Leftover Salmon’s Boogie at the Broadmoor 2019 Review
Leftover Salmon’s Boogie at the Broadmoor
Leftover Salmon held their first annual Boogie at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs on March 22 – 24, 2019. The band gave us three uniquely different shows over the weekend and brought along lots of their musical friends to support the festival. Sam Bush, The Bluegrass Generals, and The High Country Horns were all highlights, along with fun activities and theme days to bring out the weird in everyone.
Leftover Salmon is no ordinary band. Let’s face it.
Their musical style is self-described as Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass, but how do you even begin to describe the band’s personality? It’s eccentric, over-the-top, and quirky. And it can’t be contained. From outrageous to subtle, every band member brings their own personal touch to create the band’s identity. Whatever that may be.
Leftover Salmon is a force in and of itself. They take their fans on a musical journey – and not just with their music. It’s with the whole package – the setlist, the show, the stage, the outbursts, the jams, the guests, the instruments.
So, when Leftover Salmon puts together an entire weekend retreat for their fans, you better believe that it is not going to be your normal 3-day festival. It’s going to be a ride, and you better buckle up.
For the past four years, Leftover Salmon and their fans have taken over the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park in March. The weekend grew in size and scope every year, taking on more theme days, more activities, more bands, and more weirdness. The stories that came out of those weekends in the mountains should not be repeated to the general public. But Leftover Salmon fans can’t help it – because if you don’t tell anyone, then did it really happen? The Jolly McCheese flag hung from the front of the hotel. Midnight hikes to the pet cemetery awoke the ghosts. Whips cracked in the sunset. Hot tub soaks overflowed into the sunrise. Things got weird – perfectly weird.
The announcement came last October that the Leftover Salmon annual convention would be moved to the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs – and the LOSers became skeptical. Did Leftover Salmon know what they were getting into? Would the Broadmoor let us lounge around in our adult-sized onesies on Sunday? Could we wave our freak flag around the hotel campus? Did we really want all these normies to be in our space during the Leftover Salmon retreat? Do they allow whips?!
The answer was a resounding YES! (Well, except for that last question. The answer was definitely a solid NO when it came to whips. Sorry, Tommy.)
Leftover Salmon proved what all of us should have known deep down already – that it doesn’t matter where they throw the party, because it’s going to be an experience you’ll never forget. Uhhh, scratch that – you may forget some! It’s going to be an experience of a lifetime. Yeah, that’s better. Point being that it’s going to completely rock your world, lift your spirits, and change your perspective on life. It’s that good.
Boogie at the Broadmoor did all that, and then some.
So, let’s get down to the top reasons that the first annual Boogie at the Broadmoor was an incredible success:
Let’s Get Classy at the Broadmoor
The Broadmoor is a five-star resort located in Colorado Springs, and it is MF high-class. Men in suits graciously opened the door as you walked into the European-style hotel. Sparkling chandeliers hung over the stages. Fountains danced in the spring-fed pond – while we paraded around it in our pajamas waving our “Be Your Fest Self” flag. It was luxurious.
In all seriousness, the Broadmoor was spectacular and the staff was very accommodating. They must have been given the run-down on our “past behavior” because they didn’t seem to mind our theatrics. In fact, they really seemed to enjoy it all. (Most of the hotel’s guests felt the same!)
The best part about the Broadmoor was the music venues. The International Center, an 18,000 square foot ballroom, boasted a beautiful stage big enough to support Leftover Salmon with the High Country Horns, Sam Bush, and Andy Hall. The lighting, the sound, and the production were all top-notch and definitely took the quality of music to a higher level. The equally luxurious Colorado Hall had a more intimate feel and proved to be perfect for those late-night shenanigans and a Sunday afternoon smooth jazz session.
Pomp and Circumstance
After 4 years at the Stanley Hotel, the Broadmoor was touted as being our graduation party. We made it to the next level, and we were ready to start earning our higher education. And, in some ways, it certainly felt that way.
We kicked off the weekend festivities in the main hall with Woodshed Red bringing down the house. Free beer samples were poured by Bristol Brewing Company. Vendors lined the walls in the back of the hall, anchored by Heady Bauer’s costume extravaganza. Cozy couches welcomed plenty of cuddle puddles.
Festy GoNuts handed out official diplomas to everyone who had attended the past Stanley events. We all gathered in our graduation gowns for a group photo and threw our caps in the air. The weekend’s excitement was soaking in, and everyone had a feeling that it was going to be something very special. We weren’t wrong.
It’s not every day that Vince Herman hosts a Gong Show while Sockeye plays the background music. That’s for good reason, because things can go beyond the normal strange at 3:00 am on a Sunday morning.
Let’s set the scene: An 8’ tall birthday cake is sitting in the middle of the stage, as assistants spray multiple cans of whipped cream into the top. A drumroll starts and Happy Birthday is sung while Vince Herman breaks free of the cardboard cake covered in whipped cream. He begins to break apart pieces, throwing them into the crowd (seriously, duck everyone!). And with that, we are welcomed to the first-annual Gong Show!
The following hours were filled with imaginary double-dutch, whale communications and jokes, some girl doing a fake (thank goodness) strip-tease, unnecessary guitar tuning, and a rambunctious group of hamburglars stealing rubber chickens and Alwyn’s beer.
That’s all I am going to share, because it’s your fault if you missed it. GONG!!
We Clean Up Real Nice
Don’t you think for one moment that Boogie at the Broadmoor was just a bunch of hippies running around in their tie-dye and Birkenstocks. Oh, hell no. Leftover Salmon knows how to throw a real classy party. And, it turns out, their fans like to get all dolled up and go to the ball.
