Hot Summer Nights free concert series kicks off with a performance from The High Hawks | VailDaily.com
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Hot Summer Nights free concert series kicks off with a performance from The High Hawks

The Moe’s Original Barbecue Hot Summer Nights free concert series will feature a new band on Tuesday nights throughout the summer.

Concert-goers set up chairs and picnic blankets on the grass outside of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater
Carolyn Paletta/cpaletta@vaildaily.com

The Moe’s Original Barbecue Hot Summer Nights free concert series kicked off at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater this week. There will be a different band performing most Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m. from now until the end of August, and admission is free to all thanks to sponsorship from Moe’s Original Barbecue and the Vail Valley Foundation.

High Hawks Bring the Energy

There are few things that complement a summer evening better than live music, dancing and outdoor picnics, and all were on full display at this week’s opening performance from The High Hawks.

The High Hawks are a new bluegrass group created from a collaboration of big names in the genre, and their performance was an exhilarating example of what can happen when you mix great talent with great friendships.



“This band came out of a yearning to hang out,” said guitarist Adam Greuel. “It’s a tight-knit music community in our Americana, bluegrass, jam band world. Over the years, we all kept bumping into one another and realizing there was a deep sense of fellowship and kindred spirit.”

“And the reason I think it worked so well is that we’d known each other for so long,” agrees fiddler Tim Carbone. “It’s one big happy family.”



The mutual admiration between the band members was palpable on Tuesday night. As each musician took turns performing instrumental solos, his bandmates would look on with as much awe and appreciation as the crowd below.

The High Hawks invite friends like guitarist Rob Eaton and singer Nicki Bluhm to join them on stage
Vail Valley Foundation

Concert-goers were also treated to an unexpected twist when the original six-piece band doubled in size as The High Hawks invited up friends to join them on stage. Local legends like guitarist Rob Eaton, singer-songwriter Nicki Bluhm and others added their talents to the mix and were seamlessly folded into the larger sound of the band.

From the die-hard fans dancing like no one was watching in the front rows, to the happy toe-tappers in the back row, to the couples, families and friends sprawled out on the lawn with a blanket and a picnic basket, the energy of the performance reached everyone in the Amphitheater.

Free Concerts Continue Next Tuesday Evening

The free concerts continue next Tuesday with a performance from Donavan Frankenreiter and his three-piece band. A former pro-surfer turned musician, Frankenreiter’s sound is characterized by his laid-back grooves, philosophical lyrics, and soulful delivery.

July 6th will feature folk and bluegrass band Ghost of Paul Revere, followed by a July 20th show by Pink Talking Fish, a tribute band that fuses songs from Pink Floyd, Talking Heads and Phish into a creative setlist all their own.

Concert-goers set up chairs and picnic blankets on the grass outside of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.
Carolyn Paletta/cpaletta@vaildaily.com

TURKUAZ, a nine-piece band out of Brooklyn, takes the stage on August 17th. Their sound is hard to categorize, but the New Yorker magazine has described it as “horn-filled funk incorporating elements of R&B, psychedelic pop, gospel, Afro-pop, New Wave, classic rock, and just about any genre that gets people dancing.”

On August 24th, the legendary reggae band The Wailers will take the stage following the release of their 2020 album One World, the band’s first album in 25 years. This genre and culture-defining band will be playing an unmissable set featuring cuts from Bob Marley’s formidable back catalog along with a string of their greatest, classic hits.

The final performance of the series is set for August 31st, and will feature bluegrass artist and banjo virtuoso Andy Thorn Super Jam and four collaborating band members.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and there is food and refreshment available for purchase at the venue. For a full schedule and more information on the concert series, visit grfavail.com/hotsummernights.

Know Before You Go

Time: Tuesday evenings starting at 6:30 p.m.

Place: Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

Schedule:

June 29 – Donavan Frankenreiter

July 6 – Ghost of Paul Revere

July 20 – Pink Talking Fish

August 17 – TURKUAZ

August 24 – The Wailers

August 31 – Andy Thorn Super Jam


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