Leftover Salmon’s Fall Maskerade
Leftover Salmon’s Fall Maskerade | The Lawn at the Surf Hotel in Buena Vista, CO
Photos by John-Ryan Lockman of ShowLove Media
2020 is a year like no other. It’s hard to imagine that it took until late October before we made it to a festival. Or a Leftover Salmon show.
If you follow Festy GoNuts, you know that we normally attend a ton of festivals, and a shit-ton of Salmon shows!
But, in the year that wasn’t, this just wasn’t the case.
Until last weekend.
Leftover Salmon’s Fall Maskerade was announced just about a month ago, and sold out instantly with the excitement and enthusiasm that the only Salmon festival of 2020 is sure to bring. For 3 nights, Leftover Salmon was to take over The Lawn – the newest venue in Buena Vista (pronounced Booooona Vista for some reason) at the Surf Hotel.
We were among the lucky few hundred in attendance, but Leftover Salmon, in recognition of the limited crowd capacity (175 due to the State’s Covid regulations) broadcast the entire engagement on Nugs.tv.
The band played 2 sets each night, plus 2 more on Sunday afternoon.
For a group that has not been together since early March, Leftover Salmon wowed the live crowd and streaming audience with tightly woven jams, new takes on classics, and many tunes never before played, including several brand new Leftover Salmon songs!
Friday night saw a Leftover Salmon without a speck of rust upon them. They kicked off the weekend with Andy Thorn’s Mac Miller cover, “Best Day Ever”, relaying the excitement the band clearly shared, taking the stage together once again for the first time in months.
Vince Herman, Drew Emmitt, Greg Garrison, Andy Thorn, and Alwyn Robinson continued to rip through an amazing evening of music for the socially distanced but amped-up crowd on the Lawn. They were joined by percussionist Wally Ingram for the entire affair.
The crowd was understandably a bit out of Festy shape, not having been to one all summer, but the moment Vince Herman yelled “FESTIVAAAAAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!!” all was ok again!
There were a few brand-new tunes – sneak previews of an upcoming new album – and a few covers that had never before been played by the band. Among these highlights was the Drew Emmitt-led version of the Grateful Dead classic, “Morning Dew.” More like “Morning Drew.”
Tyler Grant came off the bench like the Champ that he is to join for a few tunes as well, as he had been playing the prior evening at the Lawn and stuck around for more fun.
The band closed with an encore of Fuzzy Little Hippy Girl > Wipeout > Lick It > Wipeout. The “Wipeout” portions between Alwyn Robinson and Wally Ingram were insanely good, and perfect for a Salmon festival at the Surf Hotel!
By the end of the first night, the smiles were all over the Lawn, fans and band alike thinking how good it felt to be feeling good again!
After remembering how to dance and get down on the previous night, come Saturday we all had to remember how to put on costumes and act like freaks. Not too tough for the Salmon family!
The costumes were on-point, and the weather had warmed considerably compared to the previous evening.
After a warm-up set from Wally Ingram and Mark Morris (Rapidgrass), with Coleman Smith (Rapidgrass) sitting in a bit, the crowd was comfortably back into the swing of things, and ready to Festy like we’d been doing it all summer.
The Saturday Night Salmon show at the Surf Hotel was one for the ages. The energy and antics on stage were at the highest level we’ve seen from a band that’s been doing this for 30 years. Think these guys have been ready to burst without a musical outlet all summer long? Well, the seams were sure busted apart on Saturday night!
Starting with the opener of “Let’s Give a Party“, the band did just that for a solid 2 sets that included moments like “Reuben’s Train” played in part with Vince’s chicken-feet (Vince was feeling the “Cosmic Chicken” vibe and shared his chicken treats with some lucky folks). Andy Thorn led an incredible first-time-played “Black Peter”, and sprinkled in a few Phish teases throughout the night, including a brief “Bathtub Gin” and “First Tube.” Drew Emmitt also led a partial chorus of “Dinner and a Movie” at one point.
It was classic Leftover Salmon, reminding everyone of why they are the best at what they do. They were playful, inventive, and downright goofy at times, while always maintaining the tightest of jams and some of the most incredible musicianship and skill you will ever witness. It was Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass at its best!
