The Radiators heat up at Rick & Kellys in Edwards
EDWARDS, Colorado Excitement has been brewing in the Vail Valley since two Radiators shows were announced almost a month ago. Thursday night locals showed off bar room blueprints drawn on paper napkins, speculating what Rick & Kellys American Bistro might look like once the tables and chairs were gone. Longtime fans, from as far away as Louisiana, staked out the front row hours before the show began. As the downstairs of the Edwards eatery filled up with dedicated music fans, everyone could tell they were in for a special night. Not since the early days of Gartons in Vail Village has the Vail Valley seen such an established band fill such an intimate venue. The Radiators, a legendary band from New Orleans, strolled into the tiny restaurant, ready to play music as hard as they did when all five original members formed the band 30 years ago. Thats right, a band that regularly sells out venues four times the size, and a band that has the envious task of playing the last set at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, played in a space the size of my living room.For those of you not familiar, JazzFest is a two-week celebration of music, food and tradition attended by hundreds of thousands of people every spring in New Orleans. Every year, as the sun sets on JazzFest, the Radiators play the last notes of music fans hear as they celebrate one of the greatest weekends of their year.The Radiators are a true rock n roll band who showed their chops during Thursday nights performance. From the opening notes of Where Was You At? the band and the crowd were rocking. Throughout the more-than-three-hour show, the energy escalated throughout every note. With the two charismatic singers, Dave Malone and Ed Zeke Volker, leading the charge, the band rolled through classic originals and covers from every genre of music. They paid particular homage to Elvis Presley on what would have been The Kings 74th birthday.My favorite part of the show occurred in the second set when the band played Ring of Fire into Roll Away. With Frank Bua and Reggie Scanlan anchoring the groove on drums and bass, the band played intricate jams with seamless lead transitions between Zeke on keys and the silent hero, Camile Baudoin, playing dream scales up and down his guitar. Malones bluesy vocals completed the package and you could see his enthusiasm as he watched the ecstatic crowd dancing in unison to the exceptional music he and his band mates were creating.Before signing off, I must give kudos to Rick Colomitz who took a leap of faith and probably spent a lot of money to book such a large band. Well Rick, I for one thank you for providing us with a scene in which strangers turned into friends and the comfortable venue and excellent staff added as much to the night as the music. Todd Altschuler is an advertising consultant at the Vail Daily.