YarmonyGrass Pre-Party feat. Members of Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters & Amos Lee 7.31.14

The 1up - Colfax
Denver, CO

Words By J. Picard
Photos By Jim Mimna (J. Mimna Photography)

July 31st was not just another Thursday in Denver, for that night, string music fans would gather for a magical evening that included some of their favorite musicians and unexpected happenings. Leading up to the event, the words "very special guests" were used to convey the significance of those who would turn out without utilizing their names as a handful would be playing Red Rocks in the days to follow. Acoustic duo, Wichita Run, got the evening started as folks began to filter through the door. Out in front of the venue a line started to form as Tim Carbone and Andy Goessling of Railroad Earth arrived. While walking through the arcade with Tim and Andy, it was great to see people stop what they were doing, take note of the guests and respond with pure joy. The incoming musicians were escorted backstage where they were greeted by Andrew McConathy and The Drunken Hearts, as well as Dave Bruzza of Greensky Bluegrass and Chris Pandolfi of The Infamous Stringdusters. The green room immediately came to life with musicians tuning their instruments, warming up and working out parts for the evening. Folks at The 1up - Colfax were in for a treat. Even the staff and those involved with the success of the show were in for a few surprises as the evening unfolded.

The Drunken Hearts took the stage as "The YarmonyGrass All Stars" to the delight of many of their fans who have taken to riding the rail at their recent shows. Following a few originals, McConathy called the first of the evening's guests to the stage. Halfway through the first set the cards were on the table as Facebook updates and tweets were sent out alerting those fans who were not present, what they were missing. The musicians seemed to be having so much fun playing with each other while the crowd got down and celebrated the impending conclusion of their work week. The vibe was so light and enjoyable with smiling faces floating through an adult paradise filled with classic arcade games from the past and momentary present. As the first set wound down, more fans and musicians continued to turn out to get in on the action.

Backstage, the energy level was high and there was some excitement about the possibility of Amos Lee turning out as he and his band were in town to play Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra the following night. A short time later the mixed group returned to finish what they had started. The fans were excited about the evening's guests and the amount of talent in the room. The evening's final guest was called to the stage to the surprise of everyone in attendance, including the staff and musicians themselves. Amos Lee took the stage with members of his band and members of the All Stars. The crowd responded accordingly and with appreciation. The Drunken Hearts returned and finished strong as the 2:00 AM hour approached.

Since the doors opened at 717 E. Colfax Avenue, The 1up has been a who's who of talent, both on stage and off, with people turning out form all over the country to witness the high quality product the venue is outputting. That night, The 1up featured a plethora of folks who would be taking the Red Rocks stage that weekend. Aside from the incredible concept of mixing a top notch arcade with a top of the line venue, The 1up - Colfax has literally become a hang out for musicians on a national level. Folks like Andrew McConathy and The Drunken Hearts continue to draw fantastic guests and make for magical evenings on Colfax. That night, the proof was in the pudding.

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