Leftover Salmon with Gipsy Moon & Grant Farm 4.18 - 4.19.14
Fort Collins, CO
Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock (Fat Guerilla Productions)
Leftover Salmon treated us to two sets both nights. This band is finally finding a secure footing after the addition of Alwyn Robinson on drums and Little Feat’s Bill Payne on keys. Payne started as a special addition for a limited number of performances. However, he has been present in the lineup more often than not over the last year. I continue to wait for an official announcement from Salmon regarding Payne’s membership status, but currently I’m just happy he keeps appearing regularly. Night one had a relaxed feel and musically this band is on fire. Since their hiatus and return, Leftover Salmon has been continuously rebuilding. From the expulsion of Bill McKay to Andy Thorn’s replacement of Matt Flinner it seems that this band has been searching for equilibrium. It’s safe to say that Salmon has finally found that balance. Their onstage antics between Drew, Greg, Vince and Andy was proof this band is finding utter enjoyment in their performances nightly. The relaxed feel of night one was replaced by a fervor on night two.
The Grant Farm, on the cusp of releasing a their new album, Plowin’ Time, opened up the second show. Everyone I talk to has some preconceived notion on what this band should sound like. Most remember Grant as a flat picking champion or as a member of Emmitt Nershi Band. When Grant Farm takes the stage, opinions are shattered by the explosive rock sound that blasts from the speakers. They played for about an hour and by the end it was obvious that many more fans had opted for the Saturday show. The floor had filled in nicely when Salmon came under the spotlights.
Furthermore, the Aggie has long been a pariah of venues along the Front Range. It seems that the constant scrutinization of the Fort Collins Police Department has finally pushed this venue to explore what has been necessary for quite some time, going 21 and up. These two nights with Salmon should be a testament to that endeavor. No issues, calm atmosphere and an utter lack of drama prevailed on the floor as the band played on. I’m not calling for an out and out ban of underage shows at the Aggie, but if you are catering to younger audiences don’t sell booze. It’s that simple. Time will tell if the Aggie can find their own footing again in the Fort Collins music scene, but one thing is for certain Leftover Salmon is creating some of the best music of their career. They have found the proper personnel to propel them back into the spotlight. Salmon is often cited as an innovator and inspiration to bands like the String Cheese Incident and Yonder Mountain String Band. It is time people remember why. Leftover Salmon is the whole package, and after years of turbulence they are finally swimming in calm waters. Their musical output is at an all time high and I for one could not be happier.
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