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New Mexico Concerts & Events

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New Mexico is a Southwestern state in desert terrain, encompassing the Chihuahuan Desert and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Like many of its neighboring desert states such as California, Arizona, and Texas, New Mexico has a vibrant arts scene. For those who have toured modern American arts at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and in Santa Fe and observed Spanish colonial architecture in residential hubs, give audial pleasures a chance, too.

Some New Mexican towns are nationally recognized for having the best college music scenes.

Recently, Good Deed Seats conducted a study about which college towns and cities offer the best live music scenes. To measure this, research looked for superior music venues, a municipal-wide atmosphere, supportive patrons, and town culture’s relationship with student life. One New Mexican city that garnered attention is Santa Fe. This New Mexican city is both the oldest city in the state and the one of the oldest cities in the Southwest, having been established in 1937. Praised by researchers for its performance lineups of world class musicians and eclectic venues, this city—and New Mexico as a whole—is great for music. Colleges including St. John’s College, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and Southwestern College all operate in a small region. Favorite venues of local college students include Meow Wolf, Santa Fe Brewing Company, Santa Fe Opera, and Skylight. People who seek a younger audience high on energy and excitement will love the music community in a variety of other New Mexican cities, too, including Albuquerque and Las Cruces.

New Mexicans use music to support community efforts.

What is better than a concert backed by a good cause? The folks at the NM Jazz Workshop runs Empowerment Through Music, an outreach program that is designed to give access to music education to undeserved, at-risk, low income, and incarcerated youth. Although many concert-goers seek out band with massive followings, such as Taylor Swift or Maroon 5, there is something fulfilling to know, as a listener, that there is more to the music than what first meets the ears. Programs like this that are changing communities in New Mexico focus on using music as a method of prevention and intervention that can happen in supervised, supportive environments in order to cultivate prosocial behavior, music proficiency, and self-esteem. Furthering the community effort, organizations such as the Music Guild of New Mexico, Guitar Center, Albuquerque Public Schools, Vintage Albuquerque, and Berklee City Music Network have contributed. This month, Raul Midon is working with vulnerable youth to develop their musical abilities. For music lovers who want live music with a side of social awareness, check out some gigs from this group or others.

New Mexico’s artists cover most major genres, including indie rock, jazz, rock & pop, punk, alternative, rap & hip hop, and more.

Of course, New Mexico has a handful of publication-approved college towns known for good sounds. In the hearts of these cities, youthful observers and musicians alike are commonplace. Five Mile Float take a very hands-off approach to their music, giving listeners something catchy, fun, and upbeat. So Say We All calls itself “nerdcore,” a genre of hip hop music. The Countdown—formerly The Countdown to Overkill—drinks pop punk to a skateboarding, pizza-eating crowd. Leah Leyva makes original music to a cool, laid back crowd. RAWRR provide psychedelic and progressive rock with repetitive guitar. Other notable local bands include Gusher, MMXIV, Lindy Vision, Bill Palmer’s TB Killers, Arroyo Deathmatched, Alonery, Nose Blonde, and more. Regardless of what type of sound you want, places like New Mexico have all of the basis covered, even spur of the moment. Those seeking outlets for entertainment will be pleased by what new Mexico has to offer in the way of live concerts.