~ by Trevor Phipps ~
A common false perception persists in Teller County: Live music in the mountains is an event or gathering for the summertime.
In fact, many venues in Teller offer quality live performances from local musicians and beyond through the winter months.
For years, most local bars in the county have offered a regular lineup of live musical acts. But, since the Crystola Roadhouse has been closed for renovations, some aren’t sure where to find live music in the county. Well, fret not, as live music abounds of a different more personal style than what occurs in bigger cities.
There are still many chances for those to enjoy the works of live musicians all over the area. One of the best live music experiences to watch is an open microphone nights at a local bar.
The Historic Ute Inn and the Thunderbird Inn both offer an open mic night each week where local and wandering musicians can come in just to perform in front of a live audience. The Thunderbird has its open mic occasion every Thursday, while the Ute holds its open mic every Wednesday evening.
During these gatherings, literally anyone can come in and sing or play an instrument of their choice. Some locals jump in and join other musicians on stage and try to play with complete strangers, while other musicians bring their own act entirely.
The fun part about open mic nights occurring in the Teller high country is that nobody ever knows what to expect. One night the scene could be a little “dead” with a small turnout, but, people can still see a few musicians put on a good show. But on other nights, the number of musicians taking the stage can be quite extensive, and sometimes the bars will randomly be packed with locals who decide that they need a night out before the weekend officially hits.
Another factor making these sessions unique is the fact that the various musicians play different types of music. When attending these events, spectators can witness one genre after another with people or bands that will play maybe two songs or maybe ten.
For other live music experiences, locals can go to other places to experience
professional musicians. The Historic Ute inn and the Country Lodge Pub both host live music on a regular basis.
The Historic Ute Inn not only holds open mic nights on every Wednesday, but they have live music every Friday night as well as karaoke every Saturday evening. The Thunderbird and places in Cripple Creek also host live music on certain nights. The Triple Crown Casinos even host some
Another area group organizing local music has put on shows at the Midland Pavilion inside the Ute Pass Cultural Center. Many of these are geared for baby boomers and those that enjoy the music of the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Last June the LO2, or low oxygen music festival, took place outside the Cultural Center. Many fans showed up to see several bands that played a large variety of classic rock music.
Lately, the same group has been putting on concerts inside the cultural center. Last month LO2 presents brought the town a 70’s and 80’s classic rock cover band called “The Grind 5280.” Last Saturday, the same producers put on a live performance featuring the band Riverbottom and Halfway There, which is a Bon Jovi tribute band.
Certain proceeds from these shows often go to a good cause.
The LO2 group has proved that they are a live music production company in the area that is here to stay. Look for them on social media pages and find their fliers posted at local businesses for future live concerts.