Well, we made it to Colorado in pretty good time with my personal journey made more pleasant as I had Brett and Jemaine from “Flight of the Conchords” to keep me company. The great thing about long travel days is having the time to catch up on reading, sleeping, listening to music, watching DVD’s etc, provided you aren’t driving of course:) Over the years most of us have enjoyed watching seasons at a time of CSI, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire etc…Jason’s still old school as he still passes his time in the back of the van listening to Flatt and Scruggs and reading the Old Testament.
Our destination was Laporte, Colorado to play a show at a roadhouse called the Swing Station. The folks that run the place are super passionate about music and bring in all kinds of great bands. Wayne the Train Hancock, The Derailers, Corb Lund etc…It reminds me of some of the places we’ve played in Texas over the years. It was a Sunday night, so we had a small but enthusiastic group of locals show up to enjoy the show. There were a couple of guys that must have spent their day off drinking a few too many cans of Coors that were a little obnoxious. Jumping on stage to play the piano, knocking over pool cues etc…but Rebecca gave them the stink eye and that put a stop to their unruly behaviour. Don’t mess with Texas. Or Reba! We played a short set and made our way down the road to our hotel in Denver tempted ever so slightly by the Waffle House not once but twice. They don’t have too many out West. I like the fact they have old-fashioned jukeboxes. We went to one in Tennessee and some yahoo, maybe it was me, put on “Rocky Top” as we were leaving to the groans of the waitresses. Twenty-five cents well spent!
We arrived at the airport Doubletree in Denver just in time for fresh complimentary cookies. I’m not sure if they give them to everyone who checks in but they always come through for us. Maybe it’s our charming Canadian demeanor. They are tasty, but calorically they are the equivalent of a half-hour on the treadmill. But you only live once right?
It’s great to be in the same hotel for 2 days. When you wake up you essentially have a day to yourself before the evening show. I’m sure some people in the band took long showers, had a Greek salad at Panera bread and burned off a couple of cookies watching TMZ/Oprah on the treadmill. We all met up at 7 and headed down to Quixote’s for the show. Quixote’s is attached to Cervante’s Ballroom in the 5 points(?) area of Denver and is one of five music venues that the promoter Jay and his brother operate. There is a decidedly Grateful Dead/Jam Band vibe there for sure. It’s kind of like stepping back in time. Concert posters, photos and live Grateful Dead concerts playing most of the time there isn’t a band on stage. The first band was from Brooklyn. I didn’t catch their name but they were hard to ignore as they had a tall thin man from Argentina in super tight short shorts and knee high seventies sports socks parading around. It was kind of like watching the 1978 Wimbledon quarterfinals. The second band was more pleasing to the eye. Junior League from D.C. featured some cool fiddling and an attractive woman named Lissy in a yellow dress playing banjo and singing. We finally took the stage close to midnight and played some music. Some new. Some old. The onstage sound was a little weird as the monitors weren’t working properly but judging by the mix for the first two bands and the smiles on the faces of the dancers, everything coming out of the main speakers was hunky dory. Once again, a small but appreciative crowd. It was a Monday night after all, but Denver continues to be a tough nut to crack. It’s kind of stayed the same for us the last five years or so. We did have some crowded weekend gigs back in 2002 or so including playing a show at the old Quixote’s on Broadway with Stir Fried featuring the legendary fiddler Vassar Clemens. But we remain hopeful that new music and fun shows will generate word of mouth for next time through not just in Denver but everywhere really. Here’s to a fun night of music featuring bands from Brooklyn, D.C. and Vancouver!