By Kalene McCort, The Daily Camera
Since 2016, The Caribou Room has delivered unforgettable shows with exceptional sound quality. From surprising patrons with a secret gig featuring The String Cheese Incident, within just a few months of opening, to hosting songstress Joan Osborne for a night that featured soulful Bob Dylan covers in 2019, the 514-seat venue has been a draw for concertgoers across the Front Range and out-of-towners looking to get a taste of spontaneity, higher elevation and unencumbered jams.
While the former construction-equipment warehouse turned state-of-the-art concert hall can no longer host shoulder-to-shoulder indoor shows, the staff has figured out a way to keep the music going on a smaller scale — for now.
On Friday, The Herman Clan — a trio consisting of Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon, Silas Herman of Gipsy Moon and Colin Huff of Pioneer Mother — will perform outside. Saturday, Boulder-based band Flash Mountain Flood and brothers Bill and John McKay will play for the Fourth of July as part of the venue’s social distant concert series.
“We are very lucky that we have a big parking lot,” said Caribou Room owner Peter Fiori. “This is really just a small thing for the Nederland crew to get out of their houses. We are trying to bring normalcy back to neighbors and friends.”
Fiori purchased soccer chalk and marked off designated “social circles” and parking spaces where music fans can gather. Up to 40 cars, with approximately 100 people, can enjoy fresh air, mountain views and an evening of tunes.
Local musicians who have already played the temporary 20-by-12-foot outdoor stage include Derek Dames Ohl, Danny Shafer, Matt Flaherty Band, Smooth Money Gesture and members of Tenth Mountain Division.
While this weekend a sold-out crowd will get to enjoy the mini festival atmosphere, Fiori isn’t quite sure what the future holds for the outdoor concert series that launched in late May.
“It’s such a fluid situation,” Fiori said. “I have gotten the PPP loan to keep my employees paid. None of us have any idea what the next few months will bring.”
The green-designed building that also houses a recording studio — and pre-pandemic was rented out for weddings, corporate events and private parties — has been closed down with the exception of the kitchen and bar.
“We adhere to the CDC and state guidelines and go above and beyond those guidelines,” Fiori said. “We have three parking lot attendants that make sure masks are on.”
Some attendees enjoy the show from the bed of their trucks or set up camp chairs and blankets. A varied drink and food menu provides options that go beyond average concessions.
Tickets for onsite shows sell out in a matter of hours once announced — mostly to Nederland locals looking to combat cabin fever in the tree-dotted lot.
“There will always be a demand for music,” Fiori said. “We will just have to see what venues can ride this out. I think the creativity will be turned up a notch.”
From drive-in festivals to Curbside Concerts — where folks can order a driveway performance from a local musician — promoters, concert hall owners and artists continue to deliver an out-of-the-venue approach to live entertainment.
“It’s been really rough,” Fiori said. “We are all just trying to survive, but musicians are getting beat up the most. Musicians live gig to gig.”
While the future of Caribou’s outdoor concert series remains unknown due to rising coronavirus numbers, Fiori hopes to continue to serve takeout on Fridays and Saturdays even if the shows don’t go on. Delivery service would also be an option for folks to enjoy Caribou’s lump crab cakes, cocktails and other culinary offerings prepared by its chef, Lauran Knight.
Keep on keepin’ on
Saturday’s holiday show will be only the second live gig since January for Flash Mountain Flood. The band performed a social distant show at Mishawaka Amphitheatre in Bellvue on Thursday with Tenth Mountain Division and Bill McKay.
“I have been performing live pretty much every weekend since I was 18 years old and now I’m 25, so this has been different for sure and definitely an adjustment to cope,” said Logan Green, guitarist and vocalist for Flash Mountain Flood. “I’m such a perfectionist and proactive person about my music, right now there’s not much to do about the situation but be as safe as possible.”
In April, Green took to his personal Facebook page to treat fans to more than 30 minutes of acoustic originals and familiar covers. In a time where folks have been oversaturated by livestreams, Green is more than thrilled to be performing to a live audience in person once again.
“The Caribou Room is a world-class crew and are working extremely hard to make their outdoor summer concert series as enjoyable and fun as possible,” Green said. “All of us in Flash Mountain Flood are excited and looking forward to be a part of it on such a great night.”
While this will be Flash Mountain Flood’s second show in over six months, members have decided to donate all tip proceeds to Black Lives Matter 5280.
“The engagement and spotlight, so to speak, is bigger than ever right now and those are the things you live for as a musician,” Green said. “You can feel the excitement is fresh and that’s fun. I’m just happy to be playing anyway we can, to do our parts safely and to keep it at a safe pace for us all.”
To find out more about The Caribou Room’s takeout and delivery options and possible upcoming shows, visit its website or call 303-258-3637.
Source: Read Full Article