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The Vail Visit

In twelve years of Colorado residency and three years of random visits, I never once went to Vail. My friends seem surprised by this, but I don't ski and what other reason is there to go to Vail? Well, my friends found one. 

In my third stay in Colorado as a non-resident, I was in Glenwood Springs. Obviously I came for 14ers, but with Vail being only an hour away and with one of my friends' favorite bands playing a show there, plans were made. 

And when I say one of their favorites, I mean seriously. Three of my friends are major fan girls. I can't imagine driving two hours from Denver just to go to a concert, especially when you've already seen the band twice that year. But that's just me - I'm not really into live music anymore. