The Runaway Grooms get the crowd on their feet at the first ShowDown Town concert of the summer |

The Runaway Grooms get the crowd on their feet at the first ShowDown Town concert of the summer

The Alpine Bank ShowDown Town free summer concert series opened this Thursday with a performance from local rock band The Runaway Grooms. Next on deck: reggae band Green Buddha.

The Runaway Grooms get the audience dancing at the first show of the 2021 Alpine Bank ShowDown Town free summer concert series
Ross Leonhart, Vail Valley Foundation

The first show of the Alpine Bank ShowDown Town free concert series brought out all of the best elements of summer. Under the glow of the setting sun, Colorado rock band and local favorites The Runaway Grooms jammed out in front of an Eagle Town Park lawn filled with picnic blankets, dogs, hula hoops and a dancing audience.

The members of The Runaway Grooms have deep ties to the Vail Valley. The band was founded right here in Avon when frontman Adam Tobin met guitarist Zac Cialek in employee housing for Beaver Creek Resort. What started as a three-piece band with drummer Justin Bissett has now grown to a five-piece, with the addition of bassist Zach Gilliam and Cody Scott on keyboards in 2019.

This Thursday’s performance showcased the band’s latest material, and the music had audience members on their feet and dancing right from the opening song.

“It means so much for the band to get that sort of reaction,” bassist Zach Gilliam said. “People were coming up to the front, boogieing and getting down to music that hasn’t even been released yet. It’s very satisfying to see people being so receptive to our new music.”

The band is releasing the album “Violet Lane,” their first project as a five-piece, in mid-August. The album was recorded on Violet Lane in Eagle County, and debuts a sound that the band created together in quarantine.

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The sun sets over Eagle Town Park full of concert-goers in lawn chair and picnic blankets
Ross Leonhart, Vail Valley Foundation

“The pandemic was sort of a blessing in disguise for us,” Gilliam said. “Here was an opportunity to spend time crafting music together as a five-piece, and now we have a whole catalog of new stuff that was written during that time.”

The Runaway Grooms have two more shows scheduled in the valley this summer. If you missed them this time around, you can catch their next performance on July 15 at Prosit in Avon.

The ShowDown Town free concert series continues at 6:30 p.m. on July 8 with a performance from Boulder-based reggae band Green Buddha. The four-piece band specializes in a sound that they call “No Coast Reggae,” which blends elements of reggae and rock and roll and has been described as “a green salad of the freshest ingredients from Colorado, Southern Cal and New Orleans.”

This is the first time that the band has played at this venue.

“Sharing energy with new people is always a blessing,” said frontman and guitarist Seth Strickland. “People can expect to dance and smile to a cinematic, high-energy sound. We’re here to share the healing energy of music with those who need to hear it.”

“No Coast Reggae” band Green Buddha to perform at the next ShowDown Town concert on Thursday, July 8th
Special to the Daily

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own seating, food and drink to the park. Wine and beer are allowed on the premises, as long as they are not in glass containers. The park is also lined with food trucks serving sweet and savory refreshments, as well as stands from local businesses, including a full outdoor rock climbing wall provided by Eagle Climbing + Fitness.

All Alpine Bank ShowDown Town concerts are free admission, and free parking is available in streets adjacent to the park. The series will continue every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. from now until Aug. 12. For more information about upcoming shows, read our lineup article or visit


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