As each parking space in all of downtown Steamboat Springs filled up one by one, blankets laid down on the grass, beers purchased, and stage set up, the anticipation for Big Head Todd and the Monsters rose. This show was one of the largest shows of the “Keepin’ It Free” Summer Concert Series for not only its prime holiday weekend spot, but also because Big Head Todd has graced Steamboat a couple times in the past. That being said, in Steamboat, the tourists can hardly ever outnumber the locals at these shows, but this particular show may have been teasing that fact. Estimations of the population of Howelson Hill Amphitheater on July 5th were around 6,000 people – a great feat for a local event. But of course, who doesn’t love free music?
Blue skies made for a promising evening, prompting families to spread out on the grass, tuck their jackets away, and soak in some rock n’ roll. Many attendees had brand-new tan lines from their Independence Day celebrations. Old friends gave each other big hugs and caught up on recent events while Todd and his Monsters ripped their guitars, jammed to the beat, and fed off the energy of those dancing away in the front. Although the attention of the crowd seemed to be focused more on socializing than the music, when the band played one of their most favorite songs, “Bittersweet”, almost everyone’s lips were in sync, their eyes locked on the artists, and bodies swaying to the rhythm.
As Colorado natives, Big Head Todd and the Monsters are no strangers to what the vibe should be at a free show in a happenin’ ski town. Laid back, groovy, with maintaining an energetic sound was exactly where they positioned themselves – much to the gratitude of the attendees. They played old favorites and some tracks off of their new album, Black Beehive, which was released on April 1st of this year. Big Head Todd and the Monsters’ set was so incredible that Steamboat wouldn’t let them leave the stage, even after an hour and a half. After a five minute break, Todd, Brian, Rob, and Jeremy approached their instruments and played at least three more songs. When the organizers of the concert had to start shutting the place down, Todd and the Monsters thanked Steamboat heartily for all the love they always bring, the beautiful place to play music, and the opportunity to share their music with such great people. All in all, it wouldn’t be outrageous to predict that Steamboat will be seeing the likes of them again in the future.
The next concert in the Keepin’ It Free series will be Uncle Lucius at Howelson Hill Amphitheater on July 18th. Be early to the 5pm show, because it may be just as big of a hit!