Friday, January 02, 2009

Days 2 and 3 in Colorado

My efforts at creating maximum mountain/music/metro time have minimized my wifi time. So this update will be abbreviated. (And please excuse any typos; it is about 4 a.m. eastern time, after all.)

Day 2
~ Drove deep into suburbs at the foot of the mountains, just poking around.
~ Picked up a quick lunch and another bottle of water. I can't seem to get enough water these days - cotton mouth and dry eyes!
~ Made my way over to downtown Denver to see where the Ogden Theatre and The Irish Snug are located. Noticed the city, especially along Colfax, is teeming with interesting signs; I'll post some pix later.
~ Went into REI (Recreation Equipment Inc.) in the city. It's an outdoor-equipment store in what looks like a huge, old brick warehouse (could be a new building for all I know), with a rock climbing wall about three stories tall and enough snowboards, fleece hoodies and mountain bikes to outfit the entire city, methinks. Pretty cool. Sadly, I bought nothing; no immediate need and no room in the suitcase.

~ Rode with a friend to our hotel in Denver, checked in, and ogled the dozens of Widespread Panic fans drinking cases of Pabst Blue Ribbon and noshing Skittles in the lobby, elevators and halls (the band played the Pepsi Center on 12/30 and 12/31, so the city was oozing hippies).
~ After some primping, we met more friends in the hotel lobby and drove over to the Irish Snug for dinner and a beer. It has the feel of a true Irish pub in a northern city (Manhattan or Boston), with wooden walls, all Guinness products on tap, and stuffed full of Christmas flocking, New Year's Eve decorations and local revelers. Unfortunately, we didn't find the folks we were hoping to meet up with until after we'd paid our tab; so we stayed for another beer, then walked the two blocks over to the Ogden.
~ Doors were slated for 8:30, show at 9:30, so we didn't expect much of a line at 8. We were mistaken. There were easily 50 people there ahead of us and security got a bit pushy with everyone at one point (wanting us to reform our queue across the street, but none of us budged for fear of losing our place), but we still staked our claim on a nice piece of real estate at the railing in front of Todd's mic. Perfect!
~ The band had announced that they'd play two 90-minute sets, but it turned out to be one hour-long set, followed by a 30-minute intermission and another two-hour set. My favorite Led Zeppelin song, Tangerine, was interrupted by the stroke of midnight, but we didn't care. Todd seemed awfully eager to end 2008 and start a fresh new year; we all agreed and toasted 2009 along with him, thanks to the champagne the band gave to the lucky front-rowers. Cheers! (More/better pix to come...)

~ All in all, BHTM played more old stuff than new, along with a few favorite covers (James Brown, Johnny Cash, Zeppelin), and were accompanied by a two-man horn section in parts. I got two full beers (cheap, stinky, sticky beers) down the back of my silk blouse, but I (almost) didn't notice, because the music was great and the boys were as adorable as ever. Sadly, my request was, for the first time in 16+ years, not played, but I think this weekend's shows in Aspen will be even better than yesterday's. Can't wait!!
~ Here's what I posted on the BHTM boards.

NYE was really fun! It was great to meet some of you folks I've been chatting with here for the last year or so; thanks for being nice! The set list was very cool, with lots of older stuff, which is just fine by me. And I agree, 422phos, that Todd's hair looks great short; and he seemed eager to shake off 2008 and start a fresh year. My view was great (though I wasn't able to get very many good photos), I had wonderful people all around me (including some new friends!), and it was a great way to ring in the new year.

Here's the set list I jotted down throughout the evening:
Turn the Light Out
Love Transmission
Come On
Please Don’t Tell Her
How Easy
Runaway Train
Heart of Wilderness (Todd rocked it so hard he broke a string)
Angela Dangerlove
Blue Sky


Midnight Radio
I’ll Play the Blues For You (with horns)
Freedom Fighter
Fortune Teller
Spanish Highway
Mona Lisa
Cruel Fate
Tangerine (interrupted by the stroke of midnight)
Auld Lang Sine
James Brown Medley
All the Love You Need
Ever Since You Pulled Me Under
Her Own Kinda Woman (with horns)
Conquistador (with horns)
Boom Boom (with horns)

Encore: Beautiful Rain, Broken Hearted Savior, Folsom Prison Blues
(By the way, who threw their panties on stage during the show? Come on, fess up!)

~ For now, we walked several blocks back to our hotel, and after a hot shower and second look at the city view, I sunk deeply into my cozy bed.

Day 3
~ After some shuffling of cars and a trek to the airport, I dropped off some friends at the terminal and then headed inside to collect my lil' cousin. Yay! (Note: Picking up an "unaccompanied minor" at the airport isn't convenient; plan into your schedule at least 30 minutes more than you think you should.)
~ The kid and I made a beeline for Morrison; I couldn't show her Red Rocks quickly enough. But, I suppose hunger gave us enough pause, because we stopped for a Mexican lunch at Morrison Inn; we chose not to partake of their (in?)famous margaritas, being as it was too early in the day for me and she's, ya know, only 14 years old. Small details. :)
~ After rolling ourselves out of the restaurant, we walked around town a bit, took photos, went into a new-agey-type store (you know the kind: reeking of incense and selling many hand-knit anoraks, but cute nonetheless). A few other places looked quaint but were closed, and we weren't really in the mood to shop. Give us fresh air and sunshine!

~ On the way to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, I regaled her with my "huffed and puffed all the way up the stairs" story from my Tuesday visit to the park, and she laughed at her old, sad cousin. Yeah, well, she laughed even harder when, after ambitiously heading down to see the view from the stage, we had to make the trek back up in increments, conquering 20 or so steps at a time. Her panting and grunting made me feel a tad better about my own physical fitness; it seems working out four times a week at 13 feet above sea level does not adequately prepare one for a few flights of stairs at 6,200 feet. ;)

~ We spent a few hours driving around Denver, and I showed her Invesco Field, the Ogden and Fillmore, the funny signs on Colfax. We stopped into Twist & Shout record shop for some used CDs and to take a gander at the posters and other artifacts on the walls, including items from both Big Head Todd and Kiss (For a prize, can you correctly match each cousin with her favorite band?). The adjacent Tattered Cover closed pretty early and we missed out, which was disappointing for us book buffs. On our way to dinner, we stopped for photos at the state capitol and the city/county building, which is beautifully decked out for the holidays.

~ Later, we walked down the 16th Street Mall, had dinner at the Rialto Cafe (nice but casual), and checked into our hotel for the night. Tomorrow will be a big day: a drive up to Boulder to meet a friend, then back on the road to Aspen, with a pit stop in Breckenridge for lunch. Oh, and don't forget the Big Head Todd show at the Belly Up tomorrow night - the kid's first!

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