Rad Things (to) Do - May 2023
Once upon a time, there was a band called N*SYNC. This band of five young adults would go on to create one of the most legendary pop songs of all time, called “It’s Gonna Be Me,” in the late-1990s. Over a decade later, this song would become a meme, where internet users would post all over social media, “…it’s gonna be May.”
Well, now it is May, bringing with it so many things to do around Denver that it may seem overwhelming to decide what to do next. That is why RTD has done the heavy lifting and compiled a list of fun things to do, just steps away from a bus stop or rail station in this month’s Rad Things (to) Do!
“There’s gold in that arena,” said a Denver Nuggets fan, probably. It is true though, as the Nuggets are currently having a golden time in the NBA playoffs with their absolute domination of the Minnesota Timberwolves and now the Phoenix Suns. It’s not just the Nuggets who are looking to have a great May, as sports fans are about to experience a smorgasbord of sporting events they can go to, all within reach of RTD services.
The Denver Nuggets have been on a warpath through the NBA’s Western Conference so far in the 2022-2023 NBA Playoffs, losing only one game to Minnesota and who are currently up two games on the Phoenix Suns. Barring a total collapse like what the Golden State Warriors did back in 2016, blowing a 3-1 series lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, or, most recently, what happened to the Boston Bruins last week against the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Anyhoo, the Nuggets are the favorites to advance to the Western Conference finals against the winner of the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers, where the Ball Arena will surely continue to be the place to be for the coming weeks. Those heading to the Ball Arena should keep in mind the ongoing maintenance projects that are impacting E Line services.
Empower Field at Mile High Stadium
For those who like their sports powered by octane, Empower Field at Mile High Stadium is the place to be this month, all accessible via the E and W lines at Empower Field at Mile High Station.
This Saturday, Monster Energy Supercross brings high-flying two-wheeled action to the home of the Broncos as the penultimate race of the season reaches a boiling point. Colorado native and hometown hero Eli Tomac looks to defend his small lead in the 450SX championship standings on home turf while rival Americans Chase Sexton and Cooper Webb both look to close up the small gap Tomac has as the season finale race in Salt Lake City next weekend looms on the horizon. Meanwhile, in the 250SX class, Australian brothers Hunter and Jett Lawrence are entangled in a sibling rivalry for the ages as Jett is only 22 points away from his brother with just two races to go. Lurking in the shadows are American Haiden Deegan, son of legendary freestyle motocross rider Brian Deegan, and Englishman Max Anstie, both of whom can make a jump in the standings if the Lawrence brothers fall short. The stakes at this Saturday’s Supercross event are just as high as the peaks that shadow over the stadium. This is not one to be missed.
As if that is not enough action, on May 13, Monster Jam roars through Mile High Stadium. The event features gigantic monster trucks doing tricks that defy gravity and reality itself as their pilots battle it out for championship points. This ever-popular event features world-famous trucks such as Grave Digger, Zombie, Megalodon and more.
The 1stBank Center, just steps away from the Flatiron Flyer’s US-36•Broomfield Station, is typically home to more concerts than sporting events, but that is about to change when the ONE Championship makes its United States debut on Friday. Based out of Singapore, ONE Championship is Asia’s premiere mixed martial arts league. The league has quickly risen in popularity around the world and is now making the jump over stateside.
Headlining the incredibly talented card is none other than former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight title holder and current ONE Flyweight World Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson as he defends his title againstAdriano Moraes in a flyweight championship clash. Catch any Route FF1 to US 36•Broomfield Station to catch every punch, kick, submission and knockout from what is sure to be one of the most talked-about events in combat sports for a long time.
Festivals and events
May is when the festivals bloom around the city. Check out some notable festivals below, and don’t forget to check out the Cinco de Mayo Parade downtown near Civic Center Park (accessible via any Civic Center-bound bus or downtown loop train) on Saturday!
Boulder Creek Festival in downtown Boulder (accessible via any Downtown Boulder Station-bound route)
The Denver BBQ Festival at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium (accessible via the E and W lines at Empower Field at Mile High Station)
April showers bring May concerts. That’s the saying, right? Well, whatever it is, it is officially outdoor concert season in Denver! This year, there will be no shortage of concerts taking place at the various amphitheaters sprinkled throughout the RTD service area, including visits from the biggest names in rock, metal, hip-hop, country, electronic dance music (EDM) and much, much more. Check out some of the biggest shows below!
Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater
Just a short five-minute walk away from Arapahoe at Village Center Station, accessible via the E and R lines, Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater is the second largest amphitheater in Denver. Any given summer, concertgoers can catch world-famous musicians and bands playing at the amphitheater to thousands of fellow music lovers. To kick off the summer concert season, Denver’s hard rock radio station KBPI 107.9 FM brings in Grammy-nominated multi-platinum hard rock icons Godsmack (hard rock) to headline its annual 107.9 KBPI Birthday Bash celebration with support from metalcore juggernauts I Prevail (metalcore) and Bad Omens (metalcore), as well as up-and-coming post-hardcore YouTube sensation Fame on Fire (post-hardcore/hard rock) tomorrow night. More information, including tickets, can be found on KBPI 107.9’s website.
Wrapping up things at Fiddler’s Green on May 13, Denver’s old school and classic R&B radio station Jammin’ 101.5 presents Jammin’ de Mayo 2023, featuring performances by Zapp (funk), Midnight Star (R&B), Evelyn “Champagne” King (R&B), GQ (funk), All-4-One (R&B) and more! The full lineup can be found on Jammin 101.5’s website.
