15 Of The Best Bars In Colorado's Rocky Mountains If You're Looking For A Concert

15 Of The Best Bars In Colorado's Rocky Mountains If You're Looking For A Concert

Music hot spots the locals love.
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Colorado’s vibrant live music scene is sustained by great live music venues from border to border and peak to peak. The Front Range towns of Fort Collins, Boulder and Denver are saturated with great venues but some of Colorado’s best live music bars are in Colorado’s resort and mountain communities. These live music bars consistently feature well-known and not so well-known bands on small stages, in intimate rooms full of appreciative audiences made up of locals and tourists. Here’s a list of my favorite live music bars in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Belly Up, Aspen

Belly Up sets the highest standard for live music bars anywhere. The fact that this 600 capacity room is located in downtown Aspen adds to its stock. Open 7 days a week (with a few days off thrown in), The Belly Up features over 300 live concerts a year and is also a restaurant. Bands who’ve played there include Widespread Panic, John Prine, The Flaming Lips, Jane’s Addiction, Thievery Corporation, Ben Harper, B.B. King, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Pitbull, SEAL, ZZ Top, Chris Isaak, Gomez, G Love, Bassnectar, John Legend, Damian Marley and Nas, Stephen Marley, Lucinda Williams, Snoop Dogg, Tiësto, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Cocker, Wyclef Jean, Ice Cube, Umphrey's McGee and more. Everyone, including the artists, agrees this is a special place.

The Barkley Ballroom, Frisco

The Barkley Ballroom is the live music gem of Summit County, Colorado’s largest resort community. Normal hours of operation are 9 to close (up to 5 nights a week) and hours of operation during the Summer Season are 9 to close weekends only. Specials are $3 PBR drafts and live music is featured anytime they’re open. Bands who’ve played there include Fruition, BoomBox, Turkuaz, The Floozies and more. Unique: Most of the music is free! Just a block away, the Barkley Ballroom owners are constructing a larger venue, the 10 Mile Music Hall. It will be bigger and better and hopes to be open next summer.

Schmiggity’s, Steamboat Springs

Located in Downtown Steamboat, Schmiggity’s is an intimate venue where you’ll surely rub elbows, shoulders, and butts with anyone else in the bar. Normal business hours during the winter and summer are 7 pm to 1:30 am. Specials include 1/2 price on all drinks during happy hour (7-9 pm daily). Live music is featured Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Bands that have performed there include Reverend Horton Heat, Nappy Roots, Afroman, Twiddle, Kyle Hollingsworth, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Andy Frasco and Fruition. Unique: The sound is awesome both on stage and in the audience.

The Lariat, Buena Vista

The Lariat is a relatively new venue in Colorado. It’s open Sunday - Thursday 11am-midnight AND Friday and Saturday 11am-2am. An open mic is served up every Wednesday and live bands play on the weekends. Over the last year, the Lariat has featured Brother’s Keeper Feat. John Popper, Grant Farm, Trout Steak Revival, Hazel Miller and the Otis Taylor band. The Lariat serves seasonally inspired gastropub fare and is known to have dinner friendly music on Thurs-Sat. It’s located in Downtown Buena Vista, a town known as a summer mecca for outdoor enthusiasts.

O'Bannon's Irish Pub/Fly Me To The Moon Saloon, Telluride

This tiny little bar with an underground feel has been a go-to live music venue for over 28 years presenting over 3500 shows. $2 Rolling Rock Pints and $4 well drinks are always on special and it’s always open from 1 pm to 2 am. A few bands and artists to play there including Sheryl Crow, Phish, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, Jefferson Starship, Jack Johnson, Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident, Gov't Mule, Sublime, Yonder Mountain String Band and more. Unique: Many a story has been told of a ghostly encounter or two, in our hundred + year old basement pub.

Steve’s Guitars, Carbondale

Located between Aspen and Glenwood Springs, downtown Carbondale is always worth a visit. The intimate Steve’s Guitars venue is like a house party with famous people showing up to entertain you. It’s not exactly a bar, but you can BYOB. Live music happens 3 to 5 nights a week and shows start at 8:30 pm. It’s been open since 1993. Bands that have played there include Lake Street Dive, Elephant Revival, John Oates, Steep Canyon Rangers, Gregory Isakov, Band of Heathens, Lloyd Maines & Terri Hendrix, Trampled by Turtles and Ramblin Jack Elliott. Unique: Live music has happened for close to 900 consecutive Friday Nights.

Animas City Theatre, Durango

The Animas City Theatre brings some cultural love to Durango, home of Fort Lewis College, Purgatory Ski Resort and the Durango Silverton Railroad. It’s open year-round from 12 noon to 12:30 am and features live music 7 nights a week. Bands that have recently played there include Robert Randolph & the Family Band, KRS-ONE, Matisyahu, Julian & Stephan Marley and more! The intimate 270 capacity venue also features movies.

