Vail Free Concerts and the Vilar Performing Arts Center! I won these tickets by posting a response when queried "tell us your best left-over recipe". My answer was a little tongue-in-cheek, and the judges seemed to approve. (You can see it here)
Upon arriving at the Vilar Center, we were greeted by numerous volunteers, and made our way to the Box Office to get our tickets at Will Call. Upon giving my name, and bragging about my great accomplishment of winning the tickets, one employee knew who I was and whispered something to the person giving us the tickets. When we looked at the tickets he gave us, the word Box stood out...yes, we were shown to box seats at the side of the theater, with a commanding view of not only the stage, but of the incredibly diverse crowd streaming in. Of course there were the L.O.S. fans, in beanies and flannel, hurrying down to the front area, where they could stand and dance to their hearts' content. But the surprising thing was the rest of the audience. It was comprised of families with children, couples like us, as well as older folks, dressed for dates, or. Just observing the crowd was entertaining!
Right on time, Leftover Salmon took the stage. Almost the entire audience was immediately on their feet. This was not to be a seated show! Their music is hard to pigeon-hole. One minute you're clapping your hands to a bluegrass (or slamgrass, as they called it!) tune, the next you're dancing in your seat to a country-style waltz, a smoky blues tune, or an upbeat Zydeco song! This is what gives L.O.S. their wide appeal. While in the box, the Executive Director came cruising through the crowd. I spoke a few words to him, then asked if he knew how to dance. Well, he did more than answer with words, he took my hand and we did a little East Coast Swing, right there!
This venue was amazing. I've seen hundreds of shows in my life, and have nearly lost my hearing at some of them. The Vilar Center's acoustics were magnificent. We were able to enjoy every word and note, without our ears bleeding. The sight lines from every seat were terrific. I never saw anyone straining to get a look at the band. Of course, from our vantage point, we had a totally unobstructed view of everything and everyone!
After a long first set, nearly two hours, the band took a break. As both my date and I had to work the next day, we decided to head home, even though we heard their next set would be another full two hours! Talk about getting your money's worth for a ticket! As we walked outside, we passed the band's tour bus. All of a sudden, I was chatting with the lead singer, Drew Emmitt, walking next to me. We gave him our compliments and hurried through the snow to our car.
As I drove home, I was still humming the songs. Thanks to the folks at VVF, I had a memorable and exciting evening.
You can view photos from the concert here: