WinterWonderGrass CO 2018 - Saturday

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WinterWonderGrass CO 2018 - Saturday

WINTERWONDERGRASS CO 2018

FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE ARCHIVE

for The Lot Scene by Lindsay

Saturday Highlights

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades - The Lil' Smokies - Fruition - Greensky Bluegrass

     Ah, day two. The day where you begin to familiarize yourself with the fairgrounds, regroup with your friends and reminisce on the previous day’s festivities. But Winter Wondergrass offers more to this experience. On day two, the masses made their way to the slopes where The Wooks were playing a set at a mountaintop lodge, which was only accessible by skis. This is where it’s decided: Bloody Mary’s on a mountaintop and Champagne Powder® runs at the ‘Boat is what takes Winter Wondergrass to the next level. Not only are you seeing class-act music, but you’re also getting a workout in with scenic views to boot. The pursuit of powder is truly what draws in so many of the attendees, both local and out-of-state.

     After changing out ski boots for Sorels, festival goers made their way back to the fairgrounds. Horseshoes & Hand Grenades opened the Saturday Main Stage with a glorious set, filled with slap-stick style bluegrass (see: Gaelic-style a cappella, “Barley Malt”). Covers like Woody Guthrie’s “Danville Girl” and Talking Head’s “Naïve Melody” began to draw in any stragglers hanging in the back. Finishing off with a high-tempo “Whiskey>jam>Whiskey” drew in the crowd that would remain for what seemed like the remainder of the day. 

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

     Montana-based Lil Smokies brought in a new energy with their progressive sound. Stand-outs like “The City,” “Ms. Marie” and “The Gallery” instilled an emotional gusto that got the crowd buzzing on the coldest day of the festival. Then the clouds began to set in and Fruition took the stage. 

The Lil' Smokies

     It seems like Portland-bred Fruition always gets the brunt of the conditions at Winter Wondergrass, and I couldn’t think of any band that could handle it better. Maybe it’s their Pacific Northwest grit or general rock ‘n roll attitude that helps them withstand the elements, but undoubtedly, Fruition is approaching their sets with a new prowess these days. Their new album, “Watching It All Fall Apart,” acts as a beacon of connection with the audience in a way that hasn’t been touched before. Mimi Naja’s “Northern Town” triggered a snowfall, which made those around me question if Ullr had an affinity towards the soulful love song. I’d like to think so.

Kellen Asebroek of Fruition

     Night Two ended with WWG-vets, Greensky Bluegrass. Most of the boys graced the stage clad in branded festie merch, while dobro player, Anders Beck, decided to play it safe with a ski helmet and goggles. It was a smart move on Beck’s part; snow began to fall harder onto the crowd and onto his dobro. At one point the boys thanked the crowd and dubbed the Colorado fans as some of the most loyal (and crazy) fans to walk the planet. They’re not wrong.  They opened with the jam-heavy “Don’t Lie > Gimme Some Lovin’ > Don’t Lie,” to warm up the crowd. It seemed as though all 5,000 attendees were crammed towards the front of this show because it was packed, ruthless, and undoubtedly warm. Other stand-out songs were the Bruzza tune “Take Cover,” where shout-outs to it being “REALLY SNOWY” and “VERY…COLD” had the crowd all smiles. More climate-focused songs like “Worried About the Weather” and “Burn Them” payed homage to the elements. But it was the “Broke Mountain Breakdown > Walk Away >  Broke Mountain Breakdown” that kept the crowd on their nearly-frost bitten toes. As the set ended, Beck showed his “snowbro” to the audience who erupted in cheers. It seems only fitting that the band, who seems synonymous with the term “Winter Wondergrass,” would be snowed on the entirety of their set. With Andrew Lincoln’s unrivaled lights penetrating the snowfall, it was an image and feeling that cannot be replicated by the written word.

Paul Hoffman of Greensky Bluegrass

Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY on its way everyone!!!

