1. The Fray

Photo courtesy of 303 Magazine

The Fray is a rock band from Colorado who earned their fame playing at local churches, and eventually going on to nationwide fame after their single, Over My Head, was played on a local radio station and instantly became a hit. The band achieved worldwide fame after their single How to Save a Life was released.

2. The Lumineers

Photo courtesy of Marquee Magazine

The Lumieers originally began playing in New York, but became frustrated by the expense of the city that was holding them back from playing music. Eventually, the duo settled on Denver’s open mic scene as a new place to start a band, where they met cellist Neyla, and the band took off.

3. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats

Photo courtesy of Dining Out Denver

Nathaniel Rateliff began his career at a trucking depot and as a gardener before moving into music. His first band, Born in the Flood, was popular locally, and Rateliff was even offered a record deal, but he declined as he wanted to work on more solo ventures.

4. Flobots

Photo courtesy of 5280 Magazine

Flobots is an experimental rap rock band from Denver that gained national fame after their single Handlebars. A Denver Post survey of music critics ranked Flobots the 51st best independent band in all of Colorado in late 2007 after the band sold out the Gothic Theatre with their debut album.

5. 3OH!3

The iconic Colorado area code name gives away 3Oh!3’s origins. The band began playing local shows in Boulder and moved into Denver once they had established a larger fan base. 3OH!3 also wrote an anthem for Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies.

6. Air Dubai

Air Dubai is a mixture of hip hop, R&B, jazz, and alternative rock, and their unique sound has made them a hit in Denver and beyond. The band was voted Westword Magazine’s best Hip Hop band in their 2010, 2011 and 2012 award showcases.