Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Say Cheese: Horning's Hideout 2012- Thursday July,19th

Horning's Hideout
North Plains, OR

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis & J-man

There are places on this earth that act as conduits for the dreamlike, utopian vibe that many festival goers and music fans from all over this country seek. In one of the more northwestern points of this country, folks have become privy to the magic of Horning's Hideout. Rolling hills collide with both alpine and mossy deciduous forests in this place of fantastic beauty. For fans of The String Cheese Incident, that weekend at Horning's would mark the end of the Summer 2012 tour, and what a close it would be. Many would travel across this great country to participate in this escape. For us, our journey would begin in Denver, Colorado. A mere twenty one hours later and about twelve hundred and fifty miles, we found ourselves rolling past Portland and down the country roads leading into Horning's. There were no long lines, there were no police, just the feeling of cruising through the back country to arrive "Home."

Hugs and smiles led to more hugs and smiles as folks went through the minor vehicle inspection to enter the property. With no underlying security threat other then our tired faces, we put on our smiles and pulled into the park. Winding roads/paths lead to the administrative center of the park, as cars were directed to their temporary weekend resting place. As camping was separate from parking, fans packed and stacked for a haul into the woods. Up and down rolling hills through plush green mossy forest, past tapestries, lights and happy people we trekked until we found what we considered the perfect spot.

Surrounded by friends, "Family" and fantastic people, our adventure truly began...

With the sweat wiped from our brow, we headed towards the music! While passing the administrative buildings a loud call came from a beautiful peacock! Then another. We passed the lake, the kids pavilion and playground arriving at a handful of "security" personnel waiting to "search" our bags going in. Inside the venue, we were taken aback by the piney beauty of the amphitheater/bowl. One pleasant surprise came with the discovery that Zane Kesey and the Furthur bus were also in attendance! A quick glance at one another and our group headed in all different directions. This may be the best time to introduce the cast of characters in our adventure. Heading straight down the hill to the dustbowl, like a proud puppy with a Frisbee was Saint Murray, who found friendly faces to toss disc with immediately. Our Psychedelic clown, Matt headed directly for the hill to dispense "Special" stickers to unsuspecting new friends. Carly and I found a seat on the lower half of the hill to enjoy the first band of the weekend, The Drunken Hearts.

The Drunken Hearts have been progressing little by little since the first time that I had seen them play. Of course, Horning's Hideout was no different. Andrew McConnathay's Eddie Vedder like vocals permiated the ears of the small crowd. Through well-written songs and bright instrumentation, The Drunken Hearts displayed why it was they were invite to Horning's. A barefoot Murray ran back and forth, throwing and catching the Frisbee as Matt, with a tiny hat on his head and flip sunglassed, passed out stickers with dancable fury. What a fantastic way to have begun our weekend!

Following The Drunken Hearts set, we wandered towards the Sawmill Stage passing a plethora of excellent food options from pesto pineapple pizza, elixirs, Asian food, great breakfast options, etc. Additionally there were the beer/wine tents, that were selling semi-expensive drinks with limited options. This was somehow acceptable due to the fact that we were not allowed to bring alcohol into Horning's. Arriving at The Sawmill Stage, everyone was smiling. The area was perfectly carved out of the surrounding beauty and included large fabric shapes stretched above the crowd! Back at the main stage, The Contribution began.

The Contribution is a collaborative effort between Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth), Keith Moseley (The String Cheese Incident), Jeff Miller (New Monsoon), Phil Ferlino (New Monsoon), Matt Butler (The Everyone Orchestra) & Sheryl Renee. First and foremost, as always, their production and performance was fantastic. For someone who has seen them on multiple occasions, it was consistent in all regards including the setlist. Contribution fans were spoiled with an album of great songs and now they want more!

Next on the main stage was the Kyle Hollingsworth Band. Kyle's hand picked band is stacked with members of Colorado band, The Motet. On guitar Dan Schwindt, on bass Garrett Sayers and on drums Dave Watts. Slowly, the main stage bowl began to fill in with folks arriving at the festival. By the half way point of their set, the main stage was packed with folks getting down to some of the most groovin' music the festival had to offer thus far. One of the best rhythm sections on the festival scene in Watts and Sayers, led the charge while Kyle and Dan passed ripping licks and tones back and forth. At one point the band was joined by Jason Hahn on percussion.

Kyle Hollingsworth Band Live at Horning's Hideout on July 19, 2012.

Setlist: To Young, Racer X, All I Need I Have Right Here, Ordinary, Way That It Goes>Slipknot>Franklin's Tower, Boo Boo's Picnic, Zuko 103 Tune (?)

The conclusion of the KHB set triggered our eventual return to camp for the first sleep that we would get in forty eight hours. The result of our exhaustion would be missing EOTO, but also would mean that we would be well-rested to take on the remainder of our adventure. We laid our heads down on our pillows and dreamt of peacocks and Cheese...