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WinterWonderGrass CO 2018 - Friday

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WinterWonderGrass CO 2018 - Friday

WINTERWONDERGRASS CO 2018

FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE ARCHIVE

for The Lot Scene by Lindsay

Introduction  

6th Annual Winter Wondergrass Festival - An Experiential Journey of Colorado Connectedness

     Winter Wondergrass is not to be taken lightly. With temperatures barely rising above 20 and constant snowfall, it can seem like a daunting experience. Logistics can seem overbearing for the first-timer: Who’s driving who? Do I book a lodge close to the festival or stay at a friend’s house an Uber ride away? Do I fly into Steamboat or Denver? How many jackets is too many jackets? (The answer is none. Bring all the jackets.) Even the drive can make you sweat: Why did I wear all my layers in the car? You begin to disrobe; your bestie in the passenger seat pulls off your jacket, piling your layers in their lap. Crap, I forgot my new $200 ski gloves back in Denver, three hours away. But, be patient. This is all a part of the journey.

     As you cross over Rabbit Ears Pass, the highway begins to widen, and you get your first glimpse of Steamboat Springs. The sunshine radiates over the ever-expansive valley; the town lies nestled along the sparkling Yampa River, adjacent to a mountain range that hugs the Western ski town. You smile as you see the white tents of the festival engulfed in the thick of it. And then your friend says he has an extra pair of gloves. Things are starting to fall into place. And you haven’t even gotten to the festival grounds yet. It’s at this moment when all the logistical uncertainties fade away. You’ve made it to the mecca of all Colorado festivals. 

     Dubbed by the creators as “part music festival, part beer tasting, part snow holiday and part family reunion,” Winter Wondergrass is an inextricably woven mountain gathering. Yes, it’s appeal is created by the unmatched lineup, award-winning microbrews and word-class skiing, But, at its core, Winter Wondergrass is solidified by the immaculate organization, the experiential winter journey and the organic connectedness of the community.

Friday Highlights

Jon Stickley Trio - Brad Parsons Band - Elephant Revival - Yonder Mountain String Band

     The 6th Annual Winter Wondergrass Festival opened its doors on Friday afternoon with Jon Stickley Trio hitting the main stage. The sun was shining bright against the bluebird skies, and the Trio’s cosmic instrumentals acted as a soundtrack to the festival itself, mimicking an Opening Ceremony of sorts. Stickley looked out into the neon-clad crowd both in admiration and in awe.

The Jon Stickley Trio

     In between the main stage acts, attendees could make their way into three different beer tents, all of which housed local breweries offering free tasters for the early attendees. You could warm up in the tents by means of body heat and award-winning hops. Not to mention dancing to epic sets by Brad Parsons, Old Salt Union and The Wooks.

The Brad Parsons Band

     As the sun began to set and the temperatures began to drop, people made their way to the main stage for one of Elephant Revival’s last shows for the foreseeable future. The frigid conditions triggered mic  issues, causing the band to change opening songs right off the bat. It was quite literally a chilling set, wrought in emotion and unbridled beauty. Songs like “Raven”, “Tam Lin Set,” “Grace of a Woman,” and “Ring Around the Moon” brought tears to both the crowd and the band, instilling this sense of love, loss, and new beginnings. While the band encountered sound and communication issues throughout the set, the presence of two ex-members acted as the glue to keep it all together: stunning fiddle-gypsy, Bridget Law, and folk-singer extraordinaire, Sage Cook, who hasn’t been with the band in almost three years. It was almost as if those in the crowd and those on stage felt this sense of familiarity of hardship. It was cold. It was difficult. It was emotional. It was beautiful.

Elephant Revival

     Following Elephant Revival’s set and checking into warmth of the tent sets (more Stickley, more Brad Parsons and more Old Salt Union), hordes of people trickled in to see Yonder Mountain String Band headline the first night. The snow started to fall even harder, and the liveliness of the audience erupted. Along the same theme of new beginnings, Allie Kral looked stunning, glowing as a momma-to-be in her fur lined, floor length peacoat and fur trapper hat. Her sound ignited the audience, bringing warmth to those who didn’t even know they needed it. 

Allie Kral of Yonder Mountain String Band

     As most festivarians know, the real fun comes out late-night. Winter Wondergrass holds the intrepid “Grass After Dark,” and this year was stacked with so many great sets that it was difficult to choose. It’s recommended to check out the Gondola shows, where you can only access it by gondola, getting dropped off at one big summit party. People literally splayed out of the gondolas and stumbled into the venue. Grant Farm’s “Grantful Dead Revue” showcased the Friday night set, with epic Dead covers like “Althea” and “China Cat Sunflower > Know You Rider.”  

