingredients are right, it’s a viable venue,” said Crawford Philleo, who handles the booking of Sidewinder. “It’s like a blank canvas for artists.”
So far, national indie acts such as Ttotals have broken in the new venue along with local acts Vitamins (Philleo’s band) and Accordion Crimes. Going forward, Sidewinder’s owners are looking to book mostly local acts and smaller national musicians of every type and genre, ranging from jazz to Latin, indie to punk.
The only hurdle for the Sidewinder is persuading people to venture north of the city, Ramirez-Fry and Philleo said.
“It’s a challenge,” Philleo said. “Sidewinder is definitely off the beaten path.”