Friday was Funky Threads Night, and many brought out the afros and bell bottoms. Vince had his own interpretation of Funky Threads, and he sported his funky tie-dye pants (damn, guess I was wrong about the tie-dye) and practiced some of his kung-fu kicks on stage.
The Broadmoor brought the original Stanley Masquerade Ball to another level, and on Saturday we were all taking turns strutting down the runway with Jay Blakesberg as our personal paparazzi. Masks couldn’t disguise our true identities as fans danced the night away with one of the best Leftover Salmon sets ever to be had.
After giving it all we had for 48 hours straight, we continued the tradition of Jam in your Jammies on Sunday, relaxing in our robes and onesies during a Sockeye Jazz session, a powerful Sweet Lillies set, and a classic Leftover Salmon Living Room show.
Be Our Guest
Boogie at the Broadmoor is hosted by Leftover Salmon, but they didn’t slack on inviting some top-notch musical guests to come along for the ride. Woodshed Red kicked off the Welcome Party on Friday, and Pixie and the Partygrass Boys closed out the late-night stage. Friday’s main support was Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, but they had to cancel due to weather – so, we were treated to a double-dose of Salmon; followed up by a late-night surprise set by Chris Daniels and The Kings. And, guys, this was just Friday!
Saturday was completely chock full of fun musical journeys, starting with Tenth Mountain Division kicking off the festivities. Some of these guys have been going to Leftover Salmon’s Stanley events since the beginning, so it was pretty remarkable to see them now on the Saturday schedule at the Broadmoor.
Chris Pandolfi and Andy Hall set the stage on fire with their Bluegrass Generals set, supported by Greg Garrison, Sam Bush, and Dave Bruzza. It was definitely a highlight of the weekend and proved that Boogie at the Broadmoor is some serious next level shit.
Zach Deputy lit up the stage with his trippy solo performance and set the background for the fan’s runway show with Jay Blakesburg.
But the absolute highlight of the weekend was Leftover Salmon’s Saturday night show, featuring the High Country Horns and Sam Bush. The band is amplified when Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman and Skerik bring out their horns and their vocals. Sam Bush felt like a natural 6th band member, and even Andy Hall made an appearance that pretty much made the stage explode. This set alone reminded fans of the benefits of moving this weekend gathering to the Broadmoor, a bigger venue with more production and stage capabilities.
Sunday welcomed in a much more relaxing afternoon, with a chill jazz session from Erik Deutsch’s Falling Flowers (Sockeye with Veronica Reed and Skerik). Festy GoNuts paraded over to the Colorado Hall in our pajamas and cuddled up in front of the stage for the afternoon set.
After Sockeye, we decided to treat the Broadmoor guests and staff to a bit of fun as we continued the parade around the pond before ending up at The Sweet Lillies set. These sweet ladies woke up the party, and brought out special guests Sally van Meter (dobro) and Jack Cloonan (mandolin) to get everyone jamming in their jammies. We were all properly warmed up for the final Leftover Salmon set of the weekend.
Leftover Salmon’s Living Room set was the icing on the cake for this incredibly fun Sunday pajama party. Chairs were set up in the hall, but the fans couldn’t be contained. Salmon welcomed a variety of guests on the stage, including several Salmon Eggs and Sally van Meter. Sally was truly a highlight of Sunday. She plays the dobro with such grace, yet is a total bad ass. It seemed like a true honor to the host musicians to have her attend this year’s Boogie at the Broadmoor, and we were excited to get the opportunity to see her up close and personal.
Tejon Street Corner Thieves and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band wrapped up the Main Stage acts, and DeadPhish Orchestra closed out the weekend’s festivities. The weekend gave us so much incredible music that it was impossible to catch it all.
From the late-night jams to the surprise pop-up picks, fans were certainly able to boogie all over the Broadmoor hotel for three days straight.
Focus on OUR Family
Good Lord, I love this Leftover Salmon family!
You guys are nuts – completely insane. You have no egos, no bashfulness, and no shame. When we all get together, it’s like a bunch of drunk kids at the playground. Dancing, giggling, laughing, and spinning – all to the beat of a different drum.
Boogie at the Broadmoor brought together hundreds of dedicated Leftover Salmon fans and family members. It’s hard to put into words what that means to this fan base – you have to experience it first-hand to really understand the energy field that we all create together.
This family energy ignites all of your senses. You can feel it when you get to the Welcome Party on Friday that turns into an instant family reunion. You can hear it when you’re screaming “Who Stole My Monkey, My Monkey, My Monkey.” You can see it on the faces of the Broadmoor staff – and on the faces of the mothers who pulled their kids close when they stumbled onto a pop-up pick in the lobby. (Haha – just kidding. They LOVED us – pretty sure they already signed up for next year!)
A true highlight of the family this year was seeing the Salmon Eggs – the children of the members of Leftover Salmon – truly be a part of the Boogie. Playing in pop-up picks, running sound and stage production, belting out songs, and wailing on instruments – all the kids are growing up and becoming an important part of the greater Leftover Salmon Family.
That means that this Leftover Salmon phenomenon has lasting power, an energy that will live on through future generations. And that’s pretty cool.
There is no doubt we could list dozens of other highlights from the Leftover Salmon’s Boogie at the Broadmoor. But some things need to be left up to the imagination, and far more things are just better left unsaid.
What is perfectly clear is that this most likely won’t be the last time Leftover Salmon and their fans invade the Broadmoor Hotel. But if they won’t have us back, then we’ll just go wherever Salmon decides they should throw the next shindig.
Because it doesn’t matter where the party is, it just matters who you are with. Even if they are a bunch of LOSers.
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