Carly & J-man's Thursday & Friday Photo Gallery



Monday, July 30, 2012

Preview: YarmonyGrass Aug. 2nd - 5th, 2012

Rancho Del Rio/State Bridge
Bond, CO

Words By J-man

The festival scene is littered with festivals and gatherings of epic proportions. YarmonyGrass is not one of those massive gatherings, but instead a small intimate gathering tucked into the mountains of Colorado! Located in Bond, CO on the Colorado River, Rancho Del Rio/State Bridge is the perfect setting to host/accomidate such a special event!

This year's line up includes:

Railroad Earth (Two Sets), Nershi's Joint Set, Elephant Revival (Sat. & Sun.), The Contribution, Honkytonk Homeslice, Poor Man's Whiskey Feat. Michael Kang (Dark Side of The Moonshine), Lukas Nelson & Promise of The real, Todd Sheaffer, Danny Barnes, The Drunken Hearts Feat. Tim Carbone & Scott Law, The Grant Farm & more!


YarmonyGrass is offering 3 and 4 day weekend passes. All weekend passes include camping.

4 day weekend passes are for Thursday - Sunday.
3 day weekend passes are for Friday - Sunday.

There are two price tiers of 3 and 4 day weekend passes.
Once Tier I sells out only Tier II pricing will be available.

4 Day - Tier I - $169
4 Day - Tier II - $189

3 Day - Tier I - $149
3 Day - Tier II - $179

Enhanced Experience - $245

•4 Day Weekend Pass
•Early Entry at 12pm on Thursday, August 2nd
•Premium Camping
•Festival Poster
•Complimentary "Happy Hour" with snacks and beverages

Enhanced Experiences including lodging (cabins, yurts, teepees) are also available! Please contact enhancedexperiences@yarmonygrass.com for more information and pricing. We're here to help you create the best experiences possible for you and your friends.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Today in Grateful Dead History: Watkins Glen

Grand Prix Racecourse
Watkins Glen, NY

Words By J-man

Today we feature one of the largest gatherings in the history of this great nation!

Grateful Dead Live at Grand Prix Racecourse on July 28, 1973.

Set One: Bertha, Beat It On Down The Line, Brown Eyed Women, Mexicali Blues, Box Of Rain, Here Comes Sunshine, Looks Like Rain, Row Jimmy, Jack Straw, Deal, Playin' In The Band

Set Two: Around & Around, Loose Lucy, Big River, He's Gone-> Truckin'-> Nobody's Fault But Mine-> El Paso, China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Stella Blue, Eyes Of The World, Sugar Magnolia Sing Me Back Home

Encore: Not Fade Away*, Mountain Jam*, Johnny B. Goode*

*Robert Santelli notes that some 600,000 people attended:

"Many historians claimed that the Watkins Glen event was the largest gathering of people in the history of the United States. In essence, that meant that on July 28, one out of every 350 people living in America at the time was listening to the sounds of rock at the New York state racetrack. Considering that most of those who attended the event hailed from the Northeast, and that the average age of those present was approximately seventeen to twenty-four, close to one out of every three young people from Boston to New York was at the festival."

This fantastic show began with an intro by the man himself, Bill Graham. What follows is a crisp soundboard recording full of incredible moments! Highlights of the first set include "Bertha," "Mexicali Blues," "Jack Straw" and "Deal!" Though the first set was enjoyable, the second set unfolds like a dream, with highlights including "He's Gone," "Truckin" into "Nobody's Fault But Mine," "El Paso," "China Cat" into " I know You Rider," "Eyes of The World," "Sugar Magnolia" Now, I'm sure that you're saying to yourself "WOW, what a show!" But wait, here's the kicker... The Allman Brothers Band joined the Dead for their encores which included "Not Fade Away," "Mountain Jam" and "Johnny B. Goode!"

The historical importance of this show is staggering, but even more mind-blowing was the performance that the boys put on that day! We hope that you enjoy this pick from "Today in Grateful Dead History!"


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Phibstock: July 27 – 29

Hartsel, Colorado

Words By Nicholas Stock

Phibstock is a quaint and intimate festival experience being offered in its inaugural year in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Featuring a boatload of local acts and ticket sales limited to just 500 fans, this event promises to be a memorable one. Located in the picturesque South Park Basin in Hartsel, the backdrop is simply stunning. Where the mountains meet the sky at an altitude of 9,000 feet, a singular stage sits at the base of a glorious hill. The surroundings alone are enough to draw a crowd, but there is much more to the overall experience. The lineup includes electro-funk band extraordinaire Juno What!? along with Springdale Quartet, Zobomaze, Human Agency, Signal Path, and more. The music is a nice selection of groups from up and down the Front Range and promises to be a fun festival. In addition to the live music there will be a disc golf tournament, onsite camping, vendors, and more. It will be a relaxing weekend of fun in the sun.