Stay tuned for Saturday and Sunday coverage coming your way!!

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Fruition - Nov 16, 2017 - Applegate Lodge - Applegate, OR

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Fruition - Nov 16, 2017 - Applegate Lodge - Applegate, OR

Fruition

Nov 16, 2017 - Applegate Lodge - Applegate, OR

for The Lot Scene by Leah Markman

photos by Joseph Silva/Clear Creek Photography

Fruition Smokes Out the Applegate

     My first memory of this band was of hearing their voices late into the night and ushering in the dawn. I found them on street corners, living rooms, rooftops and beaches with shooting stars darting across the sky. I first met these wonderful humans a few years back, limping their van into my driveway, and it did not take long to soon fall in love them.

     I’ve seen this band play to an empty room and sell out the largest venues, this band needs no audience to play, they sincerely love their music. Not only this, they have the magical ability to write songs that seem custom tailored to our own souls.

     In early October, Fruition released a November tour through Northern California up into Oregon. This journey kicked off with their first appearance at Terrapin Crossroads. Word on the street is that for the first time they covered a Grateful Dead song, fitting within the hallowed halls of Terrapin. Uniquely, this tour involved local small hometown bars that provided an intimate personal experience with the band.  These days catching the fruits in these type of venues is getting harder and harder to accomplish as their following grows. 

     These days, I have slowed down. No longer able to go on all the tours and follow some of my favorite music around the country, I visit my local haunt often to satisfy this craving. Nestled into the Applegate river, trees and moss grow through and wrap around the wood balcony, ablaze with rainbow lights reflecting off the river. Tonight, the normally tranquil Applegate River lodge is vibrating with energy. The Thursday show sold out days prior, the sleepy little rural lodge is jam packed.

 Fruition at Applegate

Fruition at Applegate

     As always, I am late to the show, running through puddles I enter in during their second song, soaked in rainwater and brimming with excitement. “Blue Light” is one of those songs where when I had dreadlocks, people would give me a wide berth of distance because I was flying! Still to this day their songs require head banging, elbows flying and legs spinning in all directions.

     The floor was packed, the balcony lined. Little to no dance room to be found, but in a community like the lodge we make room for each other. We dance and spin each other, while encouraging new faces to step up front to see. No drinks are allowed in the event space, a rule I have learned to love. This helps creates an amorous atmosphere where the fellow fruity freaks and local lodge goers are aware of each other, our surroundings and courteous to what we all need while experiencing this music. 

     Speaking with some Fruity Freaks that went on the whole tour from Terrapin through to Bend, I gain some insight into what they’ve been playing. Songs such as “There She Was, Mountain Annie, I Can’t Stop.” Songs where the entire crowd can sing every lyric. In true form, Fruition honors those musicians who have shaped our lives today, gracing the Lodge with two beautiful Tom Petty covers, and one hell an Encore of “American Girl”. I think the song I am most grateful more and treasure is “I’ve Got the Spliff You’ve Got the Fire” from the very early days. It has changed and grown with them and brings them back to the rainy Portland streets and soggy rooms until sunrise.

     Fruition is always expanding. They have never strayed too close to home in their travels and in their music. Constantly challenging themselves, their songs and their fans to never believe a song is finished, and to expect the unexpected. Their music gets deeper and stronger every time I see this band perform. I am excited to see where their music takes them! Stay cool in Mexico folks and happy end of Fall Tour, Fruition!  I only wish the best for you! 

Thank you for always being there in our ears, and our hearts, 

Leah Markman 

 Fruition at Applegate

Fruition at Applegate

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Papadosio - Halloween Run - 26-28 October 2017 - Colorado

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Papadosio - Halloween Run - 26-28 October 2017 - Colorado

Papadosio - Halloween Run

26-28 October 2017 - The Belly Up, Aspen, CO & The Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO

for The Lot Scene by Chris Kemp

2017_Papadosio_BellyUp-172-Pano-Edit.jpg

     Halloween is that rare and special event in which we shed our everyday selves and become what we truly want to be for a night. For some reason as we age, this changing of character almost becomes more significant. For my Halloween celebration I decided to check out Space Rockers, Papadosio. I was able to catch three of their five Colorado shows. I had an introspective experience at these shows.  While I will offer my thoughts around the technical aspects of the show, I feel it’s important to touch on my personal experience.