Tucked into the hillside at Ruby Hill Park is the Levitt Pavilion, located about a 15-minute walk away from the Route 21’s West Evans Avenue and South Lipan Street stop. This month, the pavilion is kicking off its weekly free concert series, featuring performances by Fishbone (ska/funk) on Saturday, Etana (reggae) with Wylie Jones (reggae) on May 11, La Santa Cecila (latin rock) on May 13, Son Little (alternative/indie) with Wayne Watts on May 19, The Slackers with The Freecoasters on May 20, Son Rompe Pera and Brian Lopez on May 27, with Orkesta Mendoza and Los Mocohetes rounding things out on May 28. Additionally, Violent Femmes will be performing a ticketed show on May 21 with Jesse Ahern.
Of course, there are plenty of indoor concerts to attend as well, especially this month. World-renowned musicians from around the globe will be visiting iconic Denver music venues, bringing with them great times and tons of memories. Check out some of the biggest shows coming to local venues within the RTD service area below!
Ball Arena (Accessible via the E and W lines at Elitch Gardens•Ball Arena Station)
- Shania Twain (country) – May 21
1stBank Center (Accessible via the Flatiron Flyer at US-36•Broomfield Station)
- John Summit (EDM) with Dombresky (EDM), Kyle Walker (EDM) and Lucati (EDM) – May 13
Fillmore Auditorium (accessible via the Route 15 at Colfax Avenue and Emerson Street)
- Lil’ Wayne (hip-hop) – May 7
- Bryson Tiller (hip-hop/R&B) – May 8
- Kali Uchis (hip-hop/R&B) – May 18
- Placebo (emo/alternative) – May 20
- The Interrupters (punk) w/ Frank Turner (rock) – May 21
- $NOT (hip-hop) – May 29
- Melanie Martinez (alternative) – May 30
Ogden Theatre (accessible via the Route 15 at Colfax Avenue and Emerson Street)
- Molchat Doma (punk/alternative) – May 4
- Waterparks (pop punk) with Hunny (alternative) and Daisy Grenade (pop punk) – May 6
- ARMNHMR (EDM) with Fairlane (EDM), PawS (EDM) and LEUTHERO (EDM) – May 13
- Yves Tumor (alternative) – May 15
- Ella Mai (R&B) – May 20
- Lovejoy (pop punk/indie) – May 24
- Helloween (metal) – May 30
Paramount Theatre (accessible via the Free MallRide at 17th and Welton streets)
- Aaron Lewis (rock) – May 5
- Ben Rector (pop rock) – May 6
- The Electric Light Orchestra Experience (orchestra) – May 9
- Crowded House (rock) – May 12
- Tommy James & the Shondells (rock) – May 27
Bluebird Theater (accessible via the Route 15 at Colfax Avenue and Cook Street)
- The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die (indie) – May 3
- 49 Winchester (country) – May 4
- Travis McNamara (bluegrass) w/ Heavy Diamond Ring (folk rock) and Summer Baker (indie/alternative) – May 5
- American Aquarium (country/alternative) – May 10
- Wild Child (indie/alternative)– May 11-12
- From Ashes to New (hard rock/metalcore) w/ Wake Me and Suitable Miss
- Hoodoo Gurus (rock) – May 16
- Sparta (punk) with/ ’68 (punk) and Geoff Rickly (punk) – May 18
- Rico Nasty (hip-hop/rap) – May 21
- Donna the Buffalo (indie) – May 25
- Gasoline Lollipops (alternative) w/ Mama Magnolia (alternative) and Phoebe Hunt (alternative) – May 26
Summit Music Hall (accessible via the Route 52 at 20th and Blake streets)
- Matroda (EDM) – May 6
- The Black Dahlia Murder (death metal) – May 7
- Hayley Kiyoko (rock) – May 8
- Metronomy (EDM) – May 10
- half alive (pop) – May 11
- Lacuna Coil (metal) – May 16
- Set It Off (pop punk) – May 23
Marquis Theatre (accessible via the Route 52 at 20th and Larimer streets)
- Lost Terra (pop) – May 4
- Young Buck (hip-hop/rap) – May 7
- The Warning (hard rock) – May 9
- Greg Puciato (hard rock/metal) – May 10
- Allegaeon (metal) – May 13
- Rebecca Black (pop) – May 16
- Dreamers (indie/rock) w/ Robert DeLong (rock) – May 19
- Currents (metalcore) w/ Like Moths to Flames (metalcore), UnityTX (hardcore/punk) and Foreign Hands (metalcore) – May 20
- Ill Nino (hard rock/metal) – May 23
- Scary Kids Scaring Kids (post-hardcore/emo) – May 27
- DRAIN (metalcore) – May 30
Theatregoers are in for a jam-packed month of performing arts at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, accessible via the D and H lines at Theatre District•Convention Center Station. There are eight productions to choose from this month across the Denver Arts Complex. Check them out below! The full schedule, including ticketing information, can be found on the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ website.
- The Color Purple at the Wolf Theatre (ongoing through May 7)
- The 39 Steps at the Singleton Theatre (ongoing through June 18)
- Miss Rhythm – The Legend of Ruth Brown at the Garner Galleria Theatre (ongoing through Oct. 15)
- Les Misérables at the Buell Theatre (May 10-21)
- Emma at the Wolf Theatre (ongoing through Friday)
- Where Did We Sit On The Bus? at the Singleton Theatre (ongoing through June 2)
- The Lehman Trilogy at the Kilstrom Theatre (tonight through June 2)
- Company at the Buell Theatre (May 22-June 4)