For more information and to purchase tickets go to www.phibstock.com

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Say Cheese: Red Rocks 6.30.01

Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Morrison, CO

Words By Nicholas Stock

With SCI fresh off their Red Rocks run I thought it would be fun to look back at their mind-blowing show from June of 2001. This show absolutely has it all including one of the best “Black Clouds” ever performed as well as a first time played “Windy Mountain.” Not to mention a huge sit in with John Cowan for a first time played version of The Beatles “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” and tons of teases through the second set. They encored with a ridiculous version of Bill Monroe’s “Nine Pound Hammer” and yet another first time played rendition of AC/DC’s “Back In Black” with Cowan again taking the microphone. By all accounts this was simply an electric experience with fans really bringing the energy and pushing the band over the top. 2001 Cheese is a band firing on all cylinders and bringing the heat every night. Pre Jason Hann, post Kyle Hollingsworth it’s an interesting time in the dynamic of the group that really feels “classic” in every sense of the word. The recording on Archive is not a soundboard, but it’s a solid audience recording with very little crowd noise.

String Cheese Incident Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on June 30, 2001.

Set One: Come As You Are, Smile, Black Clouds, Latinissmo, Windy Mountain1, Best Feeling > Jam > On The Road

Set Two: Search, 100 Year Flood, She Came in Through the Bathroom Window2, Can't Stop Now3, Way Back Home, Jellyfish > Rollover4

Encore: Nine Pound Hammer2, Back in Black5

1=first time played
2=with John Cowan on vocals
3=first time played; with John Cowan on bass and vocals (without Keith)
4=with Child in Time (Deep Purple) Jam
5=first time played; with John Cowan on vocals


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday Dead: Deer Creek 7.18.90

Deer Creek Music Center
Noblesville, IN

Grateful Dead Live at Deer Creek Music Center on July 18, 1990.

Set One: Help On The Way-> Slipknot!, Franklin's Tower, Minglewood Blues, Easy To Love You, El Paso, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Brown Eyed Women, Cassidy, Deal

Set Two: China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Looks Like Rain, Terrapin Station-> Jam-> Drums-> Jam-> The Other One-> Morning Dew

Encore: The Weight


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Keller Williams 7.13.12

Mishawaka Amphitheatre
Bellvue, CO

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock

For many, Friday the 13th is a day to stay indoors and avoid contact with ladders and cats shrouded in black fur. For the people of Fort Collins and the Front Range it was a day of celebration that marked the return of live music to the much-loved Mishawaka. The High Park Fire shut down this landmark for a month while fans waited with baited breath to see if she would survive the flames. The outpouring of support and positive thoughts was simply stunning. My heart literally ached as I was constantly checking for updates. There was a lot of misinformation floating around, but the true story was that it was a multi-departmental effort between the U.S. Forest Service, and firefighters from around the country that literally battled the blaze back and “Saved The Mish.” Stay tuned for a video from MusicMarauders detailing the story in full.

Taking the shuttle up gave fans their first glimpse of the devastation of the fire. Literally entire mountainsides were stripped bare of trees and left with a black streak. More than one foundation where a house had been could be seen on the drive up 14. It was a humbling, mind-numbing journey up the Poudre. We arrived early as many patrons did, eager to support Mishawaka and grab a bite to eat before Keller Williams took the stage. Keller went above and beyond by offering up downloads from the show for $10 with all of the money going to support victims of the many fires in Colorado. You can purchase the download and pitch in at LiveDownloads.

Dani and Roger also took the time to announce the Grateful Fund, which will benefit local firefighters for whom they will be collecting money for all summer long. The obvious coming together of the community was palpable all evening.

Keller took the stage a little after 8:00 pm and opened with his rendition of “Fire On The Mountain.” He played a number of fire-themed tunes including “Great Balls of Fire” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire” before telling the crowd, “That’s all the fire songs I know.” He welcomed the gathering to the show with an extended “Freeker By The Speaker” that seemed to stretch on and on. Keller sounded good, this guy is always fun and he continues to play straight from the heart. His ‘flow of consciousness’ style is something that can really only be accomplished by a one-man band. He surprised the audience with his acoustic version of Cage The Elephant’s “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked.” I love how plugged into popular culture Keller is sometimes, seeing him perform “Price Tag” with The McCourys is an example of this. It’s a funny experience to see K-dub’s spin on these types of tracks, which are usually much better than the original. The rest of set saw some more classics including “Love Handles” and a set-closing “More Than A Little” that featured Keller doing the "Carlton" onstage. It was great start to the night and we still had a set to go. Amy and I found ourselves over-tipping the staff and just generally having a great night in the Poudre.