The Fox's Den at the Historic Brown, Breckenridge

The Fox’s Den is another relatively new Colorado music venue that mostly features live music on Fridays and Saturdays. It opens at 6 pm daily except during the Fall off-season when it’s only open on Fridays and Saturdays. Specials include $4 PBR Tall Boys and $6 PB& Js (tall boy w/ Jim Beam shot). Bands who’ve performed there include 40 oz to Freedom, Dead Floyd, Zolopht, Bass Physics, TNERTLE. Kitchen Dwellers and more. Unique: It’s the oldest Hotel in Breckenridge, built in 1865, and known to be haunted.

Snake River Saloon, Keystone

Established in 1975, the Snake River Saloon features great local and semi-famous bands on the weekends with the emphasis on dancing. Offseason, during the season and even on some Thursdays you can catch a great regional act at the Snake River Saloon. The restaurant serves fantastic steaks and seafood and is a must stop before you mosey over to the authentic bar for the music.

The Eldo, Crested Butte

The Eldo is a restaurant/brewery that features an occasional band you probably know. The Eldo is open 7 days and week. Bands that have played there include: String Cheese Incident, The Gladiators, Head for the Hills, Shakedown Street and Sweet Lillies.

The Goat Soup and Whiskey Tavern, Keystone

The Goat is another intimate room that features big talent when it works out. Andy Frasco & The U.N., Dyrty Byrds, Magic Beans, Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, Jerry Joseph and Dead Phish Orchestra are just a few bands that have played there.

I Bar Ranch, Gunnison

The I Bar Ranch is a covered outdoor summer-only venue. It’s probably known best for its country shows but has presented bands like The Motet, The Wailers, Firefall, Sawyer Brown, Asleep at the Wheel, Pure Prairie League, The Subdudes and many more.

Shakedown Bar, Vail

Located in Vail Village, the Shakedown bar is a small bar (160 Cap) that packs a big punch. Well-known regional and national touring acts perform there. The bar is owned by Scott Rednor, who has toured as a guitarist with bands like Dave Matthews and Lenny Kravitz. He’s currently a member of Dean Ween Group as well as Brothers Keeper (feat. John Popper and John Oates band members). Rednor and pal Rob Eaton Jr. play most nights but other bands like Bonfire Dub, Dumpstaphunk, Dean WEEN, Brothers Keeper Featuring John Popper, WhiteWater Ramble and Dragondeer also play there.

Club Red, Telluride

This is a bigger venue than most on this list and has a small theatre feel. It was named by Skiing magazine as one of the country’s best concert venues and features many bands that play large festivals and venues throughout the world. Bands who’ve recently played there include Dawes, Blitzen Trapper, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Deer Tick, Matisyahu, Lettuce, Tanya Tucker, Keller Williams, Justin Townes Earle, Lucero, Jackie Greene, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Jenny Lewis, Elephant Revival and more.

Mesa Theater, Grand Junction

The Mesa Theater rocks. Their music calendar has a slight lean toward the heavy but they also feature comedy shows, country music shows, EDM, rap and just good old rock shows. The Mesa Theater is on this list because they consistently present great entertainment like Steve “Mudflap” McGrew, (Hed) P. E., Flobots, Matisyahu, Leftover Salmon, Cash'd Out, Trevor Hall, Barb Wire Dolls, Tantric, James McMurtry, Lynch Mob, Cryptic Wisdom and more.

Looking for Colorado concerts in your area? Check out Events in Colorado.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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If Taylor Swift Songs Were Types Of Alcohol

Because what's better than a drink and some T-Swift?
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With Taylor Swift's quick return to the music scene... and in a big way, might I add, I decided to associate some of the best Taylor Swift songs with alcohol.

I mean, who wouldn't want to drink to Taylor Swift's catchy melodies and perfect choruses to get over an ex or tell someone exactly how you feel about them?

Taylor Swift has been around for a decade at this point, and let's face it, pretty much all of her songs could go along with at least one type of alcohol.

1. "Welcome To New York" - Moscow Mule

It only makes sense. Visit the Big Apple and you have to indulge in the state's signature cocktail. Moscow mules are a New York classic, and if it's your first night in the city and you haven't bought yourself one, are you even in New York?

2. "Blank Space" - Everclear

Think about it... A night of drinking Everclear will leave you with a giant blank space the next day. You might also look like Taylor did in the music video.

3. "Tim McGraw" - Beer

Tim McGraw is a throwback to Taylor's high school love. What better way to reminisce than with a couple friends and a keg of your favorite cheap beer?

