On Saturday, December 4th, Denver Comes Alive returns to the state-of-the-art Mission Ballroom. Produced by Live For Live Music in partnership with AEG, the second-annual event promises a full day of unique performances featuring an array of live music greats [get tickets].
The return of Denver Comes Alive in 2021 will represent a meaningful milestone for the long-running Comes Alive event series. On January 31st, 2020, thousands of music fans from Denver and beyond descended upon the Mission Ballroom to celebrate the inaugural Denver Comes Alive. For many, it served as one of the last big shows before the world shut down.
Touring ground to a halt for many months, but the live music community and the Comes Alive team never rested, pivoting to create four virtual festivals—Quarantine Comes Alive, Justice Comes Alive, Democracy Comes Alive, and Georgia Comes Alive—within the operational confines of isolation. These marathon streaming events helped reconnect a scattered, locked-down fan community, gave out-of-work musicians a chance to perform and create, and collectively raise more than half a million dollars for a variety of important causes in the process.
Concerts have resumed in numbers since then, and the second-ever Denver Comes Alive 2021 will once again take place live and in-person, but it will carry with it the experiences and the lessons of the previous twenty-two(ish) months. Notes Kunj Shah, producer of the Comes Alive series, “It’s hard to believe we technically haven’t skipped a year of Denver Comes Alive, being that the last one was at the beginning of 2020 and the next one is at the end of 2021, but it feels like we’ve lived a few lifetimes as a company since then.”
“We’ve grown tremendously as people through all we’ve experienced since last year’s event,” Shah continues. “The show must go on, but it must go on for something bigger than ourselves. This music and this community have given us the opportunity to give more, to do more, to be more, and we hope to rise to that challenge with Denver Comes Alive.”
In addition to charitable partnerships with nonprofit organizations like New Orleans Musicians Clinic (NOMC) and onsite activations by Conscious Alliance, HeadCount, and Groovesafe, Denver Comes Alive 2021’s lineup is packed with artists who helped quarantine Come Alive throughout last year.
Below, check out some of our favorite virtual Comes Alive highlights featuring Denver Comes Alive 2021 artists. Read more about DCA’s non-profit partnerships and charitable initiatives here. Grab your tickets for Denver Comes Alive on Saturday, December 4th at the Mission Ballroom in Denver, CO here.
The first virtual Comes Alive festival, Quarantine Comes Alive, raised funds for a number of COVID-19 relief causes via the Plus 1 COVID-19 Relief Fund. Circles Around The Sun got in on the party with some never-before-seen footage of a pre-pandemic live show in Burlington.
“Our Quarantine Comes Alive set came from a show at the hallowed Higher Ground in Vermont during our last tour in Winter 2020,” bassist Dan Horne explained about the clip showed during QCA. “It was actually the only show that didn’t get recorded by us, but luckily our archivist hung a camera from the backstage balcony. The video quality isn’t great, but it reminds us of an old VHS tape of Guns N’ Roses at the Roxy or something.”
Circles Around The Sun w/ Scott Metzger – “Money’s No Option” (3/1/20) – Quarantine Comes Alive
Jennifer Hartswick, the multi-talented musician set to perform with Ramble On Revival and Denver Comes Alive, set comment sections ablaze with her stunning cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” performed (remotely) with Nick Cassarino (The Nth Power).
“Nick and I started playing this song on duo tour just a few days before we were sent home for pandemic reasons,” Hartswick told Live For Live Music about the performance. “We wanted to do something fresh for QCA, so we chose this. The response has been mind-blowing.”
Jennifer Hartswick & Nick Cassarino – “Creep” (Radiohead) – Quarantine Comes Alive
As more than 200,000 viewers tuned into Quarantine Comes Alive on May 30th, racial and social tensions were erupting around the United States following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN at the hands of police. As the country underwent a widespread reckoning with systemic injustice, a second virtual event, Justice Comes Alive, conceived with the help of various members of the live music community, followed in late June with the goal of channeling the momentum of QCA’s efforts toward causes and topics concerning the fight against racism.
Denver Comes Alive 2021 performers Tank and the Bangas offered up a moment of peaceful reflection during Justice Comes Alive with a performance of “Sol Glo” that evoked the same intimacy and sincerity as their storied Tiny Desk performances.
Tank and the Bangas – “Sol Glo” (Live Session) – Justice Comes Alive
As the 2020 elections drew closer, the Comes Alive team linked up with nonpartisan voter participation organization HeadCount to host Democracy Comes Alive, a virtual festival to get out the vote. In addition to raising money for voter participation efforts, the event itself helped drive voter registration: viewers could get their “ticket” to the show by checking their voter registration status online.
The virtual Comes Alive events were highlighted by their thought-provoking interviews and discussions as well as their memorable musical performances. Oteil Burbridge, who will hold down the low end with the Ramble On Revival at Denver Comes Alive, spoke with resident Comes Alive host Ari Fink about speeding up the pace of societal change during Democracy Comes Alive.
Oteil Burbridge & Ari Fink – Democracy Comes Alive Conversations
Of course, the election season was not over after the presidential race. With two highly contested Georgia senate runoff elections set to decide the fate of the Senate, Comes Alive once again partnered with HeadCount for Georgia Comes Alive. The event was the biggest team’s biggest virtual yet, attracting a range of high-profile talent like Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews, Portugal. The Man, Big Freedia, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills with BIG Something, and more and reaching more than a million viewers.
While the day was packed with big-name acts, some of its most exciting moments came from lesser-known musicians. Take Judith Hill, the powerhouse singer/guitarist set to perform in Denver on on December 4th. The California native’s sparse, emotional performance of “Irreplaceable Love” introduced her to thousands of new fans at Georgia Comes Alive, and she’s more than ready to show fans what she can do on a real stage—and with her full band—at Denver Comes Alive.
Judith Hill – “Irreplaceable Love” – Georgia Comes Alive
Revisit additional performances from Quarantine Comes Alive, Justice Comes Alive, Democracy Comes Alive, and Georgia Comes Alive via the Live For Live Music YouTube Channel.
For tickets to Denver Comes Alive at the Mission Ballroom on Saturday, December 4th, 2021, click here. Check out the official set of Denver Comes Alive 2021 artist baseball cards below.