In case you missed it: Chris Thile performed stellar solo performances at Vilar Center at Beaver Creek |

In case you missed it: Chris Thile performed stellar solo performances at Vilar Center at Beaver Creek

Multi Grammy Award-winner Chris Thile was in Beaver Creek March 21-22

Betty Ann Woodland
Special to the Daily
Chris Thile’s solo mandolin performances March 21-22 at the Vilar Performing Arts Center at Beaver Creek thrilled the intimate audiences of just over 100 people.
Jon Resnick, Special to the Daily

Like a breath of fresh air, mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist Chris Thile blew into the Vilar Performing Arts Center at Beaver Creek on March 21 and 22 on the tail of the vernal equinox, and for the first couple of days of spring. After a long hiatus from attending live shows, it was time for me to get back on the horse and socially distance at a phenomenal show. Thile took to the stage for a solo performance that soulfully filled the acoustic space with every pluck of his mandolin strings, vocalization, note and chord. The grateful crowd of 113 (capacity is 530) was full of appreciative applause and positive feedback, including sing-a-longs. It seems we have crossed a threshold and marked a milestone. Those patrons in attendance at Thile’s stellar performance will forever cherish those moments in time.

When Thile asked the audience if they had any requests, there were two in particular. He could not decide which to play, so I shouted out, “Do a mash up of both,” which he did magnificently without missing a rapid beat. After the mash up of the songs, Thile said, “I blame you for that.” It was clear that the incredible artist was thriving in his element and he commented on how much of a joy it was to be performing live again.

“Honestly, these two nights, this is medicine for my soul,” Thile said, to which there was huge applause. “Just to be here in this room with you is such a privilege and I don’t know about you all, but this is something that I feel like I already really deeply appreciated. Live music, getting to participate in live music, whether on my side of the microphone or on your side of the microphone, is something that I love so much, and when all of this happened (COVID-19) … how much more do we appreciate this,” Thile said, as he lit off into another amazing mandolin riff.

With lyrics like, “These are tough times, but we’ll get by,” the theme of the concert echoed resiliency, a sense of hope for the future and the promise of spring; opening up doors to even brighter possibilities and greater rewards. A member of Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek, Thile has a broad range crossing over many genres and creating a distinctive body of work. Check out his videos online covering many wonderful artists including Gillian Welch’s “Hard Times,” where he belts out, “Hard times aren’t going to rule my mind.”

Vilar Performing Arts Center Executive Director Owen Hutchinson was thrilled to have Chris Thile in the theater.

“He is one of my all-time favorite performers,” Hutchinson said.

For audiences and musicians alike, the return to live music and entertainment is both exciting and relieving after the past year.
Jon Resnick, Special to the Daily

There are several upcoming shows at the Vilar Center at Beaver Creek, including The California Honeydrops on March 26 and 27. For more information on performances, visit or call 970-845-8497.

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings, and entertainment of all kinds. She can be reached at

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