On the town: A night in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

On the town: A night in Aspen

ASPEN – I always used to think that I was lucky to live in Aspen because I couldn’t afford to vacation here. I was right – sort of.

A Tuesday night fling in Aspen (on a work night, no less) was a blast, but an extended stay would put a serious dent in the ol’ bank account.

Prompting my household’s brief flirtation with a life of excess was Chris Isaak’s latest return to Belly Up. I’ve long wanted to see him perform, but ticket prices for his occasional performances at Aspen’s extraordinarily intimate nightclub were a bit much.

This time, he was touring after the release of “Beyond the Sun,” a collection of cover tunes from Sun Records greats – Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, etc. I decided we’d have to buck up and go. From there, it turned into a what-the-hell-let’s-pretend-we’re-rich night on the town. I only wish that was my usual lifestyle.

The evening was, for a change, not marred by a rainstorm of biblical proportions, so we met after work to dine on the patio at Takah Sushi and watch the always-entertaining goings-on out on the mall.

Having paid someone to spend the night at our house with the dog, we strolled back to our comfy accommodations at the Molly Gibson Lodge to change clothes. Sleeping in town after a late night out and being two minutes away from the office in the morning was worth the expense.

Since we couldn’t afford reserved seats at the show, we did the next-best thing – grabbed spots right at the stage. Belly Up makes it possible to stand close enough to a performer to watch his sweat fly off and hit you in the face, assuming you’re into that sort of thing. I’m not, though his did. I didn’t mind because, hey, it was the very cool Chris Isaak and his stellar band performing those Sun Records hits, plus a lot of other rock ‘n’ roll.

When he left a couple of guitar picks still tucked into his microphone stand at the end of the show, a stagehand tossed them up in the air. With absolutely no vertical leap to speak of, I managed an NBA-worthy block. A pick fell back to the stage, where I slapped my palm down and snagged it.

The cost of a night on the town? More than enough. The guitar pick? Priceless.


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