He opened up the second set with a ripping take on Johnny Cash’s “Sam Hall” before quickly breaking into a stellar “Bounty Hunter.” This song contained a “Midnight Rider” tease, which was nice. “Bounty Hunter” just doesn’t get played enough live so it was satisfying to see it at Mishawaka. The second set in general seemed more jam-oriented with some extended flourishes on the guitar by the man himself. The crowd was locked in and seemed happy to be back at this very special place. I was grinning throughout the night taking time to look at the stage and the scorched hill across the street. It stood as a reminder of how close we all came to loosing this amazing locale, which has stood for the better part of a century. Keller broke out a very appropriate “Eyes of The World,” because for a few short weeks the Mishawaka was just that. The world was watching to make sure that this place survived. When you think about how many memories have been fostered there, how many weddings have been celebrated, how many musical masterpieces have been created it’s no wonder that people poured out their hearts and positive vibes for The Mishawaka in their time of true danger.

Now that she is safe and sound it’s time for us to come together and help all those affected. Grab the show download linked above and stay tuned to the Mishawaka Facebook page for details on how to contribute to the Grateful Fund.



Nicholas' Photo Gallery

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Say Cheese: Horning's Hideout

Horning's Hideout
North Plains, OR

Words By J-man

The String Cheese Incident's Summer 2012 tour is winding down. With only three more "incidents" remaining, the SCI family flocks to Horning's Hideout where the tour will conclude. Just two days before the start of this event and fans have yet to be granted an idea of the schedule of performances, but instead just a list of the artists.

-2012 Line-Up-

The String Cheese Incident,Toots & The Maytals, Sam Bush, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, EOTO, The Infamous Stringdusters, Kyle Hollingsworth Band, The Contribution, Honkytonk Homeslice W/ Keith "Moose" Moseley, The Motet, Mexican Institute of Sound, Hamsa Lila, TPolish Ambassador, The Scott Law Reunion Band, Janover, Liza's Gogo Lab, Afromassive, Dead Winter Carpenters, LYNX, Love in The Circus, Poor Man's Whiskey, Diego's Umbrella, The Drunken Hearts, Marley Carroll, DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid, Acorn Project, The Great Mundane, Dusu Mali, Natasha Kmeto, Polecat, Polyrhythmics, Sugarcane, Vagabond Operae, Seraphim, U9lift, Banana Slug String Band, The Spinsterz & More To Be Announced!

In addition to all of the aforementioned bands/musicians there will be Yoga, Fire Dancing, a kid zone, a silent disco and more!

In preparation for this grand occassion, enjoy the three night's below from Horning's Hideout 2005...

String Cheese Incident Live at Hornings Hideout on August 5, 2005.

Set One: Smile, Joyful Sound, MLT, Impressions, Miss Brown's Teahouse, I Fell In Love at the Honkytonk, Water

Set Two: Rivertrance, Search > Drums > Black Clouds > Orion's Belt > Black Clouds, Desert Dawn, This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody), Shine

Encore: Good Times Around the Bend

String Cheese Incident Live at Horning's Hideout on August 6, 2005.

Set One: Best Feeling > Mouna Bowa, Sometimes a River, Doin' My Time, Give Me the Love > Born on the Wrong Planet, One Step Closer > Jam > Close Your Eyes

Set Two: Third Eye Open Ceremonial Theatre (conducted by Jamie Janover)

Set Three: It Is What It Is, Birdland, Restless Wind, On Fire, Black and White, Way Back Home

Encore: Will It Go 'Round in Circles', San Jose

String Cheese Incident Live at Hornings Hideout on August 7, 2005.

Set One: Texas Town, Rhum 'n' Zouc, Catfish John, Stay Thru, 45th of November, Freedom Jazz Dance, Sing a New Song > Little Hands > Dudley's Kitchen

Set Two: Eye Know Why, Big Sciota, How Mountain Girls Can Love, Long Way to Go, Shakin' the Tree, Shantytown, Jellyfish > Jam > Rollover

Encore: Quinn the Eskimo

Travel safely & we'll see you at Horning's!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Dancin’ In The Streets: Red, White & True Blue

Quixote's True Blue
Denver, CO

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock

Tuesday July 3rd, 2012:

After three years in absentia, the Dancin’ In The Streets Music Festival made its triumphant return to Denver. It’s no secret that the high cost of putting on the inaugural festival, as well as the low turnout cost Jay dearly. It was the impetus for him to let go of Cervantes and the downsize to Sancho’s and Quixote’s. Over the past few years Quixote’s has become a hub of live music and is the home of the greatest patio in Denver. It is also the new home of the Dancin’ In The Streets. The entire scope of the event was more doable and smart. Closing off the 2100 block of Lawrence Street with a nicely equipped stage and an Oskar Blues beer truck bookending the block was the perfect setup. Vendors and Live Painters dotted the sidewalks and both the main stage and patio stage of Quixote’s acted as auxiliary performance spaces for the event. Quite simply it all worked and the masses turned out on both days to show their support.

