R&R | 90s Alternative Music Flashbacks Headline Western Slope Venues
by Adam E. Smith
Nov 01, 2012 | 2075 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ANDERS OSBORNE kicked off the Halloween season in Mountain Village. (Courtesy photo)
ANDERS OSBORNE kicked off the Halloween season in Mountain Village. (Courtesy photo)

Regional Rundown: John Brown’s Body in Durango, The Toadies in Grand Junction, Finnders & Youngberg in Dolores, and American Aquarium in Montrose.

Catch It

Named after the legendary abolitionist, John Brown’s Body has been liberating listeners of bad vibes with their North Eastern crafted Caribbean rhythms since the mid-90s. Diverse in their approach, elements of dubstep and hip-hop have also managed to latch on to their progressive reggae and spacey ska sounds. Traditional 3rd wave ska band Buster’s Ghost will represent their hometown of Durango with an opening slot at The Abbey Theater on Thursday.  

Durango isn’t the only Western Slope locale getting a dose of 90s alternative music flashbacks. Grunge rock’s Texas representatives The Toadies will trace back their discography from the hit “Possum Kingdom” to their most recent July album release Play.Rock.Music. Only comprised of one original member with Mark Reznicek on drums, The Toadies keep the flannel era alive. Opening band Helmet is another classic pre-Millennial rock act that found success in lead guitarist/vocalist Page Hamilton’s dynamic voice and heavy metal songwriting. Not to be confused with simple nostalgia, both bands still bring both the old and the new goods.

Dolores River Brewery, the beacon of music for the down valley scene, is bringing Fort Collin’s pickers Finnders & Youngberg to the Western Slope. F&Y’s brand of honkey tonk melted with bluegrass and country swing are all delicately mashed together into a premium folk sandwich. Erin Youngberg is a vocal diamond with bass chops taboot. She will be worth the trip to the brewery alone.

Borrowing from many influences and pages of the American music history book, American Aquarium comes to Montrose by way of Raleigh to deliver another high energy alt-country barn burner at the Turn Of The Century Saloon. An ideal place to kick back a few and bob to the music, the Saloon will be the place to be on Friday for beer drinking progressive Southern Rock with twang.

Saw It

Anders Osborne Returned to Telluride for Costume Dance Party to Kick Off Halloween Festivities

How many places in the free Universe can you bear witness to spirited concertgoers, decked out in impressive Halloween attire, loading into a gondola as transport to a jumping costume party with rock guitarist Anders Osborne as the entertainer? If that initial impression of the way the KOTO Halloween Bash would play out fails to represent the Telluride music experience properly, I don’t know what else does. The powers that be at KOTO making the executive decision to transfer the party to the Mountain Village Conference Center may have been a skeptical choice at first. Luckily for them the impressively decorated room turned out to be a great change of scene for both sound and, well, warmth. As opening band Ki-’ne-tek played through loose classic rock movements, the room filled in with energetic luchadores, lifesize Hershey kisses, and all kinds of ghouls, ghosts and girls dressed to impress. Once Osborne took the stage the room was buzzing as a result of liquor filled glasses and clanking beer bottles hoisted over masked heads banging up and down.

The kinetic inebriation was the right fit for the second audible helping from Osborne in Telluride this month. Sticking to the script with a standard setlist, Osborne used the jump-off points of every cut to launch into rising exchanges with animated bassist Carl Dufrane. The strings were screaming and thumping, hair was flying erratically, and the crowd was bucking to each downward strum. A look around the room was what one would imagine if they were at a rock show in heaven. Mystical beings, dead celebrities, and fallen iconic figures were knee deep into their drunken agenda. Looking to your left might result in rocking out with a glittery angel was an actual reality. Surprisingly enough, Osborne did take a set break, and then returned for an even more charged set of hard driving rock. Seemingly inspired, he and the band entered a maze of segues with turns at “Burning On The Inside” reggae and all kinds of metal sentiments. It was pushing well past 1 a.m. when his strong fretwork resulted in a string tearing off into shreds. After bringing the mood back to a reasonable amount of sanity, he hastily handed his guitar off and exited the building in true rock star form. Count it as another statement show from Telluride’s favorite six-string demi-god. 

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