- Friday, May 18, 2012, 9 p.m.
/ $10 - $15
Vail If there’s one common thread weaving its way through the lineup of bands playing at State Bridge’s opening weekend, it’s “Colorado music staples,” said Scotty Stoughton, the talent buyer and event operations manager for the popular music venue.
The weekend’s bands “are a ton of fun and appeal to a huge” demographic, he said. “We’ll have families out there, cowboys there, river rats there. And everyone can get down to the music I’m booking for this weekend.”
Last summer marked the revival of the outdoor music venue between Toponas and Wolcott on Colorado Highway 131 south of Steamboat. It burned down in 2007 and was rebuilt into an outdoor amphitheater. In the past few weeks, a crew of people has been volunteering at State Bridge, getting it ready for the summer season, which starts Friday.
“We are creating a really great family of folks up here. We have made some minor tweaks but mainly just blew off the winter dust and got her ready,” Stoughton said.
Friday through Sunday, the riverside venue hosts a slew of musicians.
WhiteWater Ramble, a mandolin-fiddle-acoustic guitar-upright bass-drums outfit from Fort Collins, kicks things off Friday night with its bluegrass-tinged rock with everything from house grooves to roots Americana.
Whiskey Tango, a bluegrass/rock band out of Denver, performs Saturday night, along with Chris Thompson & Coral Creek, a Front Range band that performs rock, country-bluegrass and island music. Vince Herman’s Great American Taxi headlines an early show Sunday afternoon as the annular solar eclipse takes over the skies.
“I wanted to kick it off with bands people liked last year,” Stoughton said. “It’s kind of a soft time for booking. I was searching for groups who were regional and really brought great energy and just throw down.”
Steamboat heads south
It’s no surprise that many Steamboat residents head just across the Routt/Eagle county border to the remote music, camping and recreation venue. Being just about an hour from town, State Bridge welcomes Steamboat locals with some familiar faces.
Missed the Boat, a local band, is looking forward to taking the State Bridge stage once again.
They played last summer with Steamboat’s String Board Theory and will play again May 25 at the annual Campout For the Cause fundraiser and music festival. Their slot is at 7:30 p.m.
“We love State Bridge, and we love working with the people that run the place — Scotty and his team,” Missed the Boat guitarist Ryan Cox said. “It’s a gorgeous venue to play at, and it attracts our favorite kind of people.”
New at State Bridge
State Bridge regulars will encounter a few new things at the venue this summer. The general store got revamped, Stoughton said. The liquor store is gone, and the general store will sell inner tubes for people who want to float the Colorado River. This weekend, Moe’s BBQ will serve up its Alabama-style barbecue to hungry concertgoers inside the venue.
There also are a lot more ready-made food and drinks for sale at the general store, Stoughton said.
Also based out of the store is Stand Up Paddle Colorado (www.standuppaddlecolorado.com), Stoughton’s new stand-up paddleboarding venture.
“It’s the first exclusive outfitter in Colorado, and we’re focusing on clinics,” Stoughton said. “It’s been gorgeous up here. The water is already warm. I’ve been on the river every day, and the water is not freezing, and this time of year it usually is.”
State Bridge summer highlights
May 25 to 28: Campout for the Cause IV with Elephant Revival, Bonfire Dub, Shakedown, Frogs Gone Fishin’, MTHDS, Drunken Hearts, Missed the Boat and more
June 3: ITALS
June 9: EOTO
June 16 and 17: 7 Walkers with Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead)
July 1: Dark Star Orchestra
June 6 and 7: BoomBox
July 14: JJ Grey & Mofro
July 15: Infamous Stringdusters
Coming up: Michael Menert, Ana-Sia, Donna the Buffalo, Brother Ali, Hieroglyphics, Greensky Bluegrass, Motet, Nicki Bluhm, Tea Leaf Green and more.
Nicole Inglis, of Explore Steamboat, contributed to this story. Reach her at 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com.