I arrived, as WhiteWater Ramble was finishing up their opening set on the 3rd. I have to say that after Adam Galblum departed from the band I was left with reservations. However the inclusion of Ben Blechman on fiddle certainly impressed me. As a band they’ve always had it in them to be a powerful bluegrass experience, but honestly they have failed to rise to the top over recent years. Their show at Dancin’ In The Streets showed they are ready for a new chapter.

Up next was Grant Farm on the patio. Under the direction of Tyler Grant, Grant Farm has continued to wow audiences on the Front Range and beyond.

Grant Farm Live at Owsley Stage, Dancin' In The Streets on July 3, 2012.

One Set: Green Grant, I Come From The Country, (Ain't No) Nuthin' Gonna Stop This Train, High Country Ladies, Engineer (w/Andy Griffith Theme), Ballad Of A Well-Known Gun, The Hippie Guitar, Green Thumb, The Times Have Changed, ?, Tell Me, Tell Me, My Old Engine, San Ber'dino

Their attention to songwriting and detail while playing are the reason why they continue to shine. One of the Highlights from their set included “(Ain’t No) Nothing Gonna Stop This Train,” which is more of an affirmation about the band than a song title. There was also a group whistling of the Andy Griffith Theme Song in honor of the actor’s death that was a nice moment for everyone involved.

There was some overlap with Grant Farm and Melvin Seals and Jerry Garcia Band, but around 6:00 pm I headed out to the main stage. Melvin Seals is a monster on the keys but during the beginning of his set he felt a little more subdued in the mix. Even during “Johnny Too Bad” he just seemed very light, however during “Sugaree” he exploded on the organ. Dave Hebert on guitar had incredibly accurate tone and was an absolute pleasure to watch play. I was also surprised to see Jimmy Tebeau on bass, I’ve know Jimmy since my freshman year of college as a member of Dead cover band The Schwag. He drives the bus, and it was a great chance to get reconnected with him. The show also featured a massive Deal that was enough to get the crowd dancing in the streets.

Next on the docket was California’s Poor Man’s Whiskey. Famous for covering Pink Floyd with their down home version of Dark Side of The Moon, their original music is a classic blend of rock and bluegrass. Musically they are incredibly talented and the vocals of Josh Brough are tinted with a warm vibrancy that is truly inviting. They were a great touch and I caught them for a while before heading back to the Main Stage for Greensky Bluegrass.

Greensky is one of the premiere young bluegrass acts out there. Along the lines of Head For The Hills, these boys from Michigan bring the heat with every performance. A classic string band lineup with all of the bases covered their inclusion in the festival was a big draw for the crowd, which had swelled to around 1600 people by this point. Their show was a bit laid back, but they busted out some great tunes to keep the audience engaged. “Bottle Dry” and “Broke Mountain Breakdown” were a ton of fun. They ended their set with a bluegrass version of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

During Greensky’s set I headed into the patio for a bit to see Todd Shaeffer and Friends. The Friends included Railroad Earth’s Andrew Altman on bass and Great American Taxi’s Chris Sheldon on a banjo drum contraption. This was a folk-infused experience that seemed like a toned down version of RRE. Todd is an impeccable guitarist and gentle vocalist, however this show just seemed very low key. The talent on the stage would seem to lend itself to some serious picking, but what we got was a very chill encounter. They played beautifully, but at this point in the evening I was searching for more energy.

That energy came in the form of Big Wu on the main stage inside. The Big Wu was a band that I first saw in 2000 and noticed enormous potential in their playing. They fell off the map for several years but recently they have been coming back to Colorado and playing really well. Their most recent addition of Mark Joseph on guitar has seemed to reinvigorate this band of twenty plus years. This is the band that opened the first Bonnaroo, so to see them back onstage was a personal highlight for me. They opened with a version of Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” that felt like an extension of their sound check and also entirely appropriate.

The Big Wu Live at Dancin' In The Streets Festival - Quixote's Stage on July 3, 2012.

Set One: Could You Be Loved, House of Wu, Gimme A Raise, Oxygen> Midnight Rudy, Bloodhound, Save Our Ship> Time, Ophelia

This was a classic Big Wu experience with awesome versions of classic tunes “Gimme A Raise” and “Midnight Rudy.” All in all it was great to see them back at it and really sounding tight.

