Recap: Telluride's "Ride Festival"
7/22/2013 2:53:00 AM
Or what I did on my summer vacation.
Talk about a gorgeous backdrop. The Rocky Mountains are hard to beat when it comes to beauty and ambiance. And live music at 8,750 feet is exhilirating.
Last weekend I attended The Ride Festival in the small town of Telluride, Colorado (population 2,368,) a laid-back affair now in its second year.
It had been a while since I had been camping, but we settled in to the ROWDY campground just a few minute's walk from the venue, Festival Field. There was a real waterfall about 30 yards from our tent.
Austin's The Whiskey Sisters kicked off the festival, and the crowd soon warmed up to their charms. I remember thinking that this festival sure had a Blues on the Green kind of vibe at that moment! Another Austin connection was the Deep Eddy Vodka tent. Other highlights from day one included performances by a rock band from L.A. called Rival Sons, Steve Earle, and Rodrigo y Gabriela. Coloradoan Big Head Todd and the Monsters headlined the night, and were joined onstage by John Oates at one point.
The next day, I decided to do a little exploring. Telluride is so small that it's really easier to walk than to drive. There is free bus service if you need it. And a free gondola ride (considered public transportation) up to Mountain Village, the ski area. On the ride up, I saw several mountain bikers flying along the trails. Then it was off to the showers ($3.00 for five minutes of hot water, quarters only.) I could clearly hear Son Volt playing in the background.
Later, Colorado governor John Hickenlooper brought The Drive-By Tuckers onstage, which I thought was really cool (I couldn't envision Rick Perry doing that, maybe for Ted Nugent, but I digress.) The Truckers were joined onstage at one point by their "new friend" John Oates. Up next it was Cake who put the crowd in a frenzy, in a good way. Their cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" was particulary awesome.
The festival was headlined by David Byrne and St. Vincent. Ok, maybe you have heard their album "Love This Giant," or maybe just a song or two, and thought that it was weird or dissonant. I am here to tell you, that LIVE, they are phenomenal. Maybe it's because the band includes an 8-piece brass section. Maybe it's the theatrics and the choreography. The combination of it all was dynamite.