Slug warmed up out-state towns such as Mankato last winter on the "Welcome to Minnesota" tour. / Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

Slug warmed up out-state towns such as Mankato last winter on Atmosphere's "Welcome to Minnesota" tour. / Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

Last winter, it was the "Welcome to Minnesota" tour in February to Bemidji, Mankato, Rochester, etc. This season, Atmosphere will strut its north-country roots and embrace the snow and chill by headlining the first-ever winter concert at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater near Denver. The so-called "Winter on the Rocks" concert will take place there Jan. 27 with a lineup also featuring Chicago legend Common and Atmosphere's Rhymesayers labelmates Grieves & Budo, along with the Get Cryphy DJ dudes. Tickets ($35) are now on sale through a pre-sale (password: WOTR), or the general on-sale is this Saturday at 10 a.m. 

Long a favorite in Colorado, Atmosphere made its debut at Red Rocks this past August and impressively sold it out. You can bet organizers are hoping the group's hometown fans will make the trek to attend this time -- because they're probably the only ones crazy/durable enough to do so. The weather at the venue looked chilly and drizzly when U2 filmed "Under a Blood Red Sky" there in 1983. That was in June!

Numerous ski resorts are within an hour or two from Red Rocks, so no doubt a decent amount of sponsorship money for the concert is coming in that way in the hopes of driving up lift-ticket sales. Pretty smart idea all-around, I'd say. Here's a writeup on the event by the Denver Post that also shows off Red Rocks' scenic setting in a photo gallery.