Hailing from Michigan, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys are a little country, a little soul, and a little trippy. There's some Crooked Still in there, and some straight bluegrass. Throughout it all, frontwoman Lou works through relationship troubles and life uncertainties with a big, dusky voice that sounds a bit like Sandra Bullock's. Mandolin, dobro, bass and fiddle provide all the backing needed to turn a song like "Into Words," from the group's newest EP Here Between, into a thunking affair just a step short of a stomp-clap anthem. Catch the road veterans at 8 tonight at Front Range Barbeque (2330 W. Colorado Ave., frbbq.com). Tickets are free. — Bryce Crawford
A major theme of Shakespeare's As You Like It is the juxtaposition of city life and country life, and to kick off its season, TheatreWorks will stage the comedy in a perfect setting: Rock Ledge Ranch (3105 Gateway Road, theatreworkscs.org). Tickets are $35 (with discounts available), and the show runs through Aug. 23. At the exact same time this eve — 7:30 — you can take the indoor intellectual route and catch another opening night: Art from Springs Ensemble Theatre (1903 E. Cache la Poudre St., springsensembletheatre.org). This award-winning play from Yasmina Reza takes three friends and a "white on white" painting and goes to town. Art goes on through Aug. 17 and entry is $15 (with discounts available). Not sold just yet? Watch for reviews of both plays in upcoming weeks. — Edie Adelstein
My brief acting career was a wash — I couldn't think on my feet. Luckily, there are gifted improv performers who form companies, and who relish the opportunity for on-the-spot performances. Eleven of these groups will be at the Colorado Improv Festival today and tomorrow at the Millibo Art Theatre (1626 S. Tejon St., themat.org/the-rip), showcasing sketch comedies and fast-paced entertainment that is well worth the $12 ticket. No two performances are the same, meaning you can hit both of tonight's 7 and 9 shows and see something completely different. — Hannah Fleming
So, say all you got going on tonight is nuked pierce 'n ping enchiladas from the freezer and Highway to Heaven reruns. And say you been meaning to up your game and get out more. That being the case, haul yourself out of the Barcalounger and head to the 5:30 First Friday opening of Langdon Foss' HZAZH. It's an exhibit of "visionary drawing" by the writer/author/designer of comics and graphic novels that promises "music, mystery, conversation, and exploration." It's happening at S.P.Q.R. (17B E. Bijou St., lllama.com), and it's free, and frankly it's a helluva lot better than watching Michael Landon playing an angel. — Mary Jo Meade
I've been to summer festivals from Pie Town, N.M., to Colorado Springs and bigger. The funnel cakes taste pretty much the same, but there's always something that stands out. Others may focus on another aspect, but I say Green Mountain Falls' Bronc Day Festival — from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. today — is unique for its history. The festival was born on July 1, 1939, to celebrate the start of tourist season; today it includes a pancake breakfast, a parade, a gunfighters show, RC boat racing and a variety of other family-friendly activities, all in downtown GMF. It's a great excuse to ditch the city for a Saturday. Check broncdayco.org for more information. — Griffin Swartzell.
It's all about that limelight. Two o'clock today brings the last performance of Applause at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (30 W. Dale St., csfineartscenter.org). The Tony-winning musical follows an aging theater star and her apprentice through the cutthroat world behind the curtain. What makes this production special is the cast and crew: This show was assembled and acted by the FAC's Youth Repertory Ensemble, a group of local 14- to 18-year-olds brought together for only five weeks. The show opened July 31, with evening performances through Saturday at 7; all tickets are $10. — Griffin Swartzell.
Bicycle enthusiasts will want to meet at Urban Steam Coffee Bar (1025 S. Sierra Madre St., facebook.com/urbansingletrackproject) between 3 and 7:30 today for the Urban Singletrack Project's Monday Night Chill MTB Ride, featuring Fort Collins-based guest bike-maker Swobo. The hip constructor of mostly single-speed bikes will outfit you on a demo bike to play on USP's nearby test loop. A videographer will shoot footage for Swobo's promotional use, and they'll host a short film screening at 7 of other pedal-centric content. Oh, and there'll be free schwag, too; git sum! — Matthew Schniper
Most '80s hitmakers fell into one of two camps: Synth-pop bands like Depeche Mode and Duran Duran embraced Krautrock rhythms and germ-free production, while techno-freaks like Cameo and Zapp favored denser arrangements and deeper grooves. None of those bands will be appearing tonight at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison, redrocksonline.com, $39.95 to $44.50), but there will be enough vocoders and drum machines in the house to summon up their spirits. Count on Cut Copy to provide the well-crafted New Wave components, but it's the far more extroverted Chromeo, with their over-the-top homages to Hall & Oates, Prince and Rick James, who'll be ringing in your head the rest of the night. — Bill Forman
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