I hopped outside for a bit to see Conspirator, which is a side project of The Disco Biscuits featuring Mark Brownstein and Aaron Magner. From the first notes of their performance to the end almost two hours later they didn’t stop. They are an electronic dance party powerhouse and it was an interesting catch at this diverse festival.

The late night had arrived as the crowd moved indoors for Octopus Nebula and the main event, Cornmeal.

Octopus Nebula Live at Dancin' In The Streets Festival on July 3, 2012.

Set One: Octopied, Impermanence (Hol Baumann vs Sphongle), Old School Daze, Water Monk > Cyberstep, Alien Getaway*, Enable 2012* > Garden in the Shade*, Sumati, Asoyo, Technicolor, Time Grows On, Anahata, Hope

* with Dan Hanson on Sax and Flute

Cornmeal never fails to deliver in Colorado. They are incredibly fun and are ridiculous pickers. I was stoked that they were integrated into the lineup not once but twice. Their show on the patio was a solid demonstration of what they are capable of. They went all the way to just before 2:00 am on the packed porch. They played a beautiful set and it was a great way to close out day one of Dancin’ In The Streets.

Wednesday July 4th, 2012:

I woke up slightly hung over and caught an early cab down to day two at Quixote’s. I arrived early as The Congress was getting the nascent crowd ready. It’s always difficult to be one of the first bands on the bill because only the hardcore will be in attendance. Being a huge fan of this rock outfit and Jonathan Meadows’ vocals, I knew I couldn't miss it. These guys have paired down to a three-piece since the last time I saw them live. Highlights from the show included a rousing “Jonah Gideon” and a powerful “Keep Virginia.” It was an excellent start to my second day on Lawrence Street.

All of the early shows were on the Main Stage outside meaning there was some time allotted to change out equipment. It gave the fans plenty of instance to leisurely melt into the day. Greensky Bluegrass was up next, and their set was better than the night before. Maybe it was the sun, maybe it was the energy, but Greensky brought the boil on day two. It was a fun and bouncy set that included an epic version of Prince’s “When Doves Cry” and a ridiculous “How Mountain Girls Can Love.” They really brought the crowd in as literally hundreds filtered in during their set. I was totally impressed with their daytime performance and they left me wanting more. They invited Jay Bianchi and Vince Herman up to do the chicken dance during their set. My surprise was two-fold given the fact that Vince wasn’t on the bill and I had never seen Jay dance on stage before. It really set the mood.

Next up was an extended version of Todd Sheaffer and Friends from what we saw the day before on the patio. Including both Allie Kral and Vince Herman in addition to Chris and Andrew, it didn’t suck. The show began with a duo between Todd and Allie on “Potter’s Field.” It was a stunning beginning to a string show. The rest of the band returned, and Vince drifted on and off the stage. Martin Sexton joined the group for a patriotic rendition of “This Land Is Your Land.” It had the same relaxed feel as the day prior, but musically there was a vibrancy that really pleased the crowd.

Grateful Dead Tribute band Shakedown Street took the indoor stage at Quixote’s around 7:00 pm. Their delivery was solid and obviously totally in check with the Dancin’ In The Streets Festival. In fact they played the only rendition of the song from which the name of the event came from. Vince Herman sat in with them on the majority of their set including a wicked version of “Fire on The Mountain.”

I was drawn outside to the patio by the acoustic rumblings of Duck Pond who proved to be the surprise of the entire festival. These guys were full of life and added an energy that I had been searching for throughout the two-day show. They did a mash up of “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” with “Whiskey Before Breakfast” that was as silly as it was well executed.

Donavan Frankenreiter was on the main stage outside by this point so I headed out to catch a glimpse of his show. The nice thing about the fest was how close and maneuverable it all was. You could litteraly bounce from stage to stage with just a whim and grab a beer on the way. In that regard it was really well setup. Donavon was a Brushfire Records performer who along the lines of Jack Johnson hosts more singalong type shows. He had a rockier edge though and he was certainly enjoyable to see live. He was one of many firsts for me at Dancin’ In The Streets. That again was the nice thing about the festival, lots of great music I was wholly familiar with and few bands I had never seen live to keep me engaged.

I went back inside to catch the end of Duck Pond before venturing back into the street for Martin Sexton. He had a small but dedicated crowd assembled for his set. He had a certain animation about his playing that was half flow of consciousness half utter showmanship. He strummed his guitar briskly and softly playing a wide variety of songs.

Big Wu went on late around 8:00 pm so I stayed to see them for a bit. They opened with “Shoot The Moon.”

The Big Wu Live at Dancin' In The Streets Festival on July 4, 2012.

