Roosevelt Collier's Colorado Get Down 11.19 - 11.21.15
Words By J. Picard
Photos By J. Mimna Photography
The music industry is an industry of challenges, ups and downs. This story begins with immediate challenges that we met with adversity and an overwhelming influx of support that reflects the true nature of the Colorado music scene. The week started with the closing of The 1up - Colfax, a Denver venue that had quickly become a staple on the national scene. The mad scramble ensued with both myself and the musicians making phone calls to nail down a new venue for Friday and Saturday, and to obtain gear for the run. Within' twenty four hours of being handed lemons, we had already made lemonade. Long time Denver promoter and venue owner, Jay Bianchi, stepped up to make the move to Quixote's True Blue for the Denver, shows! A few phone calls later and the announcement was made to an incredible response!
The Fox Theatre
Thursday November 19, 2015:
Tom Hamilton's American Babies opened the evening with a unique blend of Rock, Americana and fantastic songwriting. Over the course of the past couple of years I have seen American Babies a handful of times, and that evening at The Fox represented the most well packaged product that I have seen from the band. Tom's soaring guitar work coupled with the heavy bass lines of Clay Parnell helped to establish the band's signature sound, but the sweet vocals and rhythm guitar work of Raina Mullen brought a new spice to the American Babies material. A short hour later, their opening set concluded to a quickly filling room.
Backstage Colorado Get Down warmed up and prepared for their first performance of the weekend. Roosevelt finalized the setlists as Bill worked on the lead part for Allman Brothers Band's "Hot Lanta," a song that they were considering attempting after some more practice. Our team's photographer, Jim Mimna (Former 1up House Photographer) popped in to stash his stuff and Bill quickly slid over to discuss camera gear. A short time later, the setlist was ready and Jim snapped a group shot before Roosevelt Collier, Matt Lapham (Shak Nasti) and Jeremy Salken (Big Gigantic) took the stage to a large applause!
The greenroom packed in with guests as the party ensued. The venue cleared out and tear down commenced. The Fox Theatre has one of, if not the best stage crew in the country, resulting in a smooth execution from start to finish. Jeremy and I cleared out some of the remaining hospitality and a short time later, everyone headed in their respective directions. For us, it would be back to Denver to rest and prepare for the weekend's wild card shows at Quixote's.
Jim's Fox Theatre Photo Gallery
Quixote's True Blue
Friday November 20, 2015:
Following the conclusion of soundcheck myself, Roosevelt, Bill, Joel and Matt headed over to Mongolian BBQ where we were joined by my wife, Carly, as well as our friends Murray, Matt and Teri. Upon our arrival we bellied up to the bar for a shot to set the pace for dinner. Snow fell on Denver, with members of Colorado Get Down well fed and heading back to the venue for the evening's sets. The band warmed up and talked through the setlist backstage while Aqueous warmed up the room on the dancefloor, literally, due to the mass of their gear. Joel sat in with Aqueous for the last song or two of their set for a fantastic. Colorado Get Down took the stage in the same format as the previous night except instead of Jeremy, Dave Watts (The Motet) would command the drums. A song or two later, Joel was welcomed to the stage, then Bill on "Hot Lanta," which sounded more calculated and tighter than the previous evening's version. A quick hour after they took the stage the band exited for a quick set break.
Jim's Quixote's True Blue Photo Gallery
Saturday November 21, 2015:
We got a late start on the day followed by a big breakfast with myself, Carly, Roosevelt and Matt. Soundcheck was scratched and we ended up at The Ogden Theater where Greensky Bluegrass had sold the venue out. Backstage we were greeted by the Greensky gentleman, who were warming up and ran into Joel and Eric Krasno. Greensky headed upstairs to the stage with both Joel and Roosevelt in tow, to the delight of the capacity crowd. After a couple of songs, we were on our way to Quixote's for the final evening of the Colorado Get Down run. Backstage the band laughed and joked as they pieced together the setlist. A short time later, Colorado Get Down took the stage for their final performance of the run. Once again, Roosevelt started with Matt and Dave as a trio, while Joel and Bill worked their way out after a couple of songs.
The second set also welcomed special guests Emily Clark and Jeremy Salken for a couple of fantastic tunes! Towards the end of the second set the band performed The String Cheese Incident's "Jelly Fish," with Bill at the helm. At one point the crowd yelled "Alice!" triggering Matt to look up with unexpected delight as he was unaware of the subtle nuances and crowd participation of the song. After the conclusion of "Jelly Fish" I stepped up and whispered to Roosevelt "there is no curfew tonight and it's Bill's Birthday." "It's Bill's Birthday," Roosevelt asked, half doubting me. "Yup," I said with a smile. Roosevelt got on the mic and to the surprise of Bill, he announced that it was Bill's Birthday! Bill happily played along as people wished him a happy birthday. A short time later the band exited the stage and I stepped up to the mic to rally the packed house for an encore. The band played one final jam and concluded around 2:15 AM.