     My run started in Aspen and ended in Boulder. Having been following Papadosio on social media I was excited to glimpse this tour’s stage setup. The Belly Up was the perfect setting for an intimate Papadosio set and the band did not disappoint. I was stoked to catch Biolumingen’s DJ set as I knew him in a previous life as Chris Cabbas (forgive me if I spelled your name wrong brother). I’m super critical of DJs and Biolumigen was both original and inspiring. A solid mesh of world sounds and deep electronic beats. Good to see an old friend on stage.

     Jam heavy Papadosio classics like “You and Yourself” lined both sets. The lighting design was well executed but felt cramped on such a small stage. Composed of the standard movers and several diamond projection screens, the show was dark, earthy and organic. The crowd was pleasant, energetic and full of dance moves but lacking in costumed hijinks.   

     The Boulder Theater shows were billed as “Rave from the Grave” and did not disappoint. The Theater had the space necessary for both the band and the lighting. Costumes abounding, Halloween in Boulder was in full effect. In rare form I did not dress up or this event. I came in my typical all black show gear so I could photograph more easily. In years past I would’ve focused on getting shots of costumes and people but for some reason when Daft Punk’s “Da Funk” began to play I was transported to a unique place. I found myself thinking about far off memories. Where did I hear this song first? Who introduced me to this music?

     The rest of the shows was spent reminiscing over the many steps and events that led me to this place and time. When did my brother get his first Crystal Method tape? How old was I when I first heard Nine Inch Nails “Head like a Hole” or “Into the Void?” Papadosio did a stellar job covering many classics that stirred genuine emotions in me. For the first time ever I just wanted to be me on on the one day you’re supposed to be someone else. I relished in my own memories, an unusual thing on Halloween in Boulder.

     More and more I applaud artists who can breathe life into someone else’s work. I saw some music that I never expected to hear live at the “Rave from the Grave.” This wasn’t just a Halloween party, it was a reverence for art that matters and that begs to be heard. The setlists, lighting and mood of these shows was near perfect. Papadosio will always have a loyal Colorado audience if they continue to play at such a standard.         

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Fruition - 08 October 2017 - The Beachland Tavern - Cleveland, OH

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Fruition - 08 October 2017 - The Beachland Tavern - Cleveland, OH

 

FRUITION

08 OCTOBER 2017 - THE BEACHLAND TAVERN - CLEVELAND, OH

for The Lot Scene by Will Huston

    Every year like clockwork around October and certainly by November the majority of festivals are over and all of our favorite shows and touring acts come back indoors to our local venues and bars.  One such venue and my second home in a sense is the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern in Cleveland, Ohio.  An old Croatian club turned music venue in 2000, with one side holding a 500 capacity ballroom and the other being a small tavern stage. The venue is independently owned and operated by people who really have a passion for music and making sure that everyone involved has a great experience, from the staff, to the bands, to the crowd. Throughout the years I've been fortunate enough to see some fairly large acts in the tavern before the explosion of popularity hit. I'll always look back to these shows and feel privileged to have seen them with close friends. There is really something special to be said about seeing an act in a small, intimate setting and having a closer connection to the music.  This past week I was at one of these intimate tavern shows seeing Fruition. I learned about Fruition from my friend, Amy years ago who was roommates with members of the group. I was told I would enjoy them, and I can say that I have had a blast watching them perform all over the country these last few years. Last Sunday night they came to my town. This was not the first time Fruition had been to the Beachland; in fact they were here within the past year, traveling all the way from Portland Oregon where the bands resides when not in tour mode.  Shows here at the Beachland often feel like house parties in a sense. The Tavern does not have strict rules, time guidelines or early curfews allowing bands the freedom to move at their own pace, have a few drinks and have a good time.  Fruition is a band that has no problem having a good time with their sets and throwing back a few with the crowd. Since the venue is so nice and Fruition is cool I was able to record a portion of the show to share with you all here on The Lot Scene.  If you enjoy what you see, give Fruition a like, buy some music or a ticket to an upcoming show. Be sure to tell others about "The Lot Scene" and help us grow and provide even more media news, music and photographs to music fans everywhere.  

Hope you enjoy and many thanks, William Huston. 

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