The Mishawaka Amphitheater is certainly well known for its intimate location located 30 minutes up the Poudre Canyon. In such a scenic area, it’s no surprise the success of this venue. The Mish consistently puts on quality shows from local bands to national touring acts. A night with Good Gravy headlining just feels natural at Mish. The local jam-grass quintet is no stranger to area, with a big following in Fort Collins. I was certainly looking forward to seeing them rock out the indoors at the Mishawaka.
I left for the Mish sometime after 7pm, the Mish has a convenient shuttle system that can take you up the canyon and back for a reasonable rate. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it in time for shuttle, So I made the drive up the Poudre canyon. The Mishawaka isn’t too far up the canyon once you get in it, about 30 minutes or so. I arrived right before the opener, Frogs Gone Fishin’, started their set.
All the music played inside is in the SpokesBuzz Lounge, named after the non-profit that supports and helps the growth of local bands. The inside has a warm, rustic feel. I enjoyed the huge wood burning fire place in the room, and so did everyone else, it was tough to find a spot to stand near it. As Frogs Gone Fishin’ kicked off their set, the dance floor began fill up. Frogs Gone Fishin’ played a fun set, they play with a funk, rock sound and catchy jams laced within. They played with good energy, the dance floor was moving easily. I was drawn toward the play of the bass player, he laid down some righteous funk beats, the whole group had good chemistry with each other. They had a tombone player in the group as well that filled out their sound. So far I was impressed with the indoor setup at the Mish, I’ve seen a number of shows outside, but never indoor before. There was an artist doing a live painting by the side of the stage, and girls spinning hoops in the back, I love the intimate environment.
It wasn’t too long before Good Gravy made their way to the stage to start off their first of two sets for the night. They started off with a traditional bluegrass tune and quickly got the dance floor moving as they moved into some flowing jams. It’s especially fun to watch when guitarist/singer Jeremy Page plugs into his electric and rips off some sweet riffs. There was a good crowd in attendance, the place wasn’t super packed by any means but there were lots of dancing bodies on the dance floor. The mandolin player, Ross Montgomery plays a fun flamenco style mandolin on a lot of the jams, and he plays very comfortably and fluid with Jeremy Page, the band’s chemistry is very obvious. The band has been playing together for a long time now, and you can tell by the end product. The group played a solid first set and ended it with the jam, “Outlaw Man”.
With 2 sets of I knew it would be a dance party until the early morning hours. The band invited a harmonica player up on stage sometime in the beginning of the set, and was going pretty strong. It’s hard not to love Good Gravy; they play with a warm catchy sound and really have some good sophisticated arrangements. Page’s vocals fit the band well and his lyrics are usually laid back and playful. The band played an energetic cover of “Love is Alive” by Gary Wright. Then they moved to their own jam, “Bashni”, a very catchy jam song, with a flamenco style mandolin riffs and catchy lyrics. Good Gravy’s rhythm section consists of Evan Brenton on bass, Nick Deyo on drums and Kyle Vanbuskirk on acoustic percusion and as usual these guys kept up the driving yet steady grooves and allowed Page and Montgomery to knock out some intricate jams.
The group continued to play late into the early morning hours. They put on a great time for everyone involved. Indoors at the Mishawaka made for a fun and intimate setting to see a show. These indoors shows are nice warm-ups for the wild summer Mishawaka season. Good Gravy has been on the road a lot recently and continues to tour around Colorado in March.