Take Note Colorado at 1st Bank Center, Broomfield, CO on 5/4/17

Almost every notable Colorado musician you could think of joined Governor Hickenlooper for a benefit concert on Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you). The goal of the charity is to give any child from kindergarten to 12th grade access to a musical instrument and knowledge how to play it.

Crested Butte’s own Bill Nershi from The String Cheese Incident with his wife Jillian Nershi started the evening of Colorado music. His SCI song Colorado Bluebird Sky was about living … wait for it… mile high.  They introduced Tracksuit Wedding fronted by Libby Anschutz a co-founder of the Take Note Colorado charity. Her father, Phil Anschutz, is Colorado’s best-known entrepreneur (the A in AEG).  Sadly, no tracksuits were worn or weddings were performed, but their mixture of funk and blues fired up the crowd.  

KBCO’s own Bret Saunder’s came out in a Chewbacca Mask (remember it’s Star Wars Day) to introduce Columbine High School‘s own Todd Park Mohr from Big Head Todd and the Monsters. In the early 90’s, I followed his band around so often they started to recognize me in the audience. Luckily no restraining orders were filed. He was joined by Jeremy Lawton BHTM’s keyboardist and slide guitarist. They played blues versions of Rolling and Tumbling (one of the first blues song’s ever recorded), Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your land (their version is actually not cheesy), and a new BHTM song New Word Arisin’ that matched the other material perfectly.

Isacc Slade

Next Boulder’s own Isaac Slade, the front man of The Fray, took the stage. Governor Hickenlooper convinced Slade to co-chair the Take Note charity one drunken night (that’s how it was described by Slade). He performed The Fray’s first hit Over My Head (Cable Car) on the piano. Next was How to Save a Life. The song was fitting because it was inspired by his time working at a camp for troubled teens. Next was his version of Kanye West’s Heartless illuminated by the audience’s cell phones. Boulder’s Fairview High School Choir backed him at end of his set. And that was just the warm up. 

The Fray – Photo by the Rock and Roll Princess

Colorado Springs own OneRepublic took the stage to Loves Runs Out. They really put on a show with their full band and stunning lighting display. Lead singer Ryan Tedder jumped off a multi color light piano and took the band through a hit filled set including Stop and Stare, Secrets, and No Apologies (their biggest hit). Tedder introduced the song by joking, “if you don’t know this next song, welcome back from North Korea.” During Counting Stars, Tedder ran through the audience with the help of three big bodyguards. The audience went crazy and someone threw him their popcorn (not their underwear, it was a family event after all). OneRepublic ended with I Lived with the lyrics, “Hope when the crowd screams out/It’s screaming your name/Hope if everybody runs/You choose to stay.” 

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Denver’s Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats closed the show with their soul inspired powerhouse sound. Rateliff not only sang with incredible power, he danced throughout the night channeling James Brown. He dedicated a duck walk to the late Father of Rock and Roll Chuck Berry to the jubilated crowd.  His horn section transformed his solo song Boil and Fight into a Night Sweats standard. The horn section put down their brass and played shakers for the song …. wait for it …. Shake. Two high school horn players joined The Night Sweats for a couple of songs making their rock and roll dreams come true. The band ended with S.O.B. encouraging the crowd to sing-a-long. The drunken crowd was doing choreographed dance moves to the chorus of My Heart was breaking/Hands were shaking/Bugs crawling all over me.

See you at the next show. I’ll be the one bragging about my tambourine solo featured in my junior high school band concert. 

If you would like to support the worthy cause, please follow the directions below:

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