by Francesca Blasi, staff writer

As finals week is wrapping up and summer is rapidly approaching, you may be wondering what to do with your free time as you either await the next semester of school or celebrate completing your time here at PPSC. Well, you’re in luck!

There is no shortage of shows you can attend at the various auditoriums and amphitheaters that make Colorado’s music scene so unique and expansive. From local spots where you can explore the Colorado Springs scene, to venues built into the beautiful natural landscape that this state is known and loved for, there are venues and events for everyone.

You can’t appreciate local music in Colorado Springs without checking out the Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave., a standing-only, intimate music hall that features a bar and outdoor smoking area, a few minutes from Memorial Park. While such a small space may not be everyone’s preference, the upside is that you can get a great view of the artists from every corner of the room.

They have shows almost every single night, so this is a great option if you are looking for something to do at the last minute. Most of the nightly lineups consist of more local acts, but you can find the occasional big name there if you keep an eye out. If you’re an emo kid at heart, check out Scary Kids Scaring Kids on May 28th; or if mellow is more your style, you can see reggae band Pepper on June 16th.

If a larger venue is more up your alley, check out the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts downtown at 190 S. Cascade Ave. There is a parking garage within walking distance of the venue, or street parking if you arrive early enough! This feels more like a classic theater setup, with seats, a large stage and impressive lighting effects.

Unlike the Broadmoor World Arena, the seats are wide enough to enjoy the show while seated—no rubbing knees with a stranger every time you need to rest between multiple servings of funky dance moves! The lineup at Pikes Peak Center is bringing back the classics, with several nights of classic rock shows to choose from. On June 7th, see Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band. Just two nights later, come back and see Southern rock band The Marshall Tucker Band on the 9th, or the very funky Chicago on the 10th.

If music isn’t the entertainment you’re after this Summer, there are 2 major non-music events at the Broadmoor World Arena. If you’re into cars, check out the Lowrider Colorado Super Show on August 12th. There won’t be music bumping, but there will be cars jumping! Later that month, the Colorado Springs Comic Con will be coming to bring all of your favorite characters to life! Show up in costume, or just go to see everyone else’s! This event spans the final weekend of August, taking place from the 25th to the 27th.

I would personally like to give a special shout out to a couple of my favorite artists that are coming to Colorado this Summer as well, Atmosphere and Dead and Company. If you like good music, this is some of the best you’ll find—Colorado, or elsewhere.

Atmosphere, a hip hop duo that has no equal, will be coming two separate times this year, joining the lineup with Dirty Heads and Stick Figure at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater on June 16th, featuring (VERY) Special Guests DENM, The Grouch and Mike Love. Atmosphere will then return to occupy the spotlight at Red Rocks Amphitheater on September 17th. They will be joined by Danny Brown, Souls of Mischief, The Grouch & Eligh, with DJ Fresh, DJ Mr. Dibbs, and Breakbeat Lou.

If you’re lucky, you might be able to score reasonably priced resale tickets to the sold-out Dead and Company show, which will mark the end of touring for the band. Founded in 2015 by 3 of the remaining living members of the Grateful Dead—Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart—Dead and Company has continued sharing the historical psychedelic jam-band music that brought the original group to a level of fame and fan dedication that can’t be topped. Unfortunately, Kreutzmann will not be joining the band for this final tour. However, Weir and Hart will be blowing minds as they always have; joined, of course, by the rest of the Dead and Company members: John Mayer playing guitar in the style of the one-and-only Jerry Garcia (taught by the living legends themselves), jazzy bass renditions and melodic backup vocals courtesy of Oteil Burbridge, and keyboard riffs like you’ve never seen them by Jeff Chimenti. Dead and Company will be playing for all 3 nights leading up to the fourth of July—a privilege that is exclusive only to Colorado and a few other places that treat the Grateful Dead as the big deal that they are. Join me and thousands of other dead-heads from July 1st to 3rd to see their final goodbye as the legacy that was born of another comes to an final resting place in music history.

Red Rocks Amphitheater, just one venue featuring a ton of awesome shows this Summer. Photo Credit: Ryan Loughlin