14 Spooktacular Moments: Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel

by Mar 20, 2017Music, Reviews

Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel.  Man, we love those four words together!

Even though we have been blessed with many amazing festivals already this year (and it’s only March!), we could NOT have been more excited about this year’s installment of “Leftover Salmon at the Stanley Hotel”.    We rolled up to Estes Park with our roomies for the weekend, and all of us were sharing how we had trouble sleeping the night before out of pure excitement.

There really was no reason to improve upon the first year, but we really appreciate all of the changes and additions to the schedule.  Each year, this “Shindig” has been such a special and unique experience that is difficult to put into words.  But what the heck – we’ll give it a shot.

14 Spooktacular Moments with Leftover Salmon at the Stanley Hotel


#14 Colorado Mountain Views

Just how special this weekend is starts to set in on the drive to Estes Park, Colorado.  It’s hard not to get giddy with excitement as you head through the quaint town of Lyons, turning the curve to start heading up the hill to the base of the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park.  When you hit the welcome sign for Estes Park, you can see the Stanley Hotel standing in all of its glory in the distance.  If you’ve stayed here before, you know The Stanley holds a certain energy.  Some say it is filled with ghosts, but we know it is going to be filled with polyethniccajunslamgrass. 

Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel

#13  The Reunion Party

One of the best parts of the weekend is always the Official Kick-Off party in the MacGregor Ballroom.  This year, we were treated to the sweet sounds of the Sweet Lillies.  This Colorado-based band captured our attention last year when they played Leftover Salmon’s Solshine Festival – and we were happy to see them welcome us home to the Stanley this weekend. Breckenridge Brewery handed us some (free) tasty brews to go along with the (free) buffet of snacks.  It’s classy and cordial, and the perfect way to celebrate a reunion with a few hundred of your favorite festival friends.

Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel

#12 The Mystery Matinee

Every year, a “Mystery Matinee” set is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.  Attendees scroll through the schedules of all their favorite bands, trying to see who might be in Colorado for the weekend. Everyone has a guess, but it’s always a big surprise.  This year was no exception, and everyone seemed pretty shocked to see the Mystery Matinee guest was Todd Park Mohr from Big Head Todd and the Monsters.  His bluesy-solo set was quite unexpected, and he added a unique twist to the slamgrass styling of the weekend.

Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel

#11 I Like My “Salmon Eggs” Over Easy

Flip ‘em and fry ‘em – these Salmon Eggs are a great addition to any meal.  The little tykes of Vince Herman and Drew Emmitt sure are growing up fast – and their musical abilities are too! With this much talent in the family, it’s nice to know we’ll be able to have the Leftover Salmon family around for a long time.

Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel

#10 The Dead is Alive

Leftover Salmon added in an extra theme night this year, and invited everyone to dress up as their favorite horror film character.  They even invited some pretty amazing face painters to help add flare to the spooky costumes. Then they kicked off Night One with a “killer” set, and hit the stage dressed up as a variety act from Vegas (that was what they were going for, right??).  With a promise to return to the second set as a “different band”, they treated us to a set entirely dedicated to the Grateful Dead – with a little “Pasta on the Mountain” for the Leftover Salmon twist.  We were even surprised with some first-time-played songs, as Greg Garrison took over the mic to belt out some classic Dead tunes.  (NOTE: Buy your “Let Greg Sing” t-shirt today – while supplies last!)

Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel with Jeremy Garrett

#9 Garrett Grass

Woo Doggie – that Jeremy Garrett can melt your face off with the way he fingers that fiddle.  He played the role of “artist at large” for the weekend, and it was extra spooktacular.  It’s like him and his fiddle are one being, one spirit, one animal.  He was an exceptional addition to the Leftover Salmon sets, blending in his own style perfectly with the band’s.  He’s also just recently received an award as part of the “Best Boy Band of 2017”. (refer to spooktacular moment #4)

#8 I’ve Got Something in my Sockeye

Is there something in my eye or do I see Alwyn singing?  Darn tootin’ you see Alwyn singing.  This trio of Leftover Salmon members have made their side-project official.  Sockeye is a jazz-infused collaboration of Erik Deutsch, Dr. Greg Garrison and Alwyn Robinson.  Their talent is – oh, how do you say – it’s just ridiculous.  Their individual soulful stylings come together to form an experience you don’t want to miss.  (Note:  They have a Facebook Page, and you should like it.  https://www.facebook.com/sockeyetheband/

Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel with Sockeye

#7 Show Me Your “Gipsy Moon”

The full moon this weekend paled in comparison to the beautiful sounds of Gipsy Moon.  Hailing from the mountains of Nederland, Colorado, this quintet of fine folksy musicians has won over the hearts of many.  Their innovative stylings takes you on a musical journey, but their shining personalities are what makes you fall in love.  It was a special treat to have them close out the festival with their Sunday set in the ballroom – a new addition to this year’s schedule.  They  even saved time for a Sunday Acoustic Jam after their set, which has always been one of our favorite festival moments every year.

Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel with Gipsy Moon

#6 Let’s Act All Fancy and Shit

This festival gets fancy as s*** on Saturday Night, and it’s pretty freakin’ awesome.  Everyone is invited to dress as if attending a party in the 1920’s, and then stick around to recreate the ballroom photo from the end of the movie “The Shining”.  Seriously, when do you ever have a chance to get all dolled up and go dancing these days? Throw in the luxurious feel of the Stanley Hotel and the slamgrass sounds of Leftover Salmon, and you create one of the best nights of the year.  Formal Night has been around since the inception of this weekend festival, and it better be here to stay. 

Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel Jay Blakesberg photo
Leftover Salmon at the Stanley Hotel

#5 Jay Blakesberg

Jay will make our list of Stanley highlights every year – and for good reason.  He’s just a real cool dude, and he’s got some amazing stories to tell.  Plus, if he happens to catch you on film, you immediately get elevated one step closer to rock-stardom.  He’s just that cool.  So, it’s pretty darn amazing that one of the most famous rock’n’roll photographers of our lifetime was strolling around the Stanley with his camera all weekend.  I’m ready for my closeup, Mr. Blakesberg.

#4 Jam in Your Jammies

Sunday morning can be a real struggle.  So, Leftover Salmon lured us out of bed with the promise of Bloody Mary’s, breakfast and more music.  Knowing how much of a challenge this morning (noon is morning, right?) event can be for some, Festy GoNuts encouraged attendees to stay comfy, and enjoy the Sunday Morning  with a little “Jam in Your Jammies”.  Now, isn’t that a cozy way to start Day 3?

This year, the award for “The Best Boy Band of 2017” goes to Silas Herman, Jeremy Garrett and Danny Barnes.  These three musical wonders tore up the ballroom stage on Sunday Morning, melting the hearts of all the kids in their pajamas.  Our only request for next year:  Give us more Danny Barnes.

Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel
Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel

#3 Never Miss a Sunday Show

You’ve heard it before, and this Sunday was certainly not an exception to the rule.  Full of Leftover Salmon classics, this upbeat afternoon set filled us to the brim with magic and love.  On Sunday afternoon, the focus was just good ol’ polyethiccajunslamgrass.  There was no theme, there were no costumes (well, for the most part).  It was just a classic Leftover Salmon show – with Jeremy Garrett on the fiddle.  Oh, and with the New Orleans Suspects playing some horns and percussion.  Still, a pretty amazing way to get everyone dancing their hearts out for the last LoS set of the weekend.

Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel

#2 Hot Tubs and Front Porch Jams

There’s a lot of stuff on the Weekend at The Stanley schedule, but it’s the moments in between that can create some serious FOMO.  From relaxing in a hot tub in the afternoon (or as the sun is rising) to enjoying a late-night (early-morning) jam on the front porch of the Stanley Hotel, there are some incredibly special moments peppered throughout your “down-time”.  

However, the highlight FOMO moment for this year has to be the Sunday Night acoustic jam in the bar.  Vince Herman led us all across the hall after the ballroom jam had come to an end, and the special show continued until the bartenders kicked us out at closing.  It’s when you miss moments like these that you really never want to go to sleep at a festival.

Thank goodness we didn’t head to bed early.

Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel
Leftover Salmon Stanley Hotel

#1: It’s a Convention, Not a Festival

It’s not often you get to have a weekend entirely devoted to one of your favorite bands.  The LoS fans and family (endearingly referred to as LoSers) know just how special this weekend is – and so do the band members.  This is truly a family event. 

So, when Vince Herman announces this feels more like a convention than a festival – I think we all get it.  It’s a convention of a few hundred of our closest friends, and we’re all coming together to celebrate one of our favorite bands in a very special venue. 

That’s all folks! If we hadn’t convinced you before, this recap of third installment of the Leftover Salmon at the Stanley Hotel should have done the trick.  Hopefully we can do this all over again next March!  Until then…

All work and no play make Vince a dull boy.

All work and no play make Vince a dull boy.

All work and no play make Vince a dull boy.

All work and no play make Vince a dull boy.

All work and no play make Vince a dull boy.

All work and no play make Vince a dull boy.

All work and no play make Vince a dull boy.


Check out our 2016 Leftover Salmon at the Stanley Hotel review!