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Red Rocks on ice



Big Grams, a new trio featuring Outkast's Big Boi and rock duo Phantogram, will brave the weather at Red Rocks this month.
  • Big Grams, a new trio featuring Outkast's Big Boi and rock duo Phantogram, will brave the weather at Red Rocks this month.

There's a prevalent — some might say sane — view that outdoor concerts during the Colorado winters are a hard sell. However, it speaks to both the grandeur and universal popularity of Red Rocks Amphitheatre that over 10,000 people attended a sold-out concert featuring hip-hop acts Atmosphere and Common in January of 2012.

Much to the delight of the brave, excited, or just plain masochistic, this tradition has caught on, and you can brave the cold and winds for the fifth annual Icelantic's Winter on the Rocks concert on Friday, Jan. 29. This installment features Montreal-based electronic dance-meets-dubstep duo Adventure Club and Big Grams, the collaborative effort of erstwhile Outkast emcee Big Boi and the trip-hop minded electronic duo Phantogram. Also sharing the bill is Fort Collins electronic hip-hop duo Half Color, featuring Michal Menert and Paul Basic, who are longtime and frequent Pretty Lights co-conspirators.

Tickets, including VIP packages that come with food, cocktails, and a pre-party, are now available.

Winter on the Rocks is also your only chance to catch a show at Red Rocks until the regular concert season, which will feature performances by The 1975, Thievery Corporation, Elephant Revival, My Morning Jacket, the fifth annual Global Dub Festival and, presumably, temperatures in which life can be consistently supported.

In the meantime, how do you feel about banjos? The instrument has long been shorthand for backwoods creepiness, and has more recently become the object of derision for its perceived assimilation into the hipster ethos. But if anyone can sway a negative view of the instrument, it's probably the husband-and-wife duo Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, who appear at Kathryn Mohrman Theatre in Colorado College's Armstrong Hall on Feb. 2. While they use different playing techniques, both are virtuosic instrumentalists who stretch the instrument far beyond its usual rustic context and into adventurous, experimental realms.

Fleck has received much exposure and acclaim through his work with his jazz fusion-inspired band, The Flecktones, and the seminal progressive bluegrass group New Grass Revival, while Washburn has been a key contributor to traditional Americana quintet Uncle Earl as well as The Sparrow Quartet, which fuses old-time American folk with the melodic structure of traditional Chinese music.

There's also always the chance they'll play a rendition of "Dueling Banjos," although it's guaranteed to transcend any of the thousand hacky versions you've heard in the past.

This upcoming weekend, our local live music rotation begins thawing from the holiday frost with a wide variety of acts to catch. On Saturday, Jan. 16, there are options for whatever genre you prefer to keep you warm: MF Ruckus, The Mostly Don'ts and Cheap Perfume play the Triple Nickel; Ghetto Camp Entertainment, King Seezy, Mista Me and Rocky provide a full night of hip-hop at the Black Sheep; Joe Johnson returns to the Ancient Mariner; Designer Drugs, Nova 9 and MT Faces hit Rawkus; and Born in the Morgue, Article 15, Scrotus, Blighter and Shiii Whaaa take the stage at Flux Capacitor to benefit local artist Kaiiba Mountain.

Finally, Rikki Dee Hall and the VooDoo Hawks have long been a fixture of the local rock scene, so fans will surely be pleased to celebrate the record release for their long-anticipated album, Heartbreaks & Celebrations, at Stargazers Theatre on Jan. 31. For the uninitiated, the 1998-founded quintet plays a mix of classic rock and blues with a touch of Cajun flavor, and has spent a hearty 17 years with a heavy touring schedule.

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