I had a pretty fantastic New Years weekend here in Denver. I managed to squeeze in three nights of live music, though there was potential for four if you’re into Railroad Earth (RRE), which I very much am. RRE was scheduled to play three nights (12/29, 12/30 and 12/31/2010) at the Ogden Theater, and from what I saw and heard the shows went well because they spontaneously announced a fourth show for Saturday Jan. 1st.
My holiday fun started on Thursday Dec. 30th with the snow, as I left work earlier than expected to attempt to beat some hazardous road conditions. My car and bags were packed for the weekend so I headed straight to my friend’s apartment where I had plans to stay the night after the Railroad Earth show. Around 4:30 PM I ended up going to a hotel party with a crew that was going to see Widespread Panic and we partied pretty hard in a short amount of time.
At about 6:30 I left the hotel by myself with handwritten instructions on how to take the bus to my favorite bar in Denver, Sanchos, which is oh-so-conveniently located right near The Ogden. I successfully made it to Sanchos (after finding a full change purse on the ground!) and once inside the bar I immediately made a friend who was also going to RRE. We were chillin and talking for a bit, and then decided we would each order a cocktail and quickly down them before heading to the show. Well. About that. I don’t remember exact details of the moment, or why I took my camera out and was holding it over my drink, nor do I know why my fingers chose that exact moment to fumble, but I do know that one second I was holding a relatively new and flawless Nikon Cool Pix point and shoot camera, and the next second it was swimming in a pint of Jack and Ginger Ale.
Bye, bye, camera. Happy New Year. Nice knowing you. Not the best weekend to go camera-less, but it happened, and now this blog lacks personal graphics because of it! Hope I can replace it sooner than later.
The Railroad Earth show on 12/30/10 was simply amazing; at least I thought so. I spent the entire night dancing and smiling in my special shirt made just for the event.
I was very happy with the setlist on Thursday night! I squealed with excitement when I heard the notes to “For Love,” I still can’t stop listening to “The Good Life,” and I was brought down two other New Jersey memory lanes during the last two songs. Though popular, I enjoyed hearing “Long Way To Go” because it took me back to my college days when I had this shitty yet cherished job working for a landscaper on the weekends with friends. My friend Cory and I would sometimes ride together and we liked to play that song on repeat en route to and from work. The song“Hard Livin’” will always ring true in my heart, as I remember singing that tune to myself at a specific job, on many a Sunday mornings, working on a new plan (hello, Colorado), and hoping I was being forgiven for all that hard livin’….
I was loving the Railroad Earth show so much that I told the person I was hanging with that I was selling my New Years Eve STS9 ticket and coming back to The Ogden for RRE. They had a beautiful female backup vocalist that night named Sheryl Renee and I was enjoying her soul signing so much I told myself, “If Sheryl is going to be here tomorrow, I am going to be here tomorrow! Fuck STS9!” I even debated leaving the RRE show early to go sell my STS9 ticket outside The Fillmore, but then I realized I didn’t even have the ticket on me, nor could I pull myself away from the music early.
(Want to hear the show? Stream it here for free! http://www.archive.org/details/rre2010-12-30)
After the show I started walking down Colfax by myself at 2AM in 5-degree weather, in the snow, gripping a container of mace, en route to my friends and ready to take on anyone that fucked with me. Being that the exposed parts of my face were icicles and I wasn’t sure how far I was walking or how safe it was, I quickly decided it best to take a taxi and made it back to my friend’s. When I walked in Kevin’s front door I was greeted by a Border Collie named Gogi that I had met earlier in the day and I am CONVINCED the dog said “Hi Lauren” when I entered. I swear he said it. I am not normally one to believe in the supernatural, but I heard it and I will believe it for the rest of my life. That is one smart pup.
Back at Kevin’s I put my STS9 ticket on craigslist and included my phone number, saying the first person who texted me WON (as in, could buy my ticket for the sold out show.) When I woke up at 10 AM nobody had yet texted and I decided to delete the ad, keep the ticket and carry on with my original plans because the people I wanted to party with were going to STS9, so I followed the flock.
STS9 at The Fillmore was fun, but compared to Railroad Earth Thursday night, I just wasn’t in love with the show. The venue was sold out and during the first set my crew was up close and it was just way too hot and crowded for my liking. I hate being at shows when people constantly walk by me and that kept happening. It was a horrible cycle every five seconds of finding a little space to dance and starting to get into it, then to be interrupted so somebody could pass by. I was annoyed. I was also kind of bummed that I wasn’t at Phish at Madison Square Garden, NYC, with about 100 of my friends. Phish played Halloween AND New Years runs in my homeland and I missed both because I done gone moved to Colorado. I don’t regret moving to Colorado (and I did a three night Phish Colorado run in October…), but I definitely felt a tug of homesickness knowing the party, scene, music and vibe going on only 40 miles from my home on New Year’s Eve…
Toward the end of first set I got most of my crew to move toward the back of the venue where I had room to whirl and swirl and be my happy little dancing self. My mood and experience picked up during intermission when Amy and I went on a little adventure around the venue, and all of second set was thoroughly enjoyed due to space, dancing and fun people…especially after I received the best New Years kiss ever from my little Mississippi belle.
I am happy to report STS9 did a New Year's countdown and dropped a bunch of balloons. No theater group or flying hot dog, but we at least got balloons.
We thought about going to the late night show, but it was so damn cold out and the bus directly outside the venue that took us straight to Amy’s looked so inviting that we weaseled our way onto the overly crowded vehicle that was giving free rides in honor of the holiday and went back to Amy’s to carry on with our little party.
I woke up Saturday Jan. 1st feeling pretty good and decided to go to the last Railroad Earth show at The Ogden, only because I love them a lot. The show was a little slower, as I’m sure both the band and audience were feeling a bit lethargic after all the festivities that went down the previous few nights. I was also happy with this show’s setlist and I had fun dancing but definitely would not have considered my energy to be at a peak level.
I am glad I attended two of the four RRE shows in Denver, but I kind of wish I went to all four. I’ve been listening to them nonstop and I am already wondering when I can see them again.
“Just when you throw the towel in, it all works out fine…everybody, everybody, everybody give (those) boy(s) a hand…”
Thank you Denver, and Railroad Earth, and Sound Tribe, and my friends who let me sleep over and who are fun and interesting and awesome…I love you all!
I hope everyone has a fantastic year! I am feeling good about it and I am happy to be starting my year in Denver. I think it’s gonna be groovy…!
The music made me nostalgic and slightly homesick, as the band is from northwestern New Jersey, an area I like to tell people is “the best part about the state” and an area I have spent a decent amount of time in and know many, many awesome people native to. I thought about the potluck dinners I used to go to, the drum circles, the live music, the pure energy…I thought about seeing Railroad Earth at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg and feeling the wooden floor shake from all the magnificent dancing going on, I thought about what the area looks like where Railroad Earth is from and I felt like I loved the band more than others because I KNOW WHERE THEY’RE FROM and what that means to me can not be taken away. New Jersey to Colorado…YEAH!