Rocky Mountain Ramblings

Re: Trey Anastasio Playing With The Dead January 27, 2015

There’s been a lot of talk about Phish’s Trey Anastasio playing with The Dead in Chicago this July, and I would just like to say that I think he will do a fantastic job playing lead guitar at the reunion show with Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.  Trey is a very talented and intelligent person, and some may even call him a musical genius.  But more than being a musician, Trey is an artist.  He is creative and theatrical.  Proven in his second set performance on 10/31/14, Trey has the ability to take new material, study it, create something new from it and share it on stage; and he loves it.

Surely all the musicians involved are already practicing hard for the three-night run, including Trey.  This will be much more than a comfortable performance for him.  Trey will probably dedicate the next five months of his life to learning new material and new ways of playing, which he will then perform for over 60,000 people, all of whom are expecting a lot from him, but some of whom will turn around and talk shit about him.  This ain’t no time to hate, though.  Art often requires stepping outside your comfort zone. When’s the last time you tried something new?

The July 4th weekend is about the about the four living members of the Grateful Dead, Phil, Bobby, Mickey and Billy, playing together again, and they invited Trey to take part.  I think Trey will shred the fu*k out of Jerry solos with a huge grin on his face.  With Trey’s guitar licks bouncing off of Phil’s bass bombs, Bobby’s vocals, the drumming and the dual keys, we are going to be in for one of the funkiest treats of a concert any of us have ever experienced.

If you’re laughing that I said “Bobby’s vocals,” you can keep that to yourself.  When I saw Bob Weir and Ratdog at The Ogden in July 2014, I imagined life from Bob Weir’s point of view.  He is old and rich and doesn’t have to continue playing music for fans in the same cities he’s visited many times before, but he does it because he loves it. He gives us what we need and crave – energy and music, and we give him what he needs and craves – energy and love.  So what if he messes up some of the lyrics to songs from time to time?  He’s 67 years old and is a renegade of the lifestyle that so many of you try so hard to keep up with.  People age.  Respect your elders.  “Bob Weir Controls The Weather”!

This “Fare Thee Well” event is going to mean so many things to so many people, all of whose lives have been altered by the musical creations of the Grateful Dead.  Ticket requests are already at 360,000, prior to internet sales, and that’s pretty crazy.  I actually went to the post office in Denver twice on the day of mail order, once to send in my own request, and once to ship an item I sold on E-bay, and I saw at least ten other people sending off mail order requests, most of whom looked older and more professional than me and were requesting the max amount of tickets.

It looks like it’s going to be a tough ticket to secure, as it should be (I guess).  Fifty years is a long time span to gain fans over, and a lot of us know that Grateful Dead is the real shit.

I wish everyone luck with tickets and hope to see lots of familiar faces in Chicago.  May the best envelope win!

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Chicago Afrobeat Project & Euforchestra @ Cervantes’ Other Side 04.14.2011 April 15, 2011

I saw some amazing afrobeat music last night at Cervantes’ Other Side, located in the beautiful and historic Five Points district of Denver, Colorado. The two bands that performed were Chicago Afrobeat Project and Euforchestra, and let me tell ya, it was a rump shaking, beat breaking, soul waking good time!

The way it went down was that CAbP played one set, then Euforchestra played one set, then CAbP played one set, and then Euforchestra played one more set to end the night, and the jamming went slightly longer than the venue’s 2 AM closing time. The music of both bands was amazing, and I can tell today that I burned some serious calories twirlin’ around that dance floor.

CAbP is based out of Chicago, IL, and they have a lot going on. The band’s front man vocalist has enough soul and energy to make any right-minded person bust a move on his own accord, but when accompanied by all the other talented goodness the various band members have to offer, the result is powerful. There were about eight people on stage, including but limited to; a drummer, percussionist, guitar, bass, two saxophonists and a few other instruments of joy. At one point a lot of the band members were beating on the kind drums that you would imagine the Little Drummer Boy playing. I really liked that part and found my ass was getting closer and closer to the ground. As Trey would say, “shake me up, shake me down, shakin’ that thing all over town…”

Chicago Afrobeat Project

I had a blast getting down CAbP and I would definitely see them again. They are playing Friday night in Fort Collins and doing another “surprise” show Saturday night in Denver, location still to be announced. If you’re into shaking, I suggest you go get shook by The Chicago Afrobeat Project!

Euforchestra is a band originally from Iowa City, IA and now based out of Fort Collins, CO. They also displayed a taste for the afrobeat with their high intensity rhythmic sambas that captured me in a smiling and dancing trance. Euforchestra has strong percussion and silky saxophones and they kept things spicey with a variety of sounds. They rocked out a reggae tune or two, and the percussionist did a rather swell job vocalizing, for a white boy.

Euforchestra

It was my first time seeing this band, and it certainly won’t be my last. You can find Euforchestra performing at multiple festivals this season, including Summer Camp, Waterfront and Electric Forest, to name a few. You can also download a free album at http://www.euforchestra.com!

There were moments where the two bands collaborated and all played on stage together, and it was wild, far-out, nifty and neat. The dancing I did during the show definitely made me feel a lot better about the fact that I didn’t do any biking or swimming after work this week. I am glad I went out on a Thursday night, even if I was one of the last people out of the venue and had to report to the cube early this morning. I think it was well worth it!

Another good time in the Mile High!

**photos taken from the web b/c I didn’t have a camera with me.