PardeePalooza at State Bridge celebrates life of Tony Seibert | VailDaily.com

PardeePalooza at State Bridge celebrates life of Tony Seibert

STATE BRIDGE — The second-annual PardeePalooza is well underway at State Bridge Riverside Amphitheater in Bond, kicking off Thursday and running through Sunday. Friends and family of Vail resident Tony Seibert started the festival last year as a way to honor the skier, who lost his life in an avalanche in East Vail in January 2014.

Event organizer Tanner Bardin, drummer for Boulder rock quartet Eminence Ensemble, said a music festival was a logical way to remember his good friend. He and Seibert became friends in college when they both attended the University of Colorado, which was where Eminence Ensemble first formed.

"Tony was there for our super early first couple of shows in Boulder," Bardin said. "When he passed, I figured, I know all the right people to put a music festival together, why not put one on in his name? Tony loved going to music events and all that, too, but most of all, it brings friends from near and far together, and that was very important to Tony: his time with friends and family."

Bigger, better

The festival has grown from two to four days of rocking out on the banks of the Colorado River, and more bands have been added to this year's lineup, including headlining funk band The Motet, who will perform back-to-back sets on Saturday.

"Last year, it was pretty small, and this year — after last year went pretty darn well — we got some more high-profile artists, especially The Motet is our main headliner, and they just got off of a sold-out Red Rocks show June 5 of this summer," Bardin said.

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Dave Watts, drummer and bandleader for The Motet, said the event typifies the sense of camaraderie within the Colorado ski community.

"It's a benefit for a guy who used to live in Vail, a skier who passed away in a skiing accident, so we're happy to support that because that's a Colorado event, really, something that we want to be a part of," he said.

He said The Motet loves the beauty of the State Bridge venue, a place he said allows people to "express themselves physically." The band draws inspiration from a lot of mid- to late '70s and early '80s funk that grew out playing covers from Stevie Wonder to Jamiroquai to Parliament Funkadelic at their now-famous annual Halloween shows — music that lends itself to a lot of dancing and improvisation.

"When our audience is kinetic and excited, that brings us to a higher level," he said. "We really connect with them, and Colorado is the best place for that. People love to express themselves — in that environment especially, outdoors by the river, the mountains; it's a great space for the musicians and the audience."

Denver-based rockers Yamn will be holding down the late-night spot on Sunday night's bill. Bass player and vocalist David "Dewey" Duart said the band, which fuses hard rock with electronic music and everything in between, is a good fit for a rock 'n' roll festival at a rock 'n' roll venue.

"Tanner, who's kind of spearheaded the whole thing, his buddy passed away, and he asked us to do it this year, and we were available and we're friends and supporting a good cause," he said. "And again, playing a rock 'n' roll show at State Bridge is always a good time."

In addition to Eminence Ensemble, The Motet and Yamn, PardeePalooza also will feature sets from Sam Bee, Tenth Mountain Division, Malai Llama, the Jaden Carlson Band and Michael Travis, of String Cheese Incident acclaim, playing a special solo DJ set.

"We're looking forward to hanging with a bunch of our friends in the other bands," Duart said. "It's always great to share bills with your friends and go kind of soak up the mountains."

Making lemonade

A portion of the profits from PardeePalooza will go to Ted and Tony's Excellent Foundation for Avalanche Awareness — a backcountry-training scholarship fund that Tony's mother, Teri, will launch in the near future.

"She's on one of the high-profile search-and-rescue ski patrol teams for the East Vail rescue missions, so she sees this stuff quite regularly; and obviously, when it happened to her son, she didn't want anyone else to really go though that again," Bardin said. "She wanted to kind of spread the word that way."

A lot of young kids go into the backcountry without he proper equipment or knowledge; and, especially in Colorado, backcountry skiing carries a high avalanche danger, no matter how good of a skier you are, so the more education people have, the better, he said.

"They want to spread awareness as a family, so it doesn't have to happen to other people," he said. "Making some lemonade out of a horrible situation."

Pete Seibert, Tony's brother, said the foundation would provide kids who want to explore all the backcountry has to offer with an opportunity to do it safely.

"What they do is write an essay of why they think they deserve to have a chance to have a scholarship," he said. "And, whoever wins that will get a full ride of Level 1 avalanche certification. We did one last year, and, hopefully, there will be a couple again this winter."

A lot of skiers and riders come to the festival, Bardin said, and whether they knew Tony or not, it's important for people to know there are serious dangers in the backcountry — a message that comes sandwiched amongst upbeat melodies and fellowship with those who gather to remember their friend.

"He loved music, whether the radio was going or he was beat boxing when it was kind of quiet or the song wasn't that great," Pete said. "The event is a great time to celebrate a one-of-a-kind kid that loved to have a good time."

If you go …

What: Second-annual Pardee Palooza

Where: State Bridge Riverside Amphitheater, Bond

When: Thursday, Aug. 6, through Sunday, Aug. 9; the music starts at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Cost: Four-day passes are $100 starting Thursday. A two-day pass is $80, and single-day tickets (good for any night) are $40. Campsites at Rancho Del Rio are available for $30 for the weekend, which includes shuttle rides to and from the venue

More information: Visit http://www.statebridge.com or http://www.facebook.com/pardeepalooza