I’ve covered a handful of Illegal Pete’s performances in the past. Though typically, they’re in a thousand square foot restaurant in Denver – in front of thirty to a hundred people. The venue was certainly larger and slightly more packed, the only thing missing from my evening was a burrito the size of my dog.
As we wheezed our way in up an array of ramps, roads and lots – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats were just finishing up their set, to be followed by Boise Rock group, Built to Spill. Prior to them taking the stage, Illegal Pete’s owner, Pete Turner took the stage for a few moments to say a few emotionally laced words to the near-capacity crowd in attendance. His message was to just “always have more fun than everyone else” – which seemed to be a fitting mantra for the night. The first fifteen rows of Red Rocks was packed to the gills with Illegal Pete’s employees, both current and former, all of whom seemed to harbor a great amount of respect for him as a boss and business owner.
Built to Spill came out and nearly burned that mother down. The almost-bordering-on-metal group out of Boise, has been doing this type of shit since you were dumping in your diaper – and doing it well. I wandered the grounds looking for a place to sit and indulge, zone out and watch. Dammit, I still want a giant burrito. Or a $9 Coors. (Okay, only 1/2 of those comments are factual)
Next there was a bit of stand up from Denver’s local dick joke magician, Adam Cayton-Holland. His set was brief, but very enjoyable. “She’s got a butt, too!”. He was eventually half-trolled by some impatient Lucero fans sitting in the front with a liver-full. After handling that with grace, he closed up and introduced Memphis based Alt-Country badasses, Lucero.
Every Lucero show is a little like a box of chocolates. You never really know what you’re going to get. Sometimes, they end up fall-down-drunk after being sent a liter of whiskey via their die hard fans. Other nights, like tonight seem to be a relatively sober evening for Ben and the crew, who seemed very well put together. Of course by the end of the night, Nichols joked that the whiskey was starting to work.