Winter X: Free concerts in Aspen or action at Buttermilk? |

Winter X: Free concerts in Aspen or action at Buttermilk?

Janet UrquhartThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado
Chapman BaehlerSouthern California punk band Pennywise performs a free concert Saturday at the base of Aspen Mountain.

ASPEN Two nights of free, live music in downtown Aspen this weekend up from one free concert a year ago will vie for attention with the Winter X Games action at Buttermilk. Last year, rock trio Dinosaur Jr. played at the base of Aspen Mountain on the Thursday night opening of Winter X Games 12, while ESPN brought a slew of live acts to Buttermilk, replacing what had become a series of post-Games concerts in Wagner Park featuring big names and nearly as big a crowds as the X Games competitions.This year, the Aspen Skiing Co, with sponsor Bud Light, brings Denver alt/hip-hop band Flobots to the base of Aspen Mountain Friday at 5:30 p.m. Saturday features Southern California hard-core punk quartet Pennywise at the base of Ajax, also at 5:30 p.m.Both nights will feature prize giveaways and a beer garden in conjunction with service from the Ajax Tavern, according to the Skico.Buttermilk wont boast live music this year, but Fridays concert in town will go up against the womens skiing superpipe final, also scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m., followed by the snowmobile next trick final at 9 p.m.Saturday evenings action at Buttermilk includes the mens snowboard superpipe elimination round starting at 6:30 p.m., followed by the snowmobile snocross last-chance qualifier and final at 7:15 p.m. and skiing big air final at 8:30 p.m.The Skico deemed last years concert at the base of Aspen Mountain a success and had the opportunity to offer back-to-back shows this year, said company spokesman Jeff Hanle.It worked, it was smooth, and we feel it added vitality in town, Hanle said. Music is part of this culture.The concerts are hardly on the scale of those ESPN produced for several years at Wagner Park before pulling the plug on what it called Aprs X late-night musical acts that grew to the point they strained city services, from law enforcement to trash collection and transit. The final year of the shows, in 2007, featured such acts as rapper Common and Perry Farrells Satellite Party.This years concert series opener, Flobots, released its debut album, Onomatopeia in 2001 and found mainstream success with the major-label debut Fight with Tools in 2007, featuring the hit single Handlebars.Pennywise has distinguished itself in the punk world by delivering a message that includes hope, self-empowerment and a sense of community. The quartets self-titled, 1991 debut led off with Wouldnt It Be Nice, and their latest album is Reason to Believe and neither of those titles were used with ironic intent. That message has made Pennywise notably durable for a punk act; they have been around two decades, released an album every two years, and have continued to grow in popularity.The soundtrack of Winter X, meanwhile, is now official. ESPN and Bullet Proof Entertainment released the X Games After Party CD compilation earlier this month, featuring a selection of rock, hip-hop and reggae that blares from the speakers at the X Games and Winter X Games.Among the CDs 12 tracks, incidentally, is a contribution from Flobots and another by The Wildbirds, one of the bands that played at the Buttermilk venue last year.

Aspen Times reporter Stewart Oksenhorn contributed to this

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