Photo by Matt Stensland
Jack Ingram, wearing ski boots and goggles, performs a free concert Friday afternoon under chilly conditions in Gondola Square.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Steamboat Springs Sometimes you’re having such a good time, you feel guilty enough to want to freeze yourself.
That’s how country musician Jack Ingram justified his scant wardrobe for his third consecutive year as headliner for a free, public concert toward the end of MusicFest at Steamboat.
Wearing snow goggles, a T-shirt, jeans, ski boots and one fingerless glove, Ingram rocked through a set that touched on his radio hits and offered plenty of evidence of his years battling in small venues to win fans.
A bundled crowd filled the area in front and to the left — where the sun still was shining — of a stage in Gondola Square on Friday afternoon. Ingram served up a high-energy, you’re-going-to-forget-your-hands-are-frozen set of country rock songs, tossing in a Waylon Jennings cover and a monologue about reality television with well-worn popular songs such as “Wherever You Are” and “Measure of a Man.”
From any point in his career, Ingram’s songs stay true to formula: personal story meets do-it-yourself attitude meets have-fun-while-you’re-at-it guitar lines. It works well for the more sincere stops in the set, and it keeps things moving through any concert condition.
As temperatures at the base area hovered between 10 and 15 degrees, Ingram played on, rubbing his hands near a propane-fed space heater between each song to keep from freezing.
Western swing act Doug Moreland opened Friday’s concert, taking the stage a little after 1 p.m. with his fiddle, guitar and quick sense of humor. Occasionally laughing as frozen fingers caught the wrong string on his fiddle, Moreland and his band warmed up the crowd as much as possible with two-stepping takes on cowboy songs.
At the end of a set that included tunes about life advice, dancing and aliens, Moreland hoisted a plaque commemorating his 10th year of playing MusicFest.
The 25th annual festival featuring more than 30 country and Americana bands from scenes in Texas and Tennessee wrapped up its shows Friday, and small sets for some festival pass holders are scheduled for today and Sunday. For more information about other upcoming concerts at Steamboat Ski Area, go here.