Recommended: Bruce Cockburn, ZZ Top

ZZ Top at the Budweiser Events Center on June 21 (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Tim Van Schmidt | New SCENE


Welcome to Recommended, a column featuring handpicked arts events coming up in the NOCO area.

OK, so I’m a little heavy on live music, so let’s start there.

Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn’s show at The Armory recently was an excellent reminder of what a fine songwriter he is. His lyrics waver between poetry and statement, mixing “some kind of ecstasy” with strident social and climate concern. The show also reminded me of what an excellent guitarist Cockburn is too.

Cockburn is on his second attempt at touring to celebrate his 50th anniversary as a recording artist. At The Armory, the set list included “If a Tree Falls”, “Lovers in a Dangerous Time”, “Dust and Diesel”, and “In the Falling Dark”. “Wondering Where the Lions Are” was a heartwarming audience sing-along.

Absent from the list was “If I Had a Rocket Launcher”. I was thankful for that — the world right now doesn’t need more anger.

The tunes that resonated most for me, however, were “Pacing the Cage”, from “The Charity of Night” album, and a new one called “Us All”. Both are melancholy, but with such exquisite turns of phrases. “Pacing the Cage” struck home because I know I’ve been “pacing the cage” a lot around my house over the last two years. “Us All” simply states the facts: “Like it or not, the human race/Is us all”.

Jordan Rudess coming to The Armory on June 26 (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Since it has been a while, the Cockburn show was also a reminder of what a nice venue The Armory is for these types of shows — intimate evenings with top-shelf artists. Coming up at The Armory: Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater on June 26.

Bruce Cockburn 2022 (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

At The Armory’s big sister venue, Washington’s, see Fleetwood Mac tribute band Tusk on June 23 and The Fixx on June 25. Washington’s is also sponsoring two shows at New Belgium: The Lil’ Smokies on June 22 and Andrew Bird on June 24.

Budweiser Events Center: Last year, iconic ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill passed away, but ZZ Top carries on with the band’s longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis on bass. They’ll be doing two shows in the area on their “Raw Whisky Tour” — at the Pike’s Peak Center for the Performing Arts in Colorado Springs on June 19 and at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland on June 21. Look out for a new record release, “Raw”, which is the original soundtrack from the “That Little Ol’ Band from Texas” documentary, set to come out on July 22.

NOCO shows: Nothing But Nineties plays the Lagoon Summer Concert Series at CSU on June 22. On June 24, see Lois and the Lantern at Swing Station and the Touch Monkeys at Avogadro’s Number. At the Mishawaka Amphitheatre, The Widdler does a two-night stand, June 24-25. Kamasi Washington plays Gardens on Spring Creek on June 26.

Art: Museum of Art Fort Collins is featuring Jim Jacobs’ “Fray” and Jerry Monteith’s “Attractors” through July 17. 

“Audubon’s Quadrupeds: His Last Project” continues at the Loveland Museum through September 4. New at the Loveland Museum: Ronda Stone’s “Retrospective”, through September 11, and Tammi Brazee’s “Tame Your Marmots”, through August 28.

Theatre: “Cyrano De Bergerac” by OpenStage Theatre Company, will run from June 25-July 23 at the Lincoln Center. Bas Bleu Theatre is featuring “A Walk in the Woods” by Lee Blessing through June 26.

Visit “Time Capsules by Tim Van Schmidt” on YouTube.

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