Denver is guaranteed a certain amount of big concerts each year, given the city’s geographic importance in regional tour-routing.
In other words: If you’re playing this part of the country, performing in the metro area is essential to recouping your travel costs.
But Colorado’s reputation as an all-around stellar market — from multi-night runs along the Front Range to coveted “boutique plays” in mountain towns — has only inflated the size and prestige of Denver’s thousands of annual concerts.
There’s much more to come, given those massive venues such as Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre in Greenwood Village (capacity: 18,000) haven’t yet revealed a single show for this year. Here are just a few of the metro area’s biggest live music events — meaning crowds of 5,000 people or more — that have been announced for 2020 Concert Tours as of press time, in chronological order.
Icelantic’s Winter On The Rocks:
Miranda Lambert at the Pepsi Center
Part of Lambert’s Wildcard Tour 2020, this Feb. 1 show with Cody Johnson and LANCO is a chance for pop-country fans to gather under a more generalist banner (i.e. neither willfully escapist nor overtly political) and celebrate Lambert’s Nov. 1 Sony release, “Wildcard.”
Post Malone at the Pepsi Center
Yes, he was just here (on Nov. 10) and no, he isn’t going away anytime soon. Heat-seeking Malone, a.k.a. 24-year-old rapper Austin Richard Post could probably make it a hat trick — with a third Pepsi Center show in a 12-month period — and it would still pack the joint. This March 12 date also includes Swae Lee and Tyla Yaweh.
Celine Dion at the Pepsi Center
Grammy-winner Dion’s March 24 concert at the Pepsi Center follows years of the Canadian powerhouse honing her stagecraft in Las Vegas. And its rarity ensures the faithful will turn out for the Dion’s first Colorado appearance in awhile (notably, she opened the Pepsi Center with its first-ever live event on Oct. 1, 1999).
The Eagles at the Pepsi Center
The cantankerous pros in The Eagles have never been known to pass up an attention-getting tour. That includes 2020’s “Hotel California”-rooted jaunt, which features a full set from that album — with accompanying orchestra and choir — followed by a full greatest hits set, March 26 and 28 at the Pepsi Center.
Billie Eilish at the Pepsi Center
If 2019 was the year of Billie Eilish, what will 2020 be? Still touring to enraptured crowds, the 18-year-old pop queen and critical darling return to Colorado April 1 with the indoor version of last year’s June 5 headlining stop at Red Rocks.
Ice Cube, Method Man & Redman at Red Rocks
Along with Action Bronson, legendary West Coast rapper Ice Cube and Wu-Tang Clan giggle-buddies Method Man & Redman will return to celebrate the cannabis holiday of 420 at Red Rocks, as is their annual won’t every April 20. Also, look for big musical headliners to be revealed for the annual 420 parties at Civic Center Park in downtown Denver for the same weekend.
Sturgill Simpson at the Pepsi Center
Grammy-winning country-rocker Simpson has a solid (if not always exploratory) new album and an April 25 headlining date at the Pepsi Center. You’ll be able to hear the impassioned sing-alongs from Wyoming.
Maroon 5 at the Pepsi Center
Tattooed action-figure Adam Levine and his dance-pop band return for a June 5 concert at the Pepsi Center, for those who can’t get enough of the ubiquitous frontman or his infinite poses.
Justin Bieber at Empower Field at Mile High
Whether he’s the object of love, pity or ridicule, 25-year-old Canadian pop star Justin Bieber has proven himself a survivor. That’s netted him a wide range of attention-getting collaborations and gigs, including this massive 2020 world tour. He visits Empower Field at Mile High on June 13.
Avett Brothers at Red Rocks
No longer novel but still impressive in its crowd-drawing consistency, the Avett Brothers’ July 10-12 run at Red Rocks cements the savvy, tuneful folk-pop band as one of Colorado’s favorite summer activities.
Beethoven’s 9th at Red Rocks
Colorado Symphony & Chorus will perform Beethoven’s glorious, immortal Symphony No. 9 on July 26 at a venue that handily lives up to those adjectives. This could be the most dramatic classical music show of 2020, here or anywhere else.
Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Weezer at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Recalling both the ill-fated Mile High Music Festival and Phish’s annual, wildly successful Labor-Day runs in Commerce City, this July 28 pop-punk extravaganza will undoubtedly draw one of the largest music crowds of the year to the far northeast metro area.
Tame Impala at the Pepsi Center
As fans who were shut out of the band’s 2019 Denver concerts know, the demand for this Australian psych-pop act easily justifies the sports-arena booking. So will everyone who wants to see them get the chance on July 30? We’re watching.
Kenny Chesney at Empower Field at Mile High
If there’s a more passively descriptive music-moniker than Kenny Chesney’s Chillaxification Tour 2020, we’re not aware of it. The 51-year-old Tennessee country star will perform beach-minded party anthems at Colorado’s biggest stadium on Aug. 8 with Florida Georgia Line and Old Dominion.
Harry Styles at the Pepsi Center
Fashion magnet and all-around fetching guy Harry Styles is having an extended moment (the one we hope never ends), and his Aug. 15 concert at the Pepsi Center is a chance to add to his legion of fans.
Camila Cabello at the Pepsi Center
Having opened for Taylor Swift on her last Denver stop, of-the-moment pop star Cabello — still smarting from a recent social media controversy over past racist posts — will get the headlining nod at the Pepsi Center on Aug.
Nathaniel Rateliff at Red Rocks
What’s old is new again as Denver singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff pivots from full-band neo-soul with backing act The Night Sweats to the introspective acoustic tunes he made his name with for a new album, due Feb. 14. His Aug. 26 Red Rocks show will be his first “solo” headlining gig there but expect familiar faces in tow.
Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Poison and Joan Jett at Coors Field
Butt-rock, hair-metal, glam-pop — whatever you call it, the Aug. 30 concert at Coors Field will be heavy on theatrical testosterone and light on nuance or variety (that’s what Joan Jett is for, we presume).
Black Crowes at Red Rocks
Despite a deep, well-demonstrated hatred for another in the past, musical brothers Chris and Rich Robinson are getting the band back together for a pair of shows Aug. 30-31 at Red Rocks.
Bikini Kill at Red Rocks
Also on the reunion front: influential Pacific Northwest indie-punk band Bikini Kill has a huge (by any standard) show at Red Rocks on Oct. 21, with some no-doubt killer openers to be announced.