One of the best parts of living in Denver is that when it’s a scorcher, just drive twenty minutes away and the temperature drops 15 degrees. Mt. Evans was just hopping with mountain goats, even a couple babies; tourists were flipping out, of course.
This past Memorial Day weekend was very heartfelt for me; not only did I get to shoot a show at Red Rocks for the first time, but it was for my old buddy from high school in Texas Macon Terry and his band The River Arkansas. With beautiful vocal harmonies, pure soul searching lyrics, and thumping stand up bass lines, The River Arkansas had the crowd on their feet cheering and hugging and other general merriments. Since they were opening for the movie The Big Lebowski, it was funny to see so many people in bathrobes getting down. Spa Night at Red Rocks.
Mother Cabrini Statue just outside of Denver, Colorado is one of my favorite places to think, although the Sunday I went up there was smack dab in the middle of the Spanish Mass and a charity BBQ. Not quite the serene afternoon I thought, but just as comforting and hey! Hot dogs! Growing up Catholic, I never knew you could drink the Holy Water, assumed it was a sin. Here though, you can buy a jug and fill ‘er up from the spouts that come out of the famous spot where Mother Cabrini said there would be water. It’s the most delicious water you could imagine, especially after climbing all those steps. In the chapel, I lit two candles for my grandmother and her sister, Sister Geraldine, the most devout Catholics I’ve ever known. Later when I got into my car, what looked like a bright cotton ball lazily floated toward me from the floor of the passenger side, then went over my shoulder as a second ball followed. I pulled over and looked in my backseat, but there was nothing back there, and the windows had been up. As much as I love ghost stories, I don’t actually believe in ghosts, but I called out their names and felt deeply comforted. Mother Cabrini’s is a special place.
Last night at the Fillmore I got a chance to shoot a big show with lots of lights; such a treat when you aren’t fighting for every little bit of light in the hopes of one clear shot. Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers opened, bringing that Grateful Dead country funk sound together with her clear as a bell powerhouse vocals; it was my first time seeing them and I thought they were incredible, authentic and fun. More in-depth review Monday at Westword.
Last night local Bob Marley tribute band Wake Up and Live celebrated Marley’s birthday with a packed house at Cervantes’ Other Side. Thank goodness they took that elevated platform out by the bar, for once no one tripped there! With the new layout and coffee being served, the Other Side is fast becoming a favorite of mine. Portland’s The Quick and Easy Boys from my Jam Bands to Watch list opened, and completely blew me away. I highly suggest checking them out live. Rastasaurus were also on the bill, acting ever more like the polished touring band they are shaping up to be. Read my review at the Westword here:
I also got a chance to take my first promo shots, musicians are slightly harder than babies:
I mistakenly brought my 50mm instead of my wide angle lens, was kicking myself and realized that I really was only getting one shot out of the night, so it better be a good one. Luckily, I was in the best seat in the house in the balcony’s front row, so I got the pleasure of lasers both above and below me. The white spotlights came down just at the right moment, and the print will be available for purchase soon on my website (I’ll update this post). Great weekend, great music, great friends, thanks, Disco Biscuits.
My Westword review of the Ogden show:
My Westword review for the 1st Bank show:
After writing a band an apology for calling them a jam band in a recent article, (they said they didn’t care what I called them as long as people were listening phew!), I started to get annoyed that the term “jam band” had become such an offensive insult. I wrote an opinion piece for the Westword which quickly accumulated comments from jam band haters saying we stink, and because jam bands suck. There were also some fantastic, valid arguments, some prefer the song craftsmanship of singer/songwriters over extended jams, others don’t like the fusion of genres. But the majority had the knee jerk reaction I spoke of in the intro. Here’s a link to the Westword article, the comments are pretty funny:
If you go to the Westword’s main page, they put it front and center next to an article about where to buy weed in Denver: http://www.westword.com/
The Minneapolis City Pages music blog Gimme Noise liked it so much they published it as well. There too, jam bands are hated on:
The vitriol, it’s so amusing.