Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Leftover Salmon & Head For The Hills 2.23.11

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock (Phat Phlog Blog)

It was Amy’s birthday on Friday so we hit the Rio for a few margs before venturing on to the Aggie. We arrived as Head for the Hills were warming up the earlybirds. We got inside as they were playing “Stone Cold West Virginia”. Here is the rest of the set list from taper Eric Wilkens.

Opening Set: Doin My Time, Priscilla the Chinchilla, Tone Cold West Virginia, If’n When, EMD, Solsbury Hill, New Mat Song (Unnamed), Phantom Phone Call> Pachabells Canon> Sweet Child of Mine, Bosun Ridley, Hornets> Goin Down, Never Does, Solar Bowling Shoes, Back to The Old Home

Head For The Hills Live at Aggie Theater on February 23, 2011. <--- Direct Archive Link

I always enjoy Head for the Hills whenever I get a chance to catch them. They play like a well-oiled machine, tight and clean, and Wednesday’s opening set was no exception. Highlights from the set included an interesting take on Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill” as well as the new unnamed song by Matt. On a side note, H4TH put out a video with Matt dressed as his pseudo-cousin Rubio. He thanked fans for the sellout at the Aggie the week prior and announced an 8:30 start time for their opening set.

The funny thing was that towards the end of H4TH’s allotted time, people in the crowd started chanting Rubio before he made an appearance on the bass to finish the show.

The new and improved Leftover Salmon came on stage with recent addition Andy Thorn on banjo. I really believe that Andy can be the key to the future of LoS. What they have been lacking since Noam Pikelny’s departure has been brought back to the table with Andy. He’s what’s right with the banjo these days. They started the set with a rowdy “Euphoria”.

Set I Euphoria, Gold Hill Line, Jokester, Tore Up, Other Side, Katy, Steamboat Whistle Blues, Get Me Outta This City, Dance On Yer Head, Mountain Top, Ain’t Gonna Work

Set II: BooBoo Lord Melody, Ask The Fish, Just Before The Evening, Squirrel Heads, Bend In The River. Just Keep Walking, Everything Is Round, Midnight Blues, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Up On The Hill The Do the Boogie, Hi-Way, Almost Cut My Hair, Blister In The Sun, Mama Boulet

Encore: Whispering Waters

Salmon has received some flack for sloppy performances in recent years due mainly to their infrequent touring schedule. I really believe that in the early days of jam Leftover Salmon was a powerhouse and they still have it in them to be that now. Only a handful of bands from the scene today have had the longevity of LoS. Clocking in at twenty-one years, the band is still playing with some regularity. Let’s hope the addition of Thorn sparks some new life into this sleeping giant. Highlights from the first set included McKay belting it out on “Just Keep Walking” and Drew blasting off on “Get Me Outta This City”. I also enjoyed the very clean rendition of “High on a Mountain Top”. They closed the set with a fun “Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow.”

Salmon came back for the second set and immediately fired up the crowd with “BooBoo”. They were pulling out some classic LoS and playing as a cohesive unit. Additional highlights from the second set included a very pretty “Just Before the Evening” and Vince’s on-point rendition of “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”. McKay came back into the spotlight for a take on “Crosby’s Almost Cut My Hair”. Whenever McKay takes the mic, Leftover Salmon transforms into a completely different band. He nails the bluesy tunes every time. They should have finished the set with “Blister in the Sun”, a completely unexpected and huge treat. Instead, Vince gave us one more with “Mama Boulet”. They encored with “Whispering Waters”. I had fun, and I find that the more I go to the Aggie, the more comfortable I am moving around in there. At times it can feel claustrophobic, but I had no issues at this show. Bully to Skoo for continuing to bring great shows to Fort Collins. Considering my new transition up there, I’m going to need it.


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