Mountain Mayhem: On the beat
With live music in focus with this weekend’s Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience, my mind turns to several standout acts that performed at Belly Up this summer. Aspen’s main music venue features more than 300 live shows a year, with a cross-section of styles, genres and entertainers from all over the world, including the following performers who each earning a rave review from their audience.
On June 26, DJ and electronic music composer Nightmares on Wax (aka DJ Ease) came to town on tour for his “N.O.W IS THE TIME” compilation celebrating a 25-year career. The Leeds, England-born, now Ibiza, Spain-based performer was joined by his band for a vibrant show, infusing reggae, hip-hop and what he helped pioneer, trip-hop.
On July 26, Grammy-winning guitarist Gary Clark, Jr., brought the house down with his brooding blues and authentic rock. Based in Austin, Texas, Clark has been on the road for nearly two years — noted as a breakout act in that short time — performing everywhere from Coachella to London’s Royal Albert Hall and as a regular guest with the Rolling Stones.
On Aug. 6, Australian electronic band Cut Copy, fronted by DJ Dan Whitford, followed up their previous night’s appearance at Red Rocks with an electrifying performance in Aspen. From the opener to the encore, they kept the dance floor packed, crossing the gamut with their smash hits “Lights & Music” and “Hearts on Fire” to songs off of their latest album, “Free Your Mind.”
Acts on my radar at the festival this weekend include pop-rock band OneRepublic, of Colorado Springs, on today and rock/soul band The Revivalists from New Orleans on Sunday — both stars on the rise and sure to energize.
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.