Two Nights of The Infamous Stringdusters 2.15 & 2.16



The Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO

Words & Photos By Kevin Hahn


It is becoming harder for me to write about a band that continually impresses night after night, concert after concert, and show after show. What I mean by this is, once I have praised a certain band for being spectacular, inspirational, and awesome, is it necessary to keep slathering on the musical compliments? Is there such a thing as too much “positivity” when it comes to your favorite band or musician? Can the outpouring of the emotions and utter jaw-dropping love get to a bands head and possibly affect their performance on stage? In this case, we will have to experiment with these very questions as I can truly not find a bad thing to say critically (I know, very surprising) with the 2-night run the Infamous Stringdusters provided us with at The Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado. Have you heard these bluegrass soon-to-be titans as of late? In my opinion these guys are the “hot” thing on the jam-grass scene, the next big act, or as some might say the absolute “Bee’s Knees” when it comes to plucking those strings. But how do they continually put on these beautiful shows that cause listeners to move their feet and have a massive smile on their faces the entire time?

Traveling through our great state of Colorado on their hopefully annual Ski-Tour, the Infamous Stringdusters had a giant task in front of them. Not only were they going to have to ski everyday on a different mountain, but they were also required to rip faces off hundreds of ready and willing bluegrass loving Coloradoans. From Vail, to Fort Collins, and through to my hometown of Boulder, the Dusters left a path of outright destruction behind them. Hearts exploded, faces melted, and feet were hurting all across our great state as the Dusters went from show to show blasting our ears off with some of the most beautiful bluegrass one can imagine. Each member of the five person musical unit plays a key and integral part in what the Infamous Stringdusters bring to the table each and every night. From Chris Pandolfi on the banjo, to Andy Falco on the guitar the Dusters do not have any exposed weaknesses. Unlike my San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, the Dusters are ready to rip it anytime they are called upon. Solos are thrown around on stage like a light-up Frisbee, and not one member misses a beat. But how is this possible? Even the best of bands on the scene today seem to have an off night or a song that just doesn't fit with the evening’s performance, but not the Dusters. Could these five humble and soft-spoken gents be our next bluegrass Super-heroes?

Travis Book (bass), Andy Falco (guitar), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), Andy Hall (dobro), and Chris Pandolfi (banjo) are the Infamous Stringdusters. Each member brings something unique and special to the unit. Whether it’s Travis’s big booming voice or Andy Hall’s interesting taste in fashion this band has an intense amount of personality waiting to smack ya right in the face! Jeremy Garrett is an amazing fiddle player with flawless technique exuding out of every note he plays. Chris Pandolfi’s on-stage laughter/smile is contagious and his banjo playing has been described as “Bela Fleck-esque”. (See my previous Stringduster review) A recently christened dad, Travis Book has a beautiful, deep voice that echoes through any sound system with a woodsy like quality. Andy Falco and his red pants are a force to be reckoned with via stage left as his fast/furious way of picking on that guitar reminds me of another bluegrass hero of mine… Mr. Billy Nershi. With The Fox Theatre run being two nights, us Boulderites were given the opportunity to truly see what this band is capable of and wow did they impress!

Night one in Boulder was full of all sorts of musical goodness. From Duster originals such as “Far I Fall”, “High Country Funk”, and “Telluride” to Jerry Garcia classics “Jack-a-Roe” and “He’s Gone” our bluegrass superheroes provided special moments with each song that raged by. There are almost too many highlights to name, but the “Rain” from the first set was especially heady, or crunchy as some of you jam-banders like to say. For the encore the Dusters treated us to a classic bluegrass number “Steam Powered Aeroplane” with Travis Book taking lead on vocals. All in all Night one was downright fantastic and the hundreds of sweaty Boulderites were extremely appreciative of the performance. What would these masters of the strings give us for Night two? Would it be more of the same awesomeness or would the mighty El Dora Mountain in Nederland tire the boys out and bring us a lackluster second performance?

Saturday night, or night two of the run was another typical Infamous Stringduster show. No frills, no computers, no womp… just straight up beautiful jam-grass music. “Changes”, “Fork in the Road”, “Get it While You Can”, and “Loving You” were some of the Duster originals which are starting to become staples on most of my friends I-product. “Deep Elm Blues”, “I Know You Rider”, and “Up on Cripple Creek” were the cover highlights of the evening and all three were outstanding renditions of songs which many bands do, but not many do well. My personal highlight of the evening was the Chris Pandolfi led tune “Machine” which showcased his filthy banjo skills while providing a beautiful melodic sound. To sum up Night two is like being forced to chug an expensive glass of wine, it’s tough but sometimes it just has to happen. Night two was just another example of how the Dusters have completely captured the jamgrass scene’s attention and more noticeably this past weekend how much love we Coloradoans have for this band. The ovations were deafening and the screams ear piercing, but the music is just that good.

If it is not evident already, I have a huge musical crush on these guys. The Infamous Stringdusters are slowly creeping into the upper echelon of bands in my opinion… getting right up there with their good friends, The String Cheese Incident. I truly believe we will be seeing them headline at Red Rocks this summer (PLEASE!), and I hope that they continue their love for Colorado because we are ready to adopt them as our own whenever possible. Thank you to Chris, Andy, Jeremy, Travis, and Andy for an amazing weekend and I hope to see you guys soon. Now if I could get all this dust off my shoes before the next show…

Kevin's Photo Gallery

www.thestringdusters.com


Comments

  1. heh those are my arms in the air in front of Andy in that last photo

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  2. FYI "Telluride" is a David Grisman tune and "Get It While You Can" is by Danny Barnes

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