Set One: Shoot The Moon, Texas Fireball, Tequila, The Hobo Song, Red Sky, U.S. Blues, Mean Spirits> Shantytown, Dixie Chicken, Southern Energy, The Star Spangled Banner> Rhode Island Red, Kangaroo

I stayed through “Red Sky” and they sounded great, however with three days of String Cheese Incident looming at Red Rocks, I opted to call it an early night. Sadly I missed Cornmeal and JGB’s repeat performances, but from all reports they killed it.

JGB Live at Dancin' In The Streets Festival on July 4, 2012.

Set One: Second That Emotion > They Love Each Other, Tore Up > The Way You Do The Things You Do, That's The Touch I Like, Positively 4th Street

Set Two: The Harder They Come, You Never Can Tell, Catfish John, Ain't No Bread In The Breadbox > My Sisters & Brothers > Everybody Needs Somebody To Love

Imagine Live at Dancin' In The Streets Festival on July 4, 2012.

Set One: Shotgun House, Let Me Love You Baby, Wharf Rat, City Of Tiny Lites

Dancin’ In The Streets came off without a hitch and although the turnout was less on the 4th of July, there were still plenty of people who made it down overall. Fans mingled with artists as they strolled about the grounds. The normally laid back vibe of Quixote’s seemed to permeate the entire show. I’m glad this festival has made its glorious return to Denver. The Bianchi’s deserve to have an event that showcases what they bring to scene. Dancin’ In The Streets did just that.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Today in Grateful Dead History: Ventura, CA 1985

Ventura County Fairgrounds
Ventura, CA

Words By J-man

Grateful Dead Live at Ventura County Fairgrounds on July 14, 1985.

Set One: Hell In A Bucket, They Love Each Other, My Brother Esau, Althea, Cassidy, Big Railroad Blues-> Looks Like Rain-> Might As Well

Set Two: China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Samson & Delilah-> Ship of Fools, Estimated Prophet-> Eyes Of The World-> Drums-> Truckin'-> Smokestack Lightning-> Black Peter-> Throwing Stones-> Not Fade Away

Encore: Day Job

1985 brought a burst of energy to The Grateful Dead and this show from The Ventura County Fairgrounds in 1985 is a perfect example of the energizing force in action. The first set kicks off with the Bob Weir led "Hell in A Bucket" followed by the ever so beautiful "They Love Each Other." Additional first set highlights include "Althea," "Cassidy" and "Might As Well." The first set builds up at a fantastic pace, with the second set beginning with "China Cat" > "I Know You Rider." The band had a clear hop in their step at this point in time with second set highlights including "Samson and Delilah," "Estimated Prophet," "Eyes of The World," an extended "Space" and "Not Fade Away."

The energy, the sound quality and the song selection all make this the perfect pick for our "Saturday Dead" and consequently "Today in Grateful Dead History!" Start at the beginning, click play and let this show from 1985 help to fuel your Saturday!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Electric Forest Music Festival 6.29.12

Words & Photos By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)

Day 2: Friday

Duwe, Anthony, and my decision to camp in near the tree line proved to be the best we made all weekend. Waking up to the temperature quickly approaching 90° F, I had little motivation to do anything other than relax in the shade for a few hours. During that time, stories of travels and the previous night’s experiences were shared among neighbors. It’s always interesting to hear of concerts and festivals your new friends have attended. Instant connections are made, and many times, lifelong relationships are built from these conversations.

As the day crept into the afternoon, I braved the heat and wandered into the concert grounds. Much hyped guitarist Gary Clark Jr. was the first show on Friday’s agenda. Playing a mix of slow blues and straight rock tunes, the set underwhelmed me. Clark Jr. certainly carries the skills of a fine musician, but his guitar sounded too low in the mix. Considering I’d heard rave reviews from numerous sources prior to the show, I arrived expecting a guitarist who’d be performing as loud as possible. Instead, the music came across as an attempt at radio friendliness. During the last tune, an intense jam broke loose as Clark Jr. finally started shredding his axe like expected. The finale was worth sticking around to watch the set’s conclusion, but where had this been during the rest of the performance?

Walking from the The Ranch Arena where Clark Jr. had finished, I arrived to the Tripolee Dome to hear the jamtronica sounds of Brothers Past. I only caught the last half of the set but what I heard made me wish I’d witnessed its entirety. They were in the midst of a jazzy, electronic freak out jam as I approached the stage, sounding more interesting than anything I’d seen at Gary Clark Jr. The rest of the performance moved back and forth from dance grooves to rock jams and back again. Tom Hamilton, Brother’s Past’s guitarist and band leader, openly showed his enjoyment of the group’s output as he directed them through song segments. Although the crowd was sparse, they loved what Brother’s Past was throwing down.

