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Reviews > Shows

Published: 2010/10/10
by David Steinberg

Fourmile Benefit, 1st Bank Center, Broomfield, CO – 10/9

Photos by David Steinberg

There are some nights that intrigue even as they’re announced. A benefit for the victims of the Fourmile Canyon Fire and firefighters with some of the best Colorado musicians (oh and incidentally 4 people from Vermont) had potential to be one of them, Mind you, there’s a difference between potential and achievement but – for the most part – the benefit was rather impressive.

The show opened with Leftover Salmon. Their set began with “Gold Hill Line,” – apropos, as the town of Gold Hill was nearly lost in the fire – and kept up a high energy approach. Figuring that all of these great players were around, Salmon invited more and more of them on stage, including Page McConnell, Bill Nershi and Bonnie Paine on washboard (Elephant Revival), and a person dancing in a Mayor McCheese outfit, only instead of being Mayor McCheese, it was Fireman McCheese. The guests inspired Leftover’s playing – and vice versa, Page was beaming the entire time he was on stage – to great heights, making this set an early highlight of the evening.

Unfortunately Yonder Mountain String Band didn’t get that memo. Other than Jon Fishman who barely counts as a guest as he has toured with them in the past, they stuck to their general lineup. While the music was still solid, it felt like a bit of a letdown after the incredible Salmon set, although their cover of “Girlfriend is Better” went to some nice places, a clear highlight of the set.

After two bluegrass sets in a row, it was refreshing to have the change of pace that was Big Head Todd and the Monsters. Their sound is an interesting mix of influences between funk and southern rock, with an occasional horn section. Todd Park Mohr – the Big Headed one himself – is incredibly fun to watch. Like Sharon Jones or Ivan Neville, he is a very expressive singer, full of gestures and amusing expressions. Their enjoyable set had a weird interlude in the middle when most of Leftover came out and performed “Friend of the Devil” of all things. The theme of the night was bluegrass after all so every band should dabble there for a song or two at least.

Picking up where the Festival 8 acoustic set ended, Mike and Trey came out and performed stripped down versions of Phish songs. While some of the songs were the obvious ones that Trey likes to play in his acoustic mini sets on his solo tours – “Back on the Train,” “Wilson,” “Bathtub Gin” – there was one huge curveball – “My Friend My Friend.” Much like Indio’s “The Curtain With,” the initial reaction of surprise quickly changed to complete enjoyment. The mid song break was replaced with a quiet section where both players held up their guitars dramatically. Trey has come a long way as an acoustic player and has reached the point where an acoustic set is a treat instead of something that makes you wish he’d pull out the electric already.

In addition to the music, it was fun to see Mike and Trey interact in a low-key duo setting. They were smiling and making little comments to each other like the old friends that they are. It’s become a cliché to make this sort of comment since Whitehall, but it’s so nice to see Trey enjoying life on that level again.

The headliners of the show were String Cheese Incident. As the show began, it also ended with guests. Despite the online tension between some Phish fans and String Cheese Incident, it never felt like that the band ever felt any of that. When Trey sat in for “Rocky Mountain Way” and “Outside Inside” with the band, it just felt like another great sit in, an excuse to play more high energy music and hit yet another peak.

Trey wasn’t the only guest for that set. Cheese were later joined by Big Head Todd on a cover of the Isley Brother’s “Who’s That Lady,” which then became the show stopping 27 people on stage finale that this event cried out for. “Sitting on Top of the World” and “I Know You Rider” were the perfect vehicles for that lineup and the crowd responded. It might have been the tail end of a 6 ½ hour concert, but people still had the energy to jump up and down and dance like it was the first song.

More than anything else, the Fourmile Revival was pure fun. It was the kind of night that was Colorado in the way that Jazz Fest is New Orleans – even Trey said that Colorado is a second home for Phish – and makes people wonder why they don’t live there. Here’s hoping the energy from this night lingers around and helps those affected by the fire.


There are 13 comments associated with this post

Evangelina February 14, 2012, 04:41:08

I rellay enjoyed reading all your favorites. You make me laugh. You’re a great writer! I’m sure your preaching ain’t half-bad either, despite what your son thinks.

Michael September 19, 2012, 14:05:27

^^^Sweet melt twang.

Dane March 22, 2011, 15:00:35

They rocked the house and the event lighting was awesome!

Sam March 22, 2011, 15:01:15

They rocked the house and the event lighting was awesome!

Rosemary Roberts October 10, 2010, 17:43:52

Nice review, great photos too! Glad to hear the benefit went so well :)

AtomicCEO October 11, 2010, 12:01:30

“The mid song break was replaced with a quiet section where both players held up their guitars dramatically.” Actually, what they were doing was rubbing both of their guitar necks up the mic stands, in a fun, but somewhat poorly executed improvised slide guitar maneuver.

me October 12, 2010, 11:30:44

oh wow theres a surprise…yonder is the low point

J October 12, 2010, 11:44:24

Rocky Mtn Trey

beachball_medicine October 12, 2010, 16:40:49

I would have to kindly disagree with this author’s opinion of Big Head Todd and the Monsters’ set. To put it nicely, their set was an absolute show killer and they sucked, real bad. Every poppy/radio song sounded the same. This led me to take the longest restroom/beer break in all of my years of going to concerts and judging by the number of people wandering around I do not think I was the only one. The idea to put their set in the middle of the show so people would have to actually listen was just cruel and unusual. I get the fact that they are from Colorado and all, but so is Kip Winger. At least he would of rocked. BOOOOO Big Head Todd and the Monsters. BOOOOO this band.

cosplay October 14, 2010, 03:44:28

I would have to kindly disagree with this author’s opinion of Big Head Todd and the Monsters’ set. To put it nicely, their set was an absolute show killer and they sucked, real bad. E

Spence October 15, 2010, 23:24:20

Big head todd was in fact awful. I was hoping this writer miight focus on highlights, such as that out of this world outside and inside.

twang October 22, 2010, 10:52:36

BHTM rocked the house! They sounded loud, powerful and tight! The Mohr/Nevin Combo is unmatched. They were the black sheep of the night and woke up a bunch of drugged up fans of bluegrass? Give me a f**&^g break. Bluegrass bites my ass. If your not a musician, you think bluegrass rocks but rather sounds the same and it’s horrible! They are in the same key for 30 minutes and they play the same scales and chords that sounds good for drugged up fans. Try listenting to bluegrass sober! I bet you would throw all your bluegrass CD like a frisbee. That’s not talent dumbasses! I’d take a BHTM show any day ignorant hippies!!

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