Mark your calendars |
Breaking: Steamboat Ski Area unveils new ski season flights from Austin, Kansas City
Autumn Phillips

Back to: News

Mark your calendars

Free Summer Concert Series finalized

Cut this out and put it on your refrigerator. It’s time to get your feet dusty and see all those people you only see in the shadow of the stage at Howelsen Hill.

This week, the organizers of the Free Summer Concert Series officially released the 2005 lineup, which includes an unexpected, last minute booking of Big Head Todd and the Monsters.

People have been asking series organizers Joe Kboudi and John Waldman who will play since March. As the days get longer and the snow on the ski area gets slushy, people start thinking about summer.

“They see me on the street or at All That Jazz and ask me about our lineup,” Kboudi said. “It has become a tradition in Steamboat.”

The addition of Big Head Todd to a lineup that includes Steel Pulse, Sonny Landreth, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Cracker, has been in the works for more than five years, Waldman said.

Todd Mohr, lead singer and guitarist with Big Head Todd, has a ranch in Yampa and spends a lot of time in the valley. Waldman was talking to him one night during a winter free concert downtown after a Nordic Combined World Cup, and Mohr suggested he would like to play a free concert in Steamboat someday.

“I said, ‘We’d be happy to have you,’ and we’ve been trying to make it work with his schedule and his agent ever since,” Waldman said. “This year, it just worked out. Things fell into place.”

Beyond Big Head Todd, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will return to Steamboat after several years away. NGDB has played the Free Summer Concert Series several times, including the first concert at Howelsen Hill six years ago when the series grew too large for the courthouse lawn.

Waldman and Kboudi said this year’s series is one of the strongest they’ve presented in the 12 years they’ve been organizing.

“It’s really diverse in style from reggae to country to alternative rock,” Waldman said.

One of the “sleepers” of the series this year is Sonny Landreth. He has played the Free Summer Concert Series twice before as the lead guitar player with John Hiatt and The Goners. This summer, he returns with his own project.

“Sonny Landreth is probably the best electric slide guitar player in the world,” Waldman said. “I think people who aren’t familiar with him will be amazed. You’ll be a Sonny fan when you leave.”

The series ends with alternative country band Cracker, lending some edge to the summer. Anyone who hasn’t seen this band live is missing out. In fact, anyone who misses any of the free concert series is missing out on the best thing about Steamboat.

“When I’m at the shows and the sun is setting and it’s warm and it’s summer, there’s nothing better than that in Steamboat,” Kboudi said.