A good friend of mine had company in town for the past week, and every night, it's been a struggle for us to find something to do other than play another round of "Guitar Hero." Luckily, he was here for what may turn out to be one of the best nights of the summer - a backyard concert in true Steamboat style.
After a brief ultimate Frisbee game Tuesday night, a friend called, begging me to accompany her to a backyard concert for "some good Latin music."
Not quite sure why this was happening in a residential neighborhood only a block away from the Steamboat strip, I nonetheless followed her directions to Eighth Street and drove slowly until I saw her frantically waving from the side of the road, next to a parked camper with "deSol" printed on the side. I looked skeptically at the few cars lining the block and reluctantly followed her on the winding path leading to the backyard.
I had no idea whose house it was.
I had no idea who the band was.
I was there to listen to some live music, however bizarre the circumstances were. In the backyard, someone fired up the barbecue and was serving grilled chicken burritos to the 20 or so guests who were there mingling. Underneath a canvas tent, all the patio furniture the homeowner could muster from the neighbors was spread out, and five musicians who I assumed made up the band were playing with a few kids.
When we walked in and took a seat, the lead singer of deSol, Albie Monterossa, introduced himself and thanked us for coming.
Random, yes, but as soon as deSol began playing, the intimate crowd couldn't help but dance to the smooth Latin beats. DeSol originally was booked to play Sunpie's Bistro on Monday, but for reasons that became more obscure throughout the night, the gig fell through and the second alternative was : KFMU radioman John Johnson's backyard.
DeSol, originally from New Jersey, is composed of Latino musicians. And as Monterossa said during the set, "We all grew up to this music, we all lived this music from our childhood."
As for me, still in my athletic shorts and sweaty T-shirt from the game of ultimate Frisbee, my body tried to keep up with the spicy rhythms in the heat of the summer sun in the backyard of a stranger, on Eighth Street, in Steamboat Springs.
- Erin Gleason