On Scene for April 7

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The boys at the VFW

I secretly might have been the most excited person at Sureva Towler's book-signing party to see the old El Rancho Nuevo sign again.

Towler's latest book, "The Boys at The Bar," pays tribute to my favorite Steamboat bar that no longer exists.

"The people who hung out (at El Rancho) liked to laugh, lie and dance on tabletops," Towler said.

I was one of those dancers.

It looked as though most of the characters from her book were in the room. Old cowboys, members of The Loser's Book Club, and other guilty-looking people milled about the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in downtown Steamboat Springs.

The only thing missing was El Rancho.

Rock slope a landslide

I get it.

It took going to only one show at The Rock Slope to understand what Ken Block of Sister Hazel was referring to when he said that one of the purposes of the festival was to bring the musicians closer to their fans.

I sat three rows behind the little stage at the Bear River Bar & Grill. I could see Edwin McCain's dimples.

My favorite thing about seeing live music is when the musicians talk to the audience. Between every song, McCain told us what the songs were about and why he wrote them.

He also told funny stories, such as the one about the time he sat at the same table with Jessica Simpson at a music awards ceremony. Instead of playing the calm, cool musician, he stared at her until she called security to tell them that "Meat Loaf" (who McCain resembles) was acting funny.

Maybe you should have been there. But at $175 for a show pass, event organizers definitely were not trying to attract any locals.

I was delighted to also witness the sense of community that Block said the festival was trying to create. A mother and son sat in front of me, and the son looked like a "too cool for school" snowboarder. But it was so cute to see him and his mom singing together with all of McCain's songs.

"La dee da dee da da. La dee da dee da da."

-- Allison Plean

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