It was a quintessential Aspen weekend complete with exceptional ski racing and action-packed après celebrations.
In case you missed it, it was the FIS Audi World Cup men’s ski racing competition held on Aspen Mountain. The weekend of other worldly ski racing was met with epic musical performances by Black Pistol Fire, Mt. Joy and the Robert Randolph Band as part the Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series at Wagner Park.
The three-day concert series brought a range of sound to Aspen’s downtown core, including — but not limited to — blues, funk and psychedelic rock.
The concert series was free to the public and was meant to be “nothing short of a good ol’ fashion party,” according to Jeff Hanle, Aspen Skiing Co.’s vice president of communications.
Black Pistol Fire
Despite the ski races getting canceled Friday due to inclement weather, Black Pistol Fire took the stage, kicking off the first night of the concert series. They heated up the freezing cold evening with their face-melting bluesy performance.
Black Pistol Fire is an Austin-based rock band from Toronto, Canada. The band’s expansive sound is culminated by just two musicians—Kevin McKeown, the lead singer and guitarist, and Eric Owen, the drummer.
They’re known for their fusion of Southern-inspired rock, blues and garage punk and have been compared to rock legends like The White Stripes and The Black Keys.
The band has performed in Aspen a number of times, including live performances at Belly Up and the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience.
They kicked Friday night off with the title track of their 2021 album “Look Alive,” an album produced and engineered by Jacob Sciba, who has worked with rock legend Gary Clark Jr., and mixed by Vance Powell, who has worked with the famed Chris Stapleton and The White Stripes.
The set list included some of their top tracks, “Speak of the Devil,” “Hope in Hell,” and “Level.”
Throughout their set, they included interludes of well-known songs, including “Oh Well,” by Fleetwood Mac, and “Redbone,” by Childish Gambino. The set was complete with drum solos, vibrant guitar distortions, and cunning vocals.
Mt. Joy, a Los Angeles-based band, took the stage at Wagner Park on Saturday evening to a vast, enthusiastic audience. Looking through the crowd, you’d find swing dancers spinning, women stacked on shoulders, hips swaying and heads bobbing.
Their performance reflected their six-year catalog, kicking off with “Lemon Tree” from their 2022 album “Orange Blood.”
Their latest album breaks away from more folk-inspired sounds to encompass alternative psychedelic, jam band-esque reverberations.
Matt Quinn, the band’s lead singer, told The Aspen Times their latest album is inspired by the desert in Joshua Tree, California, and the anxieties of the pandemic.
They blended their new sounds with some of their top tracks, including “Astrovan,” the band’s first single from 2016, “Silver Linings,” and “Strangers.”
The band is comprised of Matt Quinn (lead singer), Sam Cooper (guitarist), Sotiris Eliopoulos (drummer), Michael Byrnes (bassist) and Jackie Miclau (pianist).
Mt. Joy set fire to the mountain — literally — performing The Grateful Dead’s “Fire on the Mountain.” Their set was complete with a fireworks show on Aspen Mountain.
Robert Randolph & The Family Band
The weekend capped off with a full-bodied performance from the Grammy-nominated Robert Randolph & The Family Band.
The band is comprised of Robert Randolph, the lead singer, his cousins Danyell Morgan and Marcus Randolph (bassist and drummer), and John Ginty (organist). Joining them on the Wagner Park stage was group of marching bass drummers who rounded out the sound even further.
The band hones in sounds blues, funk, soul, and rock and roll. Their performance was animated, tight, and nothing less than spectacular.
Robert Randolph, a virtuoso on the pedal steel guitar, got his start performing at the House of God Church in his hometown of Orange, New Jersey, just outside of Newark. The band’s gospel roots culminated through their Sunday performance, with a cover of The Doobie Brother’s “Jesus is Just Alright.”
They performed some of their top tracks, including “I’m So Glad,” “Nobody,” and “Simple Man.”