Review and photos by Brad Yeakel
I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it, but somehow I was asked if I’d like to cover a secret show in Boulder this Saturday. I had already made plans – but it was the allure of those words – secret show. Curious, I inquired, “who?” When the response came that it was the String Cheese Incident at a small room in Boulder, I almost dropped. String Cheese Incident is my favorite band, and an opportunity to see an intimate show like this was once in a lifetime. After a few very kind people left the opportunity to me, I was granted this gift of an assignment.
The reason SCI is my favorite band has a lot to do with my outlook on life. I believe that the world is full of limitless potential, and that the more positivity and love we radiate into the world, the more we get back. Paul McCartney said it best, “in the end, the love you make is equal to the love you take.” Well, Cheese built an entire catalogue of music around this idea. It’s why the band has had such charitable success and fan support – they care about their community and have done a plethora of things to make the world a better place. From their uplifting lyrics and melodies to their conscious impact on their environment, the Cheese is literally a “feel good” band.
Saturday may have seemed a little too exclusive with the limited ticket release, encoded passwords and hefty price tag, but the reason it was that way was to ensure the funds were not diluted by ticketing agencies, promoters or anyone else. It was truly a grassroots effort for the local community to come together and benefit trail restoration after the floods. The passwords were distributed locally, and no one had a clue it was happening until literally two days ago. What they were capable of putting together in such a short period of time was remarkable, and the show was one to remember.
The set was a finely crafted statement with “100 Year Flood” opening and “Colorado Bluebird Sky” closing, but the encore was my favorite. “Shine” is my favorite song in the world. Much like the Grateful Dead’s classic “Lovelight,” the song is about shining your love on the world. The improv sections of the song have always seemed to be opportunities for each of the band members to radiate their love through music. Those jams have carried me through some amazing peaks and valleys along the way, and are the reason I keep going back. It’s all about “Shine.” Really.
The sound was pristine, the venue- gorgeous and the crowd was visibly overjoyed to be one of the lucky ones. I said it earlier – I don’t know what I did to deserve this. But whatever it was, I’m glad I did it.
On Saturday night the outdoor and active lifestyle industries, guided by ActiveBoulder, joined together for an exclusive concert by The String Cheese Incident at historical eTown Hall to benefit flood relief. Well before the concert doors even opened, Rock The Trails! had raised over $100,000 to directly support the rebuilding of Colorado trail systems and other outdoor recreation areas damaged by the September 2013 floods.
“There is no more fitting industry community than ours to step up to help rebuild our beloved trails,” said GoLite’s co-founder and event co-chair Kim Coupounas. “We see this as just the beginning of the good work our companies can do together to help the outdoor recreation areas recover from this disaster. These trails help our businesses thrive. ActiveBoulder is very grateful to The String Cheese Incident, eTown, REI, and all of the contributors to this effort for making the event possible and for a strong start to the Fund to Restore Colorado Trails, Waterways, and Parks and the positive impact it can have in the years ahead.”
Rock the Trails! hosted guests United States Senator Mark Udall, Outdoor Industry Association President Frank Hugelmeyer, and Boulder Mayor Matthew Applebaum among other leaders. “We see ourselves with an opportunity on the heels of [the flood]. I am really excited to work with you all and to work with the community here at Rock the Trails!,” stated U.S. Senator Mark Udall. “We are going to use what happened as a way to rebuild better, stronger and for the long term. We know how to come together and this is an evening that represents that.”
World famous band, and Colorado natives, The String Cheese Incident donated their time and effort for this great cause. Each member of the band came out and personally thanked donors at the Rock the Trails! The String Cheese Incident is also posting the concert on www.livecheese.com, where fans can download the recording with a donation starting at $9.99 that will go directly towards flood relief.
The event’s major contributors included: REI, Vision Ridge, Bryan Cave, GoLite, New Belgium, Big Fish Media, SkirtSports, Patagonia, The North Face, GraFX Group, Bobbie Turner Photography, HMS Premier Events, Brook Hopper Consulting, Dynafit, Integris, Keen, EKS&H, Sea to Summit, The Daily Camera, and Osprey.
Event hosts were eTown, Madison House, ActiveBoulder, Outdoor Industry Association, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, and The Boulder Chamber. Event Co-Chairs were Kim Coupounas of GoLite, Chris Hazlitt of Bryan Cave, Chelsea Lawson of Big Fish Media, and Nicole DeBoom of Skirt Sports.
Colorado’s flood-damaged outdoor recreation areas will take years and enormous resources to restore. The Rock the Trails! event was just the start of ActiveBoulder’s involvement with restoration, sustainability and development of Colorado’s outdoor recreational areas. Donations to The Fund to Restore Colorado Trails, Waterway, and Parks can be made through Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado at voc.org. Please indicate that the donation is for this Fund. Grants from this fund will go directly to help restore Colorado’s flood-damaged outdoor recreation spaces. The first grants from the Fund immediately following the Rock the Trails! event are going to support Wildlands Restoration Volunteers and Cal-Wood Education Center in Jamestown Colorado. VOC also accepts credit card donations. Donors can call the VOC number at 303-715-1010 to make a tax-deductible contribution.