Head For The Hills 11.2.12

The Aggie Theatre
Fort Collins, CO

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock

The Aggie; the site of my future nuptials, would also play host to the first part of my bachelor party. My best man Ben arrived early and after a nice day of disc golf we met up with a few friends and headed to Old Town. We arrived as Austin’s native sons MilkDrive were warming up the crowd. Touring in support of their recent sophomore release entitled Waves, which includes sit-ins from Noam Pikelny and Futureman. They had a subtle brand of bluegrass with a strong attention to detail. Comprised of Noah Jeffries on guitar, Dennis Ludiker on mandolin, Brian Beken on Fiddle and Met Mefford on double bass this group followed mostly traditional picking with some jazzy overtones. The highlight was a bluegrass breakdown of The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.” I honestly hope they make it back; they were a lot of fun. It’s nice to see bands from other regions making their way into the Colorado scene.

Local export Head For The Hills came back home for a night at the Aggie. They have been touring stalwarts, crisscrossing this country spreading their amazing strain of bluegrass far and wide. They definitely bring the heat whenever they perform back here, and this Friday night was no exception.

Set One: Goin’ Down> Wild Horse, Never Does, Take Me Back, Lost In Loop, Blue Orchid, Celtic> Nellie, ?, Dependency Co., Lonesome Pine, Little Sadie, Priscilla The Chinchilla, Scrap Metal, A Bowl of Bula, Hornet’s Nest> Lonesome Pine, ?, Brian, Spring

Set Two: Nooks and Crannies, Oxford Town, Blue Ruin, Chapchik, Love Come Home, Scribes Eye, Down River Road, Mockingbird, New Lee Highway Boogie> ?> Call Me The Breeze, Unchain My Heart, PBM, ?, My Angelia

Encore: One Foot In The Grave

These guys are just too good, however for some reason as the music started the venue seemed less crowded than usual. In fact the last few times I’ve seen Head For The Hills at The Aggie, they’ve sold out the room. This was definitely not the case for this show, which was really surprising. It seems lately that Fort Collins is seeing a reduction in concertgoers and I’m not exactly sure why. Head For The Hills has been steadily improving while widening their repertoire and adding new songs. Off of a banner performance at Telluride Bluegrass Festival I foresee them continuing their momentum nationally, but I worry that locals are finding other things to spend their ticket money on.

Their setlist was solid and I would have to say that is was an all-around excellent show. Mike, Matt, Joe, and Adam are stoically amazing as they play. It’s hard to think of another band that has the amount of focus they do while performing. They opened with a Colorado favorite “Goin’ Down.”

Additional highlights from the first set included a take on the White Stripes’ “Blue Orchid” and a ripping version of their instrumental “Priscilla The Chinchilla.” Head For The Hills opened the second set with a nice “Nooks and Crannies.” They also nailed their now classic version of Bobby Sharp’s “Unchain My Heart.” They encored with another fan favorite, “One Foot In The Grave.” It was another great show from a band that continues to impress audiences across the country. Head For The Hills is like a well-tuned Buick; they are never going to stop. Playing across this great land they have honed their skills and paid their dues. They never cease to impress me. Do yourself a favor and support this amazing bluegrass act and get out and see them live.

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