4 August 2007

Conifer Music Festival, Conifer, CO


The first annual Conifer Music Festival (or "Conifair"), located in a relatively humble mountain town about 25 miles Southwest of Denver, off of U.S. 285. I decided to take a highway I hadn't driven on before, Colorado State Highway 67, from Woodland Park. This route took about an hour longer than another, busier route, but the scenery was exceptional.

After walking 1.5 miles from a Park-N-Ride, I showed up to the hillside farmland near Platte River, with seven minutes to spare before Firefall opened their set. Firefall is still original member Jock Bartley with hired musicians that have actually stayed in the lineup longer than Firefall stayed on the Billboard charts in the 1970s and very early 1980s. Their setlist was nearly identical to that of other recent shows on the Front Range of Colorado, opening with "Livin' Ain't Livin'", covering all of their Top 40 hits, including a Lennon/McCartney composition off of their "Firefall Acoustic: Colorado To Liverpool: ATribute To The Beatles" CD, and ending with "Mexico".

After a half hour setup, Jack, Paul, George L., and Rusty took main stage for a stock set lasting a little over an hour, opening with an electrified "Under The Gun", "Call It Love" (with a Bo Didley beat ending), and "Rose of Cimarron", which Rusty described as being covered by many artists, including Emmylou Harris and Slim Whitman! This version of "Rose" featured mostly a 2/4 rhythm typical of the live version performed in recent years, with an ending reminiscing the 4/4 rhythm of the studio version.

After "Indian Summer" was an interesting, peculiar medley of "Shake It" and "Barbados".

Poco's acoustic interlude included the familiar tracks "Keep On Tryin'", "Call It Love", and the Buffalo Springfield classic "A Child's Claim To Fame".

"Magnolia" (with additional 2005 Paul Cotton lyrics making reference to Hurricane Katrina), "Heart Of The Night", "Good Feelin' To Know", and "On The Way Home" finished the set. By the way, Richie Furay was booked the same evening for a gig in Golden, CO, and thus wasn't able to join the current lineup for a song or two.

Several of us fans got to visit the "VIP Lounge" after the show to meet and greet the four members of the band. As always, they were very friendly.

Aside from sprinkles and light rain from time to time, the vibe was pleasant, the view was awesome, and the sound was superb.

[****] - Steven T.

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