Saturday night was what everyone needed after the summer that wasn’t. We may take the music and festivals for granted at times, but 2020 has taught us differently.
Nights like the Leftover Salmon Saturday throwdown will never be taken for granted again!
Sunday brought the forecasted snow that we all knew was coming for us. The Fall Maskerade turned quickly into a Winter Wonderland, and Leftover Salmon responded accordingly.
To a slightly smaller crowd without any diminished enthusiasm, Leftover Salmon delivered a show that reminded everyone why you never miss a Sunday show – despite the conditions.
In tribute to Jerry Jeff Walker, who had just passed away on Friday, the band played “Mr. Bojangles.” A new tune led by drummer Alwyn Robinson, “Sunday,” was a beautiful addition to the repertoire. A handful of appropriate winter-themed tunes also helped keep the crowd moving and warming themselves, including an epic “Powder Day” and a set-closing “Cold Rain and Snow.”
The 3-day affair was closed with “This Is The Time.”
As one fan, John Burns, recounted on Facebook, “During this a truck with a huge ‘Trump’ sticker drove by and naturally I wanted to throw snowballs at it, but right at that exact moment, Drew sang ‘This isn’t the time for fighting, this is the time for Peace’ and it all made perfect sense! I’m always learning something from these guys.”
“This isn’t a time for giving up. This is the time to be strong…. I know life is never easy when you’re holding out so long… I know that we can make it, with a little bit of faith to get us by…. This isn’t the time for faking. This is the time for us to fly… “
Thank you, Leftover Salmon, for putting a bit of normalcy and love back into our lives when we all needed so very much!
Scroll down for full setlists…
Leftover Salmon Fall Maskerade Setlists
Friday – October 23, 2020
Set One: Best Day Ever , Muddy Water Home , Liza, Just Before The Evening, Cloud City , Foreign Fields > Morning Dew , Live It High, Cowgirl In The Sand
Set Two: Cajun Girl, We’ll Get By , Down On The Waterfront, Fireline , Mama Boulet, Breakin’ Thru , Mr. Charlie > I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky > Honky Tonk Woman > Soul Shakedown Party > Pasta On The Mountain > Soul Shakedown Party > Kinky Reggae > Soul Shakedown Party > Hot Corn Cold Corn > Mr. Charlie , Unpromised Land > Whiskey Before Breakfast > Unpromised Land
Encore: Fuzzy Little Hippy Girl > Wipeout > Lick It > Wipeout
-  First time performed live
-  Funky version
-  w/ Drew on electric mandolin
-  w/ Tyler Grant on guitar
Saturday – October 24, 2020
Set One: Let’s Give A Party, HooDoo Bash, Down In The Hollow, Tu’Na Pas Aller, Red Fox Run, Valley Of The Full Moon, Bird Call , Derby Day , Reuben’s Train 
Set Two: Gulf Of Mexico, Black Peter , Simple Twist Of Fate > Drums > Zombie Jamboree, When The Levee Breaks, Brand New Good Old Days, Tangled Up In Blue, Higher Ground, Show Me Something Higher , Madame Boudreaux, Who Stole My Monkey > New Speedway Boogie > Let In A Little Light > Wake And Bake > Let In A Little Light
Encore: She Took Off My Romeo’s
-  w/ Coleman Smith on fiddle
-  featured Vince solo w/ a chicken foot
-  First time performed live
-  w/ crowd Maskerade
-  w/ Dinner And A Movie, Once In A Lifetime & Moose’s Lucky Day teases
Sunday – October 25, 2020
Set One: Six Feet Of Snow, Whispering Waters, Mr. Bojangles , High Country, Out In The Woods, Sunday , Powder Day > Better, Cold Rain & Snow
Set Two: I Don’t Know You, Morning Sun, Last Days Of Autumn, Unplug That Telephone, River’s Rising, Mountain Top, Big Mon, Bringing It On Home To Me , Fastest Song, Big Mammu, Troubled Times
Encore: Rodeo Geek > This Is The Time
Entire second set with Coleman Smith on fiddle
-  First time performed live
-  Triple fiddle – Andy, Drew, Coleman
The women of Tico Time Bluegrass Festival took charge, threw down and dumped it out for an amazing weekend to kick off festy season.
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