Boulder Theater

I moved to Colorado in 2010 to pursue my Masters degree in education. I chose CU because it had a strong program for my discipline, but I’d be lying if I said the town of Boulder, itself, held no sway in my decision. Having wandered in a proverbial desert of live music for five years, I was a deeply dehydrated Deadhead who needed an oasis to slake my thirst. Occasionally, a noteworthy band played at The Santa Fe Brewing Company or an hour south at one of Albuquerque’s few ramshackle venues, but these were rare occasions.

Mainly known for his work in Bright Eyes, guitarist and vocalist Conor Oberst is in the midst of a coast-to-coast tour showcasing his new solo album, Upside Down Mountain. Recently, Oberst played a nearly sold-out show at The Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colorado.

The Grateful Dead were always an unnecessarily modest group of musicians. Milestones, anniversaries, career-spanning accomplishments were underplayed by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Garcia in particular, who always was hesitant to accept hype around the group’s resurgence in mainstream popularity in the mid-1980s.

I have been going to shows regularly for over 15 years. Somewhere along the line, I came to understand that live music is my adopted religion and venues of great renown are, collectively, my house of worship. Being a Deadhead, in particular, is a sect onto itself. Until recently, I only understood this spiritual manifestation in the abstract.

How often is it that you are lucky enough to witness a brand new group of already legendary powerhouse musicians premier before a live audience? Maybe some are more fortunate than I, but last Friday at the Boulder Theatre was a first for me. Boulder audiences were fortunate enough to catch the premier performance of a brand new folk rock/Americana “super-group” Hardworking Americans.

One of the greatest qualities of Colorado’s Cajun Slamgrass legends Leftover Salmon is their ability to evolve with sincere versatility. Founding members Vince Herman and Drew Emmitt have taken the band to higher creative peaks, with new material (the fantastic Aquatic Hitchhiker release) and welcoming great musicians in that really understand how to play their demanding style while also kicking back and parting with their crowd.

Few people are truly aware of the extent of Buddy Guy’s influence. If you do not think that he is one of the greatest guitarist’s of all time, then your favorite guitarist probably does. Without this legend, other legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page would not have been who they are. Guy was the bridge between the blues and rock n’ roll.

The psychedelic rock throw back band from Australia finally found their way back to Boulder to play at the last small venue that they’ll probably fit in. The next time they come to Colorado, I am predicting that it will be at the Fillmore, Red Rocks, or dare I say the Pepsi Center. As soon as the masses catch on to this modern day Beatles flair, it will be exponential growth for the aesthetic band out of Perth.

It was Sunday night, and the proud nerds were lined up to get into the Boulder Theater to see Weird Al Yankovic on his White & Nerdy Tour. It was an all-ages show, and I was surprised to see so many children in the audience.

Few musical journeys spanned as long and varied as Jorma and Jack's. As pioneers of the premier San Francisco electric sound with Jefferson Airplane, something else much bigger was meant to spawn and thrive for decades to come. Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady have held the foundations of their lifelong band and partnership Hot Tuna together for over forty-three years.

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