Mango’s salutes rockers |

Mango’s salutes rockers

Cassie Pence
AE Hells Bells PU 11-16-06

RED CLIFF – Red Cliff seems an unlikely setting for the valley’s next big music scene, but there I was Thursday night at Mango’s, with 249 other people, watching Hell’s Belles lead guitarist Adrian Conner melt faces off the front row.Hell’s Belles, an all-female AC/DC cover band out of Seattle, who played Fox Theater in Boulder Friday and Saturday nights, skipped the Vail exit this time around and continued driving – through the town of Minturn, up the switch backs of Battle Mountain, before finally descending (and descending just a little) into the old mining town of Red Cliff.

For a long time, Mango’s was just a tiny eatery with a bar and a few tables. People playing in the surrounding wilderness area would stop in to refuel on its famous fish tacos. The building was razed a couple of years ago, and in late August, Mango’s reopened two levels higher and a whole lot snazzier. Since then, Mango’s has extended the small corner stage on its second level into one that stretches across the width of the room. It’s also installed a state of the art sound and lighting system.”We offer a comparable venue to 8150 or Belly Up in Aspen,” said Tricia Brumit, who books music and handles marketing for Mango’s. “Bands won’t be disappointed with the quality of sound or service.”Brumit said Mango’s offers bands already booked in Denver an opportunity to make extra money while playing in an off-the-beaten-path spot. Musicians are responding. Celtic rockers Young Dubliners have performed there, as well as singer-songwriter Nina Storey, who will return in December with a full band.

“This is the strangest place I have ever played,” Tryg Littlefield said, huffing on thin air and looking a bit strange himself – for Red Cliff anyway – wearing black, tapered stretch jeans and a sailor’s peacoat. Littlefield and his band Fall From Grace opened for Hell’s Belles. “We drove forever to get here. Climbing, climbing, climbing. We’re out in the middle of nowhere.”Brumit and the rest of the Mango’s crew realize their remote location can work for and against them. That’s why they bought three, 15-person passenger vans to shuttle customers back and forth for free. Starting two hours before a concert and running about every 40 minutes, the vans pick up and drop off at the Vail Transportation Center and the Minturn Ranger Station. Vans run until everyone has made it home safely, even if that means last call. For parties of eight or more, Brumit will arrange special pick ups.

“We are competing with a lot of different places in Vail,” Brumit said. “We want to give good reasons to come to Mango’s – not just our fish tacos.”Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 748-2938 or Daily, Vail Colorado CO

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