From Brother’s Past, I made my way towards the Forest, first stopping at the Ranch Arena to catch a few songs from Midnite. Not expecting any throughout the weekend, I was thrilled at the opportunity to hear some authentic roots reggae at Electric Forest. Vocalist Vaughn Benjamin captivated immediately. His chilling voice evoked an incredible amount of sadness, and although it difficult to decipher the lyrics, you couldn’t help but feel every emotion he was transmitting from microphone to audience. Music is indeed a language unto itself.

I would’ve loved to watch all of Midnite, but my most anticipated set of the weekend was fast approaching - Nashville’s The Infamous Stringdusters. Their first of two sets at Electric Forest could be seen on the Forest Stage, a small raised platform near the edge of Sherwood Forest, and wow, The Stringdusters are something else. They’re scary good. Perfectly good. Holy shit good. Their cohesiveness while jamming bluegrass seems telepathic, so skillful that you stand in disbelief on how they’re pulling off what they’re performing. Only slowing down momentarily to play a few heartfelt tunes such as “High on a Mountaintop” and The Grateful Dead’s “He’s Gone,” the rest of their two hour set drove home the goods at an insane tempo, barely giving the crowd a chance to catch their breath jam after jam. It’s tough to make comparisons from show to show, but this one ranks as some of the best music I’ve seen live. Go see this band!!!

Near the end of the Stringdusters’ set, I headed towards Break Science featuring Chali 2na at Sherwood Court. Although I’m not particularly keen on dubstep, Break Science delivered more soul to the genre than most. Infusing R & B, blues, and funk samples to the mix, the drummer / producer duo took their time, developing rich melodic ideas before dropping into the stereotypical midrange womp people love these days. Jurassic Five’s Chali 2na joined Break Science for their final tune. 2na, rhyming over the break beats of beast drummer Adam Deitch, took control from the moment he stepped onstage. It takes a certain type of hip hop to take me to a higher place, and this was it. Like a ball of lyrically savvy energy, 2na’s brief time onstage spun the crowd into hysteria - to watch the crowd go absolutely bananas for that brief moment was in itself worth the trip to Sherwood Court.

After Break Science, folks congregated at The Ranch Arena from every direction, joining together in anticipation of the first of three performances by The String Cheese Incident. They hit the stage to a huge ovation from the audience and wasted little time getting to business, opening with a ten-minute version of “Smile,” happily making me do exactly that. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there’s no denying String Cheese as masters of their craft. The band’s ability to write a powerful set list is their greatest asset - taking the crowd on a journey by varying tempo and dynamic, dull moments were few and far between during this performance.

I’ve seen tighter Cheese shows but there were many moments of sheer improvisational brilliance throughout. “Close Your Eyes > Orange Blossom Special” marked the highlight of the first set, while the second set’s gems of “Rhythm of the Road,” “Colliding,” and “Texas” were filled with inspired, purposeful jamming. After the “Texas” set close, my buddy Adam leaned towards me and said, “Great show, let’s hope they don’t screw it up.” Well, maybe he shouldn’t have set that, because the encore ruined the show for some folks. What started as a typical “Desert Dawn” drifted into an electronic jam, and by Jason Hann and Michael Travis’s leading drum parts, you could feel it coming. And bam, there it was. Desert dubstep. Approximately a third of the crowd went ape shit when they dropped the womp, with the other two-thirds looking around wondering what the hell Cheese was doing. Musically, I found the segment to be intriguing. Cheese executed it perfectly, thought I’d be pleased if they’d shelve the impromptu EOTO sets altogether.

Set One: Smile, Close Your Eyes > Orange Blossom Special, Look At Where We Are, Pack It Up, Give Me The Love, Can’t Wait

Set Two: Climb, Jam > Rhythm Of The Road~, Colliding, Doin’ My Time, VOTJ, Way Back Home, Texas

Encore: Desert Dawn

With Cheese finished, nighttime had fallen as Atlanta’s Sound Tribe Sector 9 began the first of two Electric Forest performances at Sherwood Court. I didn’t last long at this one, catching the first four tunes consisting of “March > Scheme > 20-12 > Hidden Hand Hidden Fist.” The stunning light show, impressive as it was, would only hold my attention for so long due to the band’s lackluster performance. The sound was quiet and the new tunes simply don’t move you like the older material does. Dance music should make you want to dance, yet after the dull beginning of the show, I headed towards Thievery Corporation at The Ranch Arena. Hopefully STS9 would bring the heat the following day.

Thievery Corporation was unfamiliar territory before this performance. I’d heard great things about them, and they did not disappoint. Their vast sonic range included reggae, hip hop, and world-influenced themes, displaying a deep ability to take the audience though unique journeys during each offering. As much as I would’ve liked to stay for the entire show, I grew too tired to fully appreciate. With eyes barely open and sore muscles that needed a good night’s sleep, I made the trip back to the campsite for some much needed shuteye. The festival was half over, I had already received my money’s worth after two days of entertainment. What a day…

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