Festivals and concerts are always more fun when you can enjoy them with other people, and I had the good fortune to meet several very nice people at the car show concert stage. Two people I happened to wind up sitting next to, in a rare patch of shade near the stage, turned out to be from the Nederlands, and one of them is the brother of Mark Vershoor, the bassist for both the High Gear Daddies and The Lucky Few. Both these ensembles were playing for the car show, so Mark spent over 3 hours playing his bass on that stage, and while I’d imagine he must have had numb fingers by the end of the second show, The Lucky Few, he seemed to be having a great time.
The High Gear Daddies were on stage when I found my patch of shade, playing a very good 2 hour show. This ensemble consists of Rodney James on guitar, Rodney Bowen on drums and Mark Vershoor on upright bass. Performing in the ‘rockabilly’ genre, these guys entertained the growing crowd of spectators in Old Town Fort Collins with a fairly diverse array of classic songs that most of the audience would find at least familiar and very dance-able tunes that got several folks up on their feet.
Having heard a few ‘rockabilly’ shows over this past year, I still can’t quite decide how to define this genre verbally, but you know it when you hear it. Usually a 2 hour show of this stuff gets a bit too long, but the High Gear Daddies throw in enough music that skirts the country, bluegrass, classic rock and swing edges of this genre that it was most definitely not 2 hours of the exact same sound. It was a fun set, and I’m sure these guys earned quite a few new fans.
After the High Gear Daddies finished their show, Mark came over to join his brother, his brother’s friend and myself in our somewhat shrinking patch of shade. All three of these folks were very nice, and we had some pleasant conversation (and beers) while enjoying a bit of the next show on the stage, Reckless Red. My new friends took off to see the rest of the event at some point, and I shifted into the growing shade behind the stage before my snacks (sliced cheeses and Godiva chocolates) melted into puddles. When Mark returned to the stage area a while later he was wearing a different shirt and hat, and he was joined by the four other guys who make up The Lucky Few.
As the weather cooled off for the afternoon, people began settling in closer to the stage area, too, so there was a pretty decent crowd for the rest of the night. The Lucky Few were the first band of the ‘after party’, a continuation of the car show’s music, but with different sponsors and guys from the K99 radio station announcing the bands instead, and sporting a big K99 banner as part of the stage backdrop.
The Lucky Few has 2 guitarists (Dale Peak and Jeff Yeary), a saxiphonist (Paul Jerothe), plus bassist Mark Vershoor and drummer Rodney Bowen. I liked all the music played on the car show stage, but the Lucky Few’s show was my favorite. This ensemble had a decidedly different sound, still bringing in the ‘rockabilly’ a bit, but with a jazzier side as well (and a saxophone. Everything sounds better with a saxophone).
These guys looked like they were having a lot of fun on stage, and their audience enticed quite a few new couples up onto their feet for some dancing. There are quite a few decent dancers among the crowds in Fort Collins, so when the music draws them out, its as fun watching the dancing as listening to the music. There are bands making great live music in just about every town in the country, I’m sure, but if the bands we’ve had at the car show and our other local events are any indication, Fort Collins really is especially fortunate when it comes to great live music.