Waking up on our first morning in Denver I soon felt the effect of the high altitude. Hydration is everything up here for touring muso’s and crew. I couldn’t get enough water down me last night yet I woke dry as a bone. Denver is nicknamed the ‘Mile-High City’ because its official elevation is exactly one mile or 5,280 feet (1,609.344 m) above sea level, making it one of the highest major cities in the United States. Another day off and I was heading for the mountains to stay with some friends and play golf. I was unsure if the golf would be possible since there was clearly lying snow on the ground in the city and I was about to heat to a much higher elevation. I was picked up and driven the 2 hours West to a place called Beaver Creek where the elevation is 8,100 feet at base level. Lisa and Gavin’s place was up another couple of thousand feet so I’m guessing it was around the 10,000 feet mark. Nearly two miles high. Already dry, we climbed the hill and enjoyed the spectacular views of this peaceful ski destination.
The ski season hasn’t yet started so the place was pretty quiet but the sun was out and already any lying snow was melting fast. Even at this much higher elevation, there was less snow than I expected. Our golf destination was further West, a place called Adam’s Rib Ranch situated in a small town called Eagle. This beautiful golf course in the heart of the Vail valley was designed by Tom Weiskopf and standing on the first tee, we paused to notice there was not a sound to be heard. Total silence, not a plane, a car, even a bird. Something one rarely gets to experience, especially touring as we do, hopping from city to city. We had a truly wonderful round of golf with barely anyone else on the course, the sun shone and I felt a little hot in my Galvin thermals. I spent the night up there and occasionally had to remind myself to breathe, not being used to this altitude. The next morning we drove back to Denver city and I readied myself for the first of two shows at the 1st Bank Arena in Broomfield.
Show Day 1 – We are often visited at various venues around the US by boutique amp manufacturers and guitar makers and more often than not, these products are great. Today was no exception as Steve Carey from FluxTone speakers came along with a few guitar amps featuring a technology known as ‘Variable Magnetic Technology’ which allows for a 25dB reduction without subtracting tone. Richard, myself and Mark were mightily impressed.
The show itself was another predictably enjoyable affair with a noticeably appreciative audience. We always love coming and playing Colorado and were reminded of why this evening. After our happy set, Bob took to the stage and Mark joined him for the 5th tune once more. We were back in the hotel bar enjoying a brief drop by 10:30pm.
Show Day 2 – John had asked Richard if he would do a guitar overdub on a new album by the lovely Heidi Talbot, (John’s wife) and I offered the facility of my room and NHT monitor speakers. Mike brought his Pro Tools and M Box and we set up. It was a great opportunity for us to try a new microphone I’ve been traveling with, the ADK 3 Zigma. ‘Vintage meets Rocket Science’ boasts the slogan for a new mic from Larry Villela at ADK which utilizes a removable capsule system. 3 mics in one.
Mike and Richard with the ADK..
I screwed on the ’47’ capsule and set it in front of Richard’s amp. It sounded great. Warm and sweet. After Rich was done, I sang a few harmony vocals. Lovely tunes and great fun.
At 3:45 it was time once more to pile on Jason’s bus and head for the gig and the customary stop at catering. Jessica had the usual delicious selection of salads and meats laid out from lunchtime and we tucked in with gusto. There was just time for a quick nap before a sound-check which addressed a few tech. issues from the previous night. All done, we dressed and took to the stage once more. An even better show tonight. What a band this is, I’m not sure I’ve ever had so much fun playing with a group of guys on stage before.
pics Katrina and Lane
In the dressing room after-show, Crocks had ordered us his favourite…Chinese. It’s almost impossible to resist after a show. The dressing room and happy bus….
Back on the bus, there was time for a glass and a toast before arriving back at the hotel once more. I offered my hotel room come recording studio for an after show soirée and everyone showed up.
DJ Fletch is back in business.