Mar
28
(323 Views / 2 Upvotes)
1 Replies

Coming into this Colorado mountain run, I had extremely high expectations considering the remote and intimate setting. Somehow Steamboat shattered those expectations so I went into Frisco with a blank slate. Spafford completely mangled my sense of judgment so all things became possible again.

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That excitement led us to thinking the show started an hour earlier so we walked our way to the venue before doors had even opened. As luck would have it, Brian and Jordan were hanging outside so a few us got to chat with them. In the brief moments I do interact with the band, I rarely fanboy or gush over their prestige but tonight we all felt responsible to congratulate their magnificence the night prior. Of course, these guys were radiating with a wondrous glow but remained gratefully humble in their accolades. They did joke they were "bored" of playing their songs the previous night. We joked back to let us know the next time they are bored so we can make sure we are there. And blasted, they were summoned inside, so we decided to walk back to our hotel since doors weren't even open yet.

Blip to about 45 minutes and lots of laughs later and another lucky moment strikes. As I'm getting let in the door to the Ballroom, Red is walking in a different door and we exchange heartful waves! The epitome of a cool cat, Red grabbed me and led us into the green room. It's just Red and Cam back there so I took the moment to praise them as best I could without feeling silly. Lucky day indeed as I love both these guys. Red has so much heart, I always feel blessed that he finds the time to talk to me while Cam hasn't even been in Spafford for a fucking year and the band has evolved so fast that it's hard to believe they haven't been playing together longer. Time flies and out of nowhere I hear Brian call out 5 minutes to showtime so I find my jacket and go look for my friends out on the dance floor!

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Having now talked to all the band members prior to the show, I was super amped up for it to start. I knew we weren't getting another Old Town Jam but I also could sense they weren't going to come out flat. They all had a swagger about them. Cool summer breezer blowing through each strand of hair one by one is the best way to describe it. That's how cool these guys played it.

The first set starts out with a top echelon People that immediately straps the crowd in for the first rollercoaster ride of this highly spontaneous evening. The band quickly locks into a groove, with Cam pounding away, leading us into a blistering jam that is reminiscent of pieces of the Old Town Jam from night prior. Right out of the gate, the band weaves together so tightly in a loose abandon of improvisational genius.

After a scorching People, Aeroplane flies right on in to cool things down with its outro jam. This jam starts out gentle. A very relaxing gesture serenading the attentive into a contemplative gaze. It allowed me to paint the dust of the stars through the gateway of dance. It's one of those jams that can make you so happy that all the walls start to break down and the dam of tears flows its river of grace. Just as the night before, they seamlessly switch gears right into the next jam without blinking an eye. So the second attraction of the evening, Aeroplane, already has spawned into a multi-faced gem of a jam. In the next section, Brian isn't as out front, giving the rest of the band space to spread their wings. They really get the groove going and the whole crowd sways in unison. With the rest of the band just about coming to a stop, Brian keeps the plane moving, and we get our third movement of this attraction with the band playing off Brian. After a playful minute or so, you can clearly see he's leading the band into All My Friends....like a fucking boss. He gives everyone a full minute or so of playing around with the riff before dropping into it.

There may be songs written on this setlist but there's a lot of JAM in-between them all. Bee Jam gives us 10 more minutes of that sweet honey. It starts out real slow, slowly building and building to another moment where the whole band is locked in, sending us to another peak in the amusement park.

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We don't get a glorious segue but the band quietly finds their way into Leave The Light On next. The first jam builds into another showcase of Brian's shredding abilities. The second jam starts with Red working some of his magic and sends us off on another fine jam.

@Lopez gets a Birthday shoutout and The Man played for him to close out set 1!

My friends all found it funny and poked at me when Todd's Tots started second set. It's ok.

The Remedy got us right back into the groove. The band finds a quick exit strategy and takes us back into its bosom. The Remedy has that swagger where the whole band lets go, allowing the music to play. Not even 6 minutes in and we catapulted to a soaring peak and then plateau for a bit, waiting for the next moment to spark. In this interlude, we have Brian making his guitar sing a song of love with Red adding his vibrant color to the mix. Amongst all the beauty, the band eventually steps their way right into the next jam. Another jam that has multiple breaths about it.

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Lovesick Melody > Soil got nice and weird. A great number to dance to once it gets moving. Cam gets on the edrum and the whole room starts swirling about. Hot damn this gets sexy! Red's tossing out some alien psychedlia while the rest of the band makes sure the crowd keeps the ship spinning. Slam! Brian slays us into another platonic crescendo as we crash back into Soil.

The Postman to close down the set. Definitely wasn't thinking about Tots to open the set as Postman's vocal came to a close. Don't worry, though-- Postman delivers the goods as usual.

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So there ya have it. Steamboat > Frisco as the meat of the Mountain run. There's a whole lotta extra jam pouring out of that sandwich with every bite. Huge shout out to our crew for completely obliterating the dance floor and being a powerhouse of positivity, as always.