4. "Style" - Cristal Champagne

What's more stylish than with a glass of the most expensive bubbly you can find? Just like Taylor Swift, Cristal will never go out of style.

5. "Shake It Off" - Martini

Get it? Cause you shake a martini? I might be the only one who thinks that's funny but you might end up dancing a little bit with a martini in hand when "Shake It Off" come on the radio.

6. "Red" - Merlot


Red has to go along with a red wine. What else could go along with yet *another* T-Swift breakup song?

7. "22" - Margaritas

Let's face it, when you're 22, you really only drink margaritas. They're fun- and all the hipsters are probably drinking them too.

8. "Teardrops On My Guitar" - Southern Comfort

When your heart is broken, who are you going to turn to besides the only alcohol that gives you comfort...Southern Comfort that is.

9. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Fireball

I can't say I've ever met anyone who spent a night with Fireball and didn't regret it the next morning.

10. "Look What You Mad Me Do" - Tequila

T-Swift's latest single is an angry one. What better to make you angry than tequila? Taylor basically just called out everyone who had ever talked about her behind her back and she did it in true Taylor fashion-by writing a song. She was probably drunk on tequila when she wrote it too.

11. ...Ready For It? - Bottomless Mimosas

Because it's just that good.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Which Guest Cameo Are You From The 'thank u, next' Music Video, Based On Your Zodiac Sign?

Are you more of a Kris Jenner or Miranda Sings?

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Ariana's most recent single "thank u, next" has had everyone shook since she released it out of nowhere. Not only is the song an anthem, but the message behind the lyrics are empowering for girls everywhere who have been through a tough heartbreak.

After the song's release, none of us thought that the music video would go to this iconic level, but then the previews for the music video came out, and we were wrong. I loved all of the different references to some of my favorite rom-com movies, but my absolute favorite was seeing all of the different guest stars that Ari included in the video.

If you're wondering which guest cameo you're most like, here's what your zodiac says about you:

Sagittarius - Stephanie Drummond

Kind of like Stephanie, aka the "army pants and flip flops" girl from Mean Girls, Sagittarius' are very straightforward and won't hold back from telling something to someone. They're also very enthusiastic about certain things and curious to try something new, which makes them super unique.

Capricorn - Daniella Monet

Capricorns are smart, hard-working, and fully in control over your life, just like Daniella. There are times where they might stress themselves out to the max to make sure everything is perfect, but they're confident what they want and are determined to achieve that goal.

Aquarius - Elizabeth Gillies

Aquarius' are always fun with friends, which is just like Liz Gillies and her friendship with Ari. They're also good listeners and always willing to help others, as well as fight for causes that are important to them.

Pisces - Troye Sivan

Pisces are very creative and imaginative, just like Troye. These people aspire to achieve emotional and spiritual harmony, which can be easily seen from their generosity and compassion for others. However, they also sometimes value dedicating time for themselves to recharge, which is never a bad thing.

Aries - Gabi DeMartino

As an Aries, these people walk with confidence and determination and are true-born leaders. This means that they also have no problem with being honest or assertive and that they simply have no time for anyone else's BS.

Taurus - Jonathan Bennett

Just like Jonathan Bennett, who's best known for playing teenage heartthrob Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls, taurus' extremely reliable and trustworthy. They want everything around them and in their life to be simple, which might not always be easy, but Taurus' are also known for their patience.

Gemini - Miranda Sings

Geminis tend to be very expressive people, which is just like Miranda Sings (aka Colleen Bellinger). They might have a bad rep, but they're also very curious, versatile, and affectionate.

Cancer - Ariana

As Cancer signs, these people are very sweet, have an intuitive side, and are kind to everyone around them, even if they're just a stranger, which is just like Ariana. Other signs might think that these people are just simply cute, but appearances are misleading and there's definitely more to this sign than being cute, such as being an imaginative person and a loyal friend.

Leo - Matt Bennett

Leos are known for being warm-hearted and cheerful people, just like Ari's best friend Matt Bennett. They're also very humorous and goofy and are the people that can help cheer anyone else up who needs it.

Virgo - Kris Jenner

Virgos are known for their strong loyalty and hard work they put into everything they do, which is just like Kris Jenner as the "mom-ager" for her kids. They're also very intelligent and analytical, and are dedicated to making sure that everything is perfect.

Libra - Jennifer Coolidge

Just like Jennifer Coolidge's role in the music video (and Legally Blonde), Libras are extremely compassionate and understanding with everyone around them. They are also in a constant search for peace and fairness, which is why they also tend to be fair-minded.

12. Scorpio - Bruiser

Last but not least, Scorpios are well known for being resourceful and passionate about what they do. There are times where they can be a bit stubborn, but at the end of the day, they're also known for being a true friend, or in this case, like a Bruiser to Elle Woods.

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