I think a lot of people may take advantage of the work that goes into entertainment. Do you really think a person just jumps on stage, grabs a microphone and starts belting out tunes? I found out this weekend what actually goes into putting on a show and I really think if you could experience that you would have an even bigger appreciation for Denver’s musicians. So many of us take for granted the blood, sweat and tears that goes into your weekend out.
Mine started Friday at 3:15 PM. Yes, not a typo. 3:15 PM for a show that didn’t start until 8:30. That was the time “I” started. The band actually started long before that with band rehearsals and individual practices. So at 3:15 we are off with the trailer that has been loaded with all the equipment. And this stuff is not light. Monitors, amps, speakers, keyboards, drum kits, yards and yards of cables. I was just on “hold the door open” duty but was exhausted just watching Jeremy Sellars and Ron Waters make trip after trip unloading everything needed for your unbelieveable Groove Hawg enjoyment.
So once inside, everything is set to the side, waiting until Romeo Delight is done with their sound check. They were there first so I’m guessing their day started around Noon. Now it’s time to haul everything that was just taken off the trailer, up the ramp and onto the stage. Ok, that sounded simple enough, wait, now the drums and keyboards have to be set up and the cables that could stretch the length of a football field all have to be unrolled and plugged in. Microphone’s and stands have to be hooked up and plugged in. Now the sound check. Each musician has to work with the sound man to make sure you have the best experience ever. No one ever remembers the sound guy. So the next time you are listening, remember, it wouldn’t sound that great if the sound guy didn’t know what he was doing. Just the right mix, just the right level and everyone in the band blends to create the amazing sounds you hear. Wouldn’t be so enjoyable if all you could hear was the bass and had to read the lips of the singer, now would it?
According to the time stamps on my pictures, the sound check for seven musicians took 50 minutes. So you would think we are ready…not yet. Now the drum set and other equipment has to be taken back to the staging area so Vince Neils crew can set up theirs, do their sound check and then remove their equipment so Romeo Delight can set theirs back up for the actual show to start.
I think if it wasn’t for the love of the music and the adrenalin flowing through everyone wanting to put on the best show possible, just for you, everyone would have been passed out and snoring at this point.
We were able to sit for a little while and relax, but then, the screen in the middle of the stage we had been watching music videos on goes dark and starts to rise. It gets quiet just for a split second and then it starts. Romeo Delight. I had been wanting to see this band for months but could never catch them at the right time. I couldn’t have been any luckier Friday night. I was blown away and can not wait to see them again. Romeo Delight is a Van Halen Tribute band that consists of Chris Romero, Mike Crisler, Paul Carman and Rich O’Del. I heard comments that night that Romeo Delight actually sounded better than Van Halen and can’t agree more. Chris Romero has a voice that pulls you in and won’t let go. He is fun to watch on stage but a little hard to keep track of with a camera which is what makes him fun. Mike Crisler not only rocks on the drums but also adds vocals. Rich Odell on guitar is right up there with Eddie and Sammy not missing a beat. And Paul Carman on bass and vocals can really keep Wolfgang wondering if he’s actually listening to himself. This is a fun band that is definitely worth going to see. Van Halens new album, A Different Kind of Truth, will be out February 7, first one in 14 years, and I’m sure Romeo Delight will be delighting us with some new tunes. You can catch them Friday, February 3 at Copper Rail Bar & Grill – 174 Main St.Brighton, CO 80601 for an All Age show that starts at 9 PM.
Screen comes down, music videos back on and time for Romeo Delight to tear down so Jeremy and Ron can do their thing…again. Up with the Gretsch 57 Chevy Drum Set that Rick Lewis will be doing his amazing thing on. Jealous, just a little. I melted when I saw Jeremy pulling these out of the cases. I have a Gretsch set for the Hope Haven studio but Ricks…they are so me, and when you get the talent of Rick behind them they are even more intense. So here we go. Screen rises and ohhhh yeaaa…the Groove Hawgs. This band has been around since 1997 when Rick Lewis and Michael Floorwax from Denver’s own 103.5 The Fox formed The Groove Hawgs. They added Steve Crenshaw, Joe Sellars, Ken Passarelli, Rich Ross and 17 year old Taylor Marvin to produce a show of the most talented musicians that could only leave you wanting more. The blend of this band just clicks. The sounds are astonishing, and the talent is mind-blowing. The Groove Hawgs first show was opening for CCR and the Doobie Brothers at Red Rocks in July,1997. After receiving a standing ovation they went on to open for The Allman Brothers, James Brown,Ted Nugent, BB King, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny Winter, George Thorogood, Def Leppard, Buddy Guy and many more. The Groove Hawgs had the honor of playing the last concert ever at McNichols Arena with ZZ Top before it was torn down.
Wow! Each musician had a solo. If you missed this show you can see each of these awesome musicians on their own.
Steve Crenshaw is always tearing up a stage somewhere and I will always let you know when. He is an amazing musician and a wonderful guy too.I have been following him for months now and never leave a show disappointed. It’s also fun to hang out with his better half, Cyndi, who always has a smile on her face.
