Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Years 2011: Railroad Earth 12.30.10

Words & Photos By J-man

The second night of the Railroad Earth's New Years run would bring a little bit of a different flavor. We arrived at the Ogden Theatre just in time to catch the tail end of Whitewater Ramble's sound check. The first thing I noticed upon stepping into the theatre was the presence of saxophonist Pete Wall. I had seen Pete play with Particle and Whitewater Ramble prior, and he is an absolute beast on the sax.

As Whitewater filed off stage, the doors of the theatre opened to the general public. I glanced down at my phone to see a text from Patrick Sites (Mandolin WWR) that said "We're ready." I grabbed my gear, made my way backstage and up a set of stairs to Whitewater Ramble's dressing room. After an short introduction and some poking fun, the interview was under way...

We wrapped up the interview and made our way back out to the floor to catch Whitewater's opening set. As we did we passed by Tim Carbone.

"Hey Justin! There you are..." Tim said excitedly.

"Can we do the interview around nine o'clock?" Tim asked, checking his phone.

"Sounds good." I said with a smile.

With that, Tim headed backstage and we found a spot in the VIP section on the second floor. Within' minutes, we were already being hassled by security. They told us that we weren't allowed to film any of the show. I showed my photo pass and was told that it wasn't sufficient. I asked to speak with the head of security and told him that I would have the bands or their management clear my access with him. I headed back stage and the first person I ran into was Pete Wall. Pete stepped out from the backstage area and informed security that I was cleared to film... Or so I thought.

I returned to my post to continue filming. Minutes later, security had their hands on me and they were trying to confiscate my camera. I returned to the backstage area, and located Tim who took me to Brian, Railroad Earth's manager to solve the problem. Brian stepped out and cleared me with security... Again.

Back I went to continue filming. Whitewater Ramble was killing it. Their combination of bluegrass and driving rock thrilled me. I realized that I was dancing with my video camera in hand and attempted to relax and focus on filming. If the security wasn't enough to distract me from filming, Whitewater was killing it and I had to move my body. A few songs in WWR called out Andy Goessling of Railroad Earth to spice it up a bit. A few songs later, Tim joined and as expected, battled it out with Adam Galblum on the fiddle. The full sound created by Tim and Adam was impressive.

As the song concluded, Tim exited the stage which was my cue to head back for the interview. As we did, we were stopped and hassled by the security at the backstage entrance. I reminded him that I was the gentleman who was cleared by the band and that he was told that I was coming back to do a couple of interviews. He looked confused, so I walked on without him trying to stop us. We peered out on stage to see that Pete was killing it with WWR. We headed downstairs to Railroad Earth's dressing room and had a seat to wait for Tim and Andrew to prepare.

Looking around I realized that it was myself, Carly, Railroad Earth, their management and just then through the door walked String Cheese Incident's bass player Keith Mosely. Everyone was excited to see him as RRE took turns greeting their friend. Keith laughed as he talked about how bad the roads were and how long it had taken him to get to Denver from the mountains.

A few minutes later Tim and Andrew were ready to go, so we made our way upstairs to WWR dressing room where (in theory) it would be more quiet...

Following the interview, we posed for a few pictures and had some long laughs. I collected my gear, thanked Tim for everything and we made our way back out to the VIP area. By this time our friends had arrived and Whitewater Ramble was wrapping up their set. The crowd was loving WWR and with good reason. WWR is a band who's energy is only surpassed by their consistently. Towards the end of their set they announced that they would be handing out free copies of the newest album "All Night Drive". The album is great, and I was thrilled to see Whitewater giving away such high quality work for free.

Following an announcement of a forth night at the Ogden, Railroad Earth hit the stage to a noticeably less crowded Theatre, from the prior evening. Due to the local competition in regards to other New Years runs, folks had opted out of RRE to see bands like Widespread Panic, Greensky Bluegrass and Sound Tribe Sector 9. Regardless, the energy was solid.

The first set left something to be desired. I found myself kind of spacing out in the airy jams. The instrumentation was just as tight as the previous night, but the energy was a little bit lower. As I filmed, someone grabbed me from behind and said "If you don't turn that camera off I am going to fucking kick your ass and break your fucking camera." I turned to see a small female security guard.

"I am already cleared with Roger (head of security)" I said confused.

"Gimme your fucking camera." The woman said again.

"Where is Roger?" I asked getting irritated.

"You're fucking coming with me." She said as she grabbed my arm.

"Not a fucking chance. Go get Roger." I said sternly, turning back towards RRE with my camera running the whole time.

"I'm going to to take you outside and stab you." Said a male voice.

I turned around to see a security guard, who was about two feet shorter than I, standing behind me.

I attempted to explain the situation, and the newest security guard realizing the odds were not in his favor, told me "If I hear any more complaints about you, you're out."

"Go get Roger!" I said.

"No" said the little man as he walked away.

I was totally thrown off and no longer enjoying myself. I continued filming and taking pictures, just trying to do my job. As the song concluded, I turned to see the original female security guard eying me again. The first set ended, leaving me to contemplate the circumstances.

With the start of the second set, I could see the female security moving in on me again...

"Did you get a chance to talk to Roger and work this out?" I said curious of what her next move would be.

"What did you fucking say?" She said moving towards me.

"Did you talk to Roger?" I asked again, very directly.

She then walked away and next thing I know, a third security guard was in my face.

"What did you call her?" He questioned aggressively.

"I have fucking had enough with you guys. You have been harassing me all night. Go get your fucking boss. I'm cleared to shoot!" I said

The man then put his hands on me, only removing them when I warned him of the consequences of his actions. Next thing I know he had called for back up. A young man showed up and asked for my cooperation in going to talk to Roger. I obliged as I knew I was in the right and the newest security guard had treated me with respect. As I walked away, I could see that the female security guard was now harassing/threatening my girlfriend and friends.

Arriving downstairs, I received an odd look from Roger (head of security), I could sense his frustration. "He's good! Leave him alone" Roger said to the security guard who had escorted me downstairs. He began to apologize profusely and told me that he would handle the security.

"Sorry about the misunderstanding." Said the guy who threatened to take me outside and stab me.

Roger walked over and asked if everything was cool. "So long as this cat doesn't threated to take me outside and stab me, things should be cool." I said.

I turned around and walked back up to the VIP area passing my friend Spuckes who was on his way down to check on me and give his side of the story.

"It's all set..." I said.

"What the fuck, man?" Said Spuckes with a confused look on his face.

Returning to my post, I could see all new security faces in the vicinity, and now that folks weren't being hassled and threated, they began to dance.

I was no longer into the show... my "buzz" was killed. I collected my gear and headed downstairs, to look for our friends. As we did, we passed by Keith Mosely heading for the bar.

"Hey Keith." I said casually.

"Hey, man! Happy New Year!" Keith said automatically.

"Same to you." I said.

I turned back towards the stage and Railroad was killing it. IT was the most energetic jam of the night thus far. But I was too far gone...

(At some point throughout the evening Railroad Earth was joined by Adam Galblum and

Railroad Earth Live at Ogden Theatre on December 30, 2010. <--- Direct Archive Link

J-man's Complete Photo Album




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