Reviews

Dave Papuga's Top 10 Shows of 2011

Out of over 200 live acts I was fortunate to catch this past year, here are 10 of my favorites:

Yonder Mountain String Band | Boulder Theater | 12/30/2011

In the build up to their five-night run at The Boulder Theater, Yonder Mountain String Band announced that a guest musician would be sitting in with them each evening.

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JGB Band Live at Quixotes True Blue | 12/29/2011

For the fans of the Grateful Dead most saw the time they spent as shows as an escape from reality, a dojo where the realms of the ordinary and the everyday vanished. The counterculture that surrounded that band was not only based on the years of memories captured in the hearts of millions, but like church, a Deadhead could truly have a mind-left-body experience and be closer to their spiritual selves.

Railroad Earth | New Years Eve | Ogden Theater | 2011>2012

On New Year’s Eve, Railroad Earth swung into a rendition of Warhead Boogie that, when all was said and done, left me in a state of almost comical ecstasy. During the crescendo and climax, I was twirling and spinning and swirling and grinning, and, then, when even kinetic rhythm couldn’t contain my body, I jumped as high I could, over and over, like a gobsmacked pogo stick.

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Yonder Mountain String Band | Boulder Theater | 12/28/2011

If there were to be a declared “newgrass” hub for the 1990s-2000s resurge of popularity, most would undisputedly agree that Colorado is that place. Sure the great states of California and Oregon have their fan base and head venues, and lets not forget that the Nashville scene is still souring with talent young and old. But all those Nashville folks never miss a single year of Colorado’s Planet Bluegrass Festivals (Telluride Bluegrass, Lyon’s Rockygrass and Folks Fest).

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Mark Vann Benefit -- Helping Dreams Go Big!

Having lived and worked in Boulder, CO for almost 20 years now, I can’t help but reminisce about how my life has changed since I first moved here from the East Coast in 1992. In July of 2012 I will have officially lived here longer than where I grew up.

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Garage A Trois | Fox Theater | Boulder, CO | Review & Photos

When someone uses the term “fusion” regarding jazz, a spring-loaded thought process proceeds. Maybe it leads to thoughts of French violin composer Jean Luc Ponty’s experiments in the late 60s. Perhaps someone would think of the Miles Davis family of music, most directly In A Silent Way or Bitches Brew.  Maybe another person would think of the “rock” fusion outlets of the 70s.

Waters & Radical Dads | Webster Hall | New York City

The show began with opening act The Radical Dads, a trio that rocked Webster Hall with a big sound despite their lack of a bassist.

Matisyahu | Boulder Theater | 12/15/2011 | Review | Photos

A Rastafarian and a Hasidic Jew walk into a bar… It’s not the setup for a punch line, it’s just another night at a Matisyahu show. Where else can we go to see Yamakas and Dreadlocks in the same place?

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