Second-annual Rendezvous Music Festival comes to Beaver Creek
Rendezvous Music Festival schedule
Weekend Passes are sold out, but VIP Experience Passes ($405), Strawberry Park general admission Saturday-only passes ($35) and Vilar Performing Arts Center Saturday-only passes ($65) are still available. For a full weekend schedule and to purchase tickets, visit rendezvousbc.com.
Friday, Sept. 11
4:30-8:30 p.m. — Home Concerts: Dave Barnes, Ivory Layne and Kylie Rae Harris
8:30 p.m. — Dinner reception
Saturday, Sept. 12
9 a.m. — VIP Brunch, with music from John Oates
11:30 a.m. — Gates open at Strawberry Park
11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Ivory Layne
12:30-1:15 p.m. — Paper Bird
1:30-2:15 p.m. — Holly Williams
2:35-3:20 p.m. — Drew Holcomb
3:40-4:40 p.m. — Johnnyswim
5-6 p.m. — Chris Stapleton
8 p.m. — Indigo Girls, Vilar Performing Arts Center (doors open at 7:30 p.m.)
Taken in regular doses, music can cure all kinds of ailments, from heartbreak to lethargy to melancholy, uplifting moods and injecting energy back into a listless soul. Potential side effects run the gamut from Tourette-style singing to spastic hand clapping and an impulsive urge to dance.
Drew Holcomb tapped into this medicinal quality of music with his latest record, the aptly named “Medicine,” a moniker shaped by the individual recordings on the album made with his band, The Neighbors.
“I was in an interview, like this one, on the phone, and someone asked me what music was for, and it kind of stumped me, in a way,” he said during a recent chat with the Vail Daily. “And I thought on it for a couple of days and thought about what music has been for me, personally.
“If I look back over the joys and tragedies of my own life, I can almost always reference records for those seasons, the kind of soundtrack of those times for me, good and bad. In a lot of ways, music was pretty healing for me, or at least helped me give some meaning and body to whatever I was working through. I think that’s true for a lot of people.”
Beaver Creek will bring Holcomb’s rhythmic remedy, and doses of nearly a dozen other acts, to Strawberry Park for the second annual Rendezvous Music Festival on Friday and Saturday. The lineup includes legendary singer-songwriter John Oates, of Hall & Oates, who will play an exclusive VIP brunch on Saturday morning, and the Indigo Girls, set to close out the festival with an acoustic show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Saturday night.
Rhythm is the remedy
The Beaver Creek tour stop is one of nearly 2,000 shows Holcomb has played in the past decade, a frenetic pace that can sometimes be grueling but which the singer has grown to embrace.
“The thing that really keeps me going is, every night, the crowd and the location is almost always a different place, a different experience,” he said, adding that each record he puts out provides new material for touring. “Every tour has a different feel, playing different songs and reimagining old ones, finding ways to keep the show fresh, and I just love performing. It’s something that I hardly ever get tired of.”
Holcomb said as his music has evolved, he’s taken a simpler path, striving to capture a moment, a performance, rather than letting the production element of his albums get out of hand and distracting. From his earliest recordings to his present release, he’s also grown as a singer.
“When I first started, I really thought of myself as a songwriter, and I thought of my voice as a really utilitarian tool to get the songs out,” he said. “I didn’t really work on developing that. A lot of the records that I really love — people like Van Morrison, Tom Waits, Patty Griffin — are people who not only write great songs and have a great band but they find so many different dynamics in their voices.”
Holcomb mined a new quarry of lyrical content with “Medicine,” drawing from interactions he’s had with fans over the past couple of years.
“Some of it is conversational, meeting fans, and others through letters or long Facebook messages where people are telling their story and how a certain song affected them,” he said. “For some of those songs, I tried to put myself in the shoes of our fans and try to write songs that are somewhat autobiographical in the sense that, as a writer, you’re always drawing on your own experience but also to see the world from someone else’s place.”
The movement toward more universal themes shows up in songs such as “Heartbreak,” which Holcomb said is about a close family member who went through a tough relationship, and “American Beauty,” a song about the general loss of young love, which pretty much everyone has experienced. The latter gets a lot of requests at concerts, he said, as does “Here We Go,” which has a head-bobbing rhythm and a music video featuring Holcomb in a banana costume.
“It’s just really fun live, and it’s kind of got all the sentiment of the record but on a lighter note,” the singer said of “Here We Go.” “And we get the crowd involved singing the chorus and it’s become this great, perfectly chaotic moment on stage for five minutes, and I think there’s this great energy between the audience and us every night that we play that song.”
Holcomb said his music is a conversation between his band and the audience, with the songs as the centerpiece, a roller coaster exchange that shifts between high, energetic moments and more somber ballads.
“I think people will have a lot of fun at our show, but also, if they’re paying attention, they’ll be forced to kind of feel some emotion, as well,” he said. “I think that’s what a good show does; it takes you multiple places in a short period of time. Hopefully, that will be the case when we come to town.”