This was my first time meeting Ken Passarelli and he is such a pleasure to be around and talk to. He is so down to earth. After setting up for the sound check, Ken had to run and pick up his daughter from ballet class. What a Dad. This is the same guy who played with Elton John, Hall & Oates and Joe Walsh and cowrote Rocky Mountain Way for Joe Walsh when he also played with him. And when he took the lead and The Groove Hawgs performed it, what a special moment that was. These musicians are doing all this for you, the crowd, their fans, and it all comes from their souls. These Denver musicians don’t get paid “the big bucks”, most of them get your $5 cover split how many ways?
Joe Sellars has magical fingers on the keyboard and a contagious smile. His heart goes into his music and you can certainly tell on stage. He not only plays with The Groove Hawgs but circulates his talent with Steve Crenshaw around Denver and is pretty much a regular at Ron Waters & Friends Jam night @ Cheers in Northglenn CO every other Sunday night. Next show, Sunday February 5. He played with Wild Blue which will be having their 20 year reunion show this Saturday, February 4 also at Cheers. I’ll be there, will you?
Rich Ross definitely gives some Groove to The Hawgs. Rich Ross has played bass guitar for over 22 years and has toured with National Acts such as The Samples, Matthew Moon, The Push Stars, Potemkin Square, XIREN and Douglas Cameron. He now currently plays with The Samples, The Groove Hawgs, Xiren, Douglas Cameron and Matthew Moon. Rich not only holds your attention with his playing but has a killer stage presence and has fun with everyone else on stage. Hear some more from Rich at www.richross.com
Taylor Marvin… 17 years old and opening for Vince Neil. I was in awe watching him.He told me he has been playing since he was 10. Only 7 years? Look out Mr. Satriani.
Taylor’s favorite quote is “Don’t play the instrument, play the music” and he does. To watch him is spine tingling. He is really one with his guitar. I am looking forward to hearing more from Taylor and have a feeling after only talking to him a little while that it will always be about the music. Too many young kids pick up an instrument only for the fame. Then they get caught up in that, forget about the actual reason for the instrument and you never hear about them again. Taylor is a lucky guy to have so many influential men around him to teach him the real reason he has been given his talent. He has an amazing gift and the heart and soul to take it far.
Lewis and Floorwax can be heard every morning from 6 to 10 AM on 103.5 The Fox. In the early 90’s Lewis and Floorwax had a stand up comedy routine and performed all around Colorado. Bands would open for the comedy act and Lewis and Floorwax would sit in for a couple songs. It went well and they decided to start their own band. Lucky for us. The Groove Hawgs are made up of the best hand picked Mile High musicians. The combination of that, Rick Lewis on drums and Michael Floorwax adding dynomite vocals and fun, The Groove Hawgs will never disappoint an audience. The Groove Hawgs give 100% of their profits from CD and merchandise sales to the Lewis and Floorwax Kid’s Fund. The fund has given back hundreds of thousands of dollars back to the community. Hopefully soon, Hope Haven can follow in their generous footsteps and not only give kid’s the means to follow their own dreams of music but give back in many other ways.
Jeff Weidert took over for Rick and shared Rocky Mountain Way with Ken Passarelli. I have shot pictures of Jeff before playing with Steve Crenshaw at Tennyson Tap and he is a thrill to watch and a very talented young drummer.
So after 45 minutes of amazing music…wait…all that work for 45 minutes? Yep, tell me this music does not come from these musicians souls. All the time it took to set up, sound check, move the stuff back out took longer than they actually played for you. Why would they do that? Because they love what they do, that’s why. So when you are asked at the door for a $5 cover…remember where it is going and what you are getting for it. So, like I said, after 45 minutes of amazing music it was all worth it. The screen comes down, the music videos go back up and Jeremy and Ron get back to work, tearing down and putting everything back in The Groove Hawg trailer until next time. Which I hope is soon. I would love to see Lewis and Floorwax at a Sunday night jam at Cheers.
On to the headliner. Vince Neil. Vince had a band called Rock Candy and was discovered by and joined Motley Crue in 1981. He and Tommy Lee were friends in High school. Vince was in Denver singing Tattoos & Tequila. The album released in 2010, is a soundtrack to the book, released in the same year “Tattoos & Tequila: To Hell and Back with One of Rock’s Most Notorious Frontmen”. Each song on the album corresponds with a chapter in the book. So, up goes the screen and on with the show. The floor in front of the stage is packed and everyone is ready to rock. Only $25 a ticket at the door. What a deal. The show was mind-blowing and I don’t think there was one person who was not on their feet.
On August 15, 1995, Vince’s daughter, Skylar Neil, died of cancer at the age of 4. He founded the Skylar Neil Memorial Fund in her honor. Since then, he raised awareness and funding for various children’s illnesses. The Skylar Neil Memorial Foundation has donated millions of dollars to The T.J. Martell Foundation, and it sponsors an annual golf tournament to raise money for children with cancer. In the summer of 2011 Vince hosted a series of benefits called Rockin’ The Red Carpet that benefitted Music for Relief as part of his tour with Motley Crue, Poison and the New York Dolls. It is wonderful when these musicians can use their God given talent for good. Giving back the incredible gift they have received.
Have a great week, rest up and be ready to have a ROCKIN weekend!