Radiating Spaffnerd love to Tara Gracer Photography for the amazing photos.

Mar
27
(508 Views / 4 Upvotes)
3 Replies

Setlist, Attendance, and Recordings for: 2018-03-15 - Old Town Pub, Steamboat, CO

A state like Colorado has many peaks scattered throughout. Add Spafford to Colorado and all you have are peaks. Steamboat Springs was the second stop on the four-night Spafford Colorado run to close out the tour. When the tour was announced and I saw those shows, I somehow wanted to make it, but there was a slim chance I would be able to with school. Well, let me tell you, after that raging Milwaukee Miramar show, I had to go see more, as I didn’t want my Spaff Infection to wear off. I ended up buying the tickets to each of the four shows while I was three sheets to the wind at 1 in the morning. I woke up the next day and saw that the Frisco show had sold out, so I was happy I did that.

Back on topic here, Aspen was Night 1 of the shows, and boy that was fun. After being up all night in Aspen, it was either go to sleep now (at 10am) or drive about 2-2.5 hours to Steamboat, and sleep at the hotel. The second option seemed doable at this point. We mustered ourselves up after some influential Slam Poetry, courtesy of Shea. We made it to Steamboat and went to the hotel to check in, Mother Steph fed us our McDonald's we picked up on the ride there since our room wasn’t quite ready yet. Once our room was ready, the first thing we did was take a nap as we waited for our other friends to arrive. We all ended up getting a sufficient amount of sleep and decided to head to a local restaurant for dinner.

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After dinner we headed towards the venue, Old Town Pub, which was very small compared to Belly UP Aspen the night before. As we arrived it was still pretty empty, so we got a solid spot front right of stage. It just so happens that I was feeling a bit "tired" and “winded” from the previous night of partying, so I sat in a bar stool at the side of the wall for literally the entire show.

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I was happily accompanied by Shea and Brandon. In all honesty I did not feel guilty sitting during the show, I was able to listen intently to the jams and watch Territo bust his sick dance moves on the floor. The band took the stage at 10:23pm and started out with what I could tell might be a long jam.

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Photo courtesy of Tara Gracer Photography

There was no distinct chord played that shouted at me and said, “oh, hey, it’s that song!” The Old Town Jam started out with some dreamy licks from Red, some nice grooves by Brian, and backed by a smooth beat/bass combo between Cam and Jordan. This continues on and changes a bit and starts to build a nice peak as they connect on a faster paced, highly danceable groove. At this point in the jam, I think Josh shouted Todd’s Tots at least six times.

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Photo courtesy of Tara Gracer Photography

The energy is picking up in the room and the jam, then BOOM!, peak central strikes again and knocks your head back and lets you “soak it in”. After the peak they slowly bring you down a nice carpet ride to the bottom of the mountain they just built. For the next few minutes, the play a nice melodic jam with soft touches that soothe the soul. As the notes start to get higher and higher, another peak is rising, and boom, they settle back down and keep the euphoric jam style pumping. Red starts to make it a little space-funky with a drippy noise played on whatever instrument that makes that noise (I really wish I knew).

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Photo courtesy of Tara Gracer Photography

Shortly after we hear the “untz” from Cam’s e-drum for a brief stint as we are still in the “dream” phase of this jam. The jam shifts to some more upbeat, fast paced rock n’ roll style. Once again, they situate themselves on a nice groove and hang there for a bit while Red eats a couple loaves of bread (aka lays down the space funk that makes your feet jump). Right about now I was basically standing while sitting and really giving it on that stool. The funk has entered the building and the place is going nuts to this jam, as I’m sure many had no idea what was going on, including myself.

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Photo courtesy of Tara Gracer Photography

The pace picks up more and more until Brian just takes off on a “Rampage Through Time” and completely rips the place to the ground as Josh is trying to hoard pieces of burning wood and sell them on eBay. When the fire settles to embers, it becomes mesmerizing to listen to. This guitar work is fancy as it builds to a bluegrass style jam which features Red on the piano. Jordan picks up the pace with some nice bluegrass style bass licks. Cam holds a nice steady “slap your thigh” beat. The place right now is having a blast, the whole entire building is moving up and down as if I were at a Badger Football game duringJump Around”. Whatever pieces of wood remained unscathed, are now set ablaze by Brian once again.

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Photo courtesy of Tara Gracer Photography

The peak happens, and they settle into a little “duel” between Brian and Red. Cam then hits a few drums (nicely) and the pace picks up and everyone is having a blast again. At this point I thought “this may be the most enjoyable jam I have ever heard” as Brian rips my face off with some machine gun style guitar work. At this point, they weren’t hinting at stopping anytime soon, and we were about a half hour in. At one point I thought I heard the song “Hollywood” coming on (around ~32mins), but many people heard many different possible songs that were about to happen. I am one who’s not the best at picking those things out. Gears shift back into a pleasing jam climbing to the top of Mount Elbert (highest peak in CO) at a slow, but appealing pace. Sploosh… They gently carry you down to some gorgeous piano work from Red, who switches gears shortly and hops on the synth, which sometimes reminds me of a Steve Winwood song for some reason. They find a nice slot to stick around in and haaaaang out for a little, before they switch to a funky groove around 45mins in.

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Photo courtesy of Tara Gracer Photography

At this point the effort to get from one groove to the next is nonexistent, they don’t even need to try, it is so smooth in a jam that is so large. They have covered so much ground in this jam so far and are not stopping quite yet. Think of it like Forest Gump, he just keeps running, this jam keeps jamming, and at this point I’ve gone through an entire case of Jif Chunky Peanut Butter and am now borrowing the peanut butter from the guy who claps like he smells bad. I mean seriously, this jam is ridiculous, there are more peaks in this jam alone than in all of Colorado. After an insane peak, the jam fizzles to some bluesy licks thanks to Brian. The jam starts to take the form of another song, but at this point no one was sure if it will actually be played, then boom, they segue into It’s a Bunch. It was a very straight forward Bunch before they left the stage for set break which allowed us to take the time and pick our jaws up off the floor.

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Photo courtesy of Tara Gracer Photography

Wow, a one song first set with easily the best, and longest jam I have ever heard from Spafford. The second set kicks off with Ain’t That Wrong. I love the jams that come out of this song. This one took off in the dance club party mode before switching to some “untz, untz” Cam jam. The major peak in this jam before switching back to the lyrics, features Cam pounding away reminding me of my friend Harambe pounding his chest (R.I.P.). Brian explodes out of the rising peak like a geyser and lays down the business.

Plans, which features one of my favorite lyrics, “When you stand so close to me, I can feel the way that you look at the world”, was up next. One may think that after jamming for the entire first set, the song choice would be maybe be “less jammy” for the second set? Wrong. This is Spafford and the slogan is #wejam. My favorite part of this song comes at the end of the structured portion, and right before the jam. Brian’s chords and Red’s piano do my ears a favor. The jam in this song is like looking at the coolest kid in school walk down the hallways as he, in slowmo, takes off his slick shades and flicks his hair to the side. Red covers us with some nice piano work for a bit before the jam starts to pick up and build. It is clear tonight that Spafford is firing on all cylinders. I say it every time I see them, they only get better and better.

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Photo courtesy of Tara Gracer Photography

Next up to bat for the winning team was Mind's Unchained which started off with a different tone from Brian. This Mind's seemed to be a bit slower than previous versions I have heard, which may make this one the “cool down” jam of the set. It features a soul-filled peak and some awesome blissfulness and a dash of flair to it. I felt as though I was swimming through space, then BOOM! the peak hits and I’m doused with goosebumps. I really had to go to the restroom at this point and was curious to hear the next song.

Shake you Loose kicks off and there was a lot of making out as I made my way to the bathroom. Glad to see some PDA going on at a show. The next song starts as I am getting back to my seat. Windmill, which is a rare song for me, starts. I really like this song. Through these riffs my troubles are always lost. If Spafford asked you out on a date, one date would feel like a million. They can take you to the Pluto with spacey jams, they can rip your face off with cheese grater jams, and they can fill your soul with beautiful jams. Windmill definitely fits the bill on a beautiful jam, and god dammit, I love it. After the wind dies down and the Windmill stops rotating, the cheers and applause erupts the smaller venue.

Based on the time frame there was probably one song left, and Feel Like a Stranger would be the final song of the set. It was, and it was a rager! A 9min Stranger got the place moving as the jam was rather upbeat and intense and came to a fierce peak. They left the stage and the cheers were more like roars. People in this room were absolutely on board with Spafford.

They came back out for the encore, which to my surprise was Backdoor Funk. Starting off funky and easing to a more mellow jam, the peak was slowly building. Brian was in rage mode for a few minutes as the peak was still rising. I love to watch his fingers move unbelievably fast while he either has his eyes closed, or tongue out looking at the faces he is melting, it is incredible. At the front door of this show was a MONSTER jam, and at the backdoor was the funk. I had too much fun at this show, now it was time to get some rest and hit Steamboat to do some snowboarding and skiing in the morning with the one and only Hilldaddy!

Yours truly,
The Funny Teenager
Keegan Lauer
@keeganlauer on Instagram and Twitter

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Special thanks to Tara Gracer Photography for the incredible visuals

Mar
27
(281 Views / 1 Upvotes)
1 Replies

Spafford will be supporting Umphrey's McGee for a 5 show stretch through Oklahoma, Indiana, and Florida this August. You can use the links below to purchase tickets (when they go onsale, we'll update this post when we've got the onsale dates) and you'll help support the site.

8/9 - Tulsa, OK
8/11 - White River, IN
8/16 - Orlando, FL
8/17 - Miami Beach, FL
8/18 - St. Augustine, FL

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Mar
25
(169 Views / 4 Upvotes)
0 Replies

Our boys doing better than a Philly America. Thanks Southwest Airlines!
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3364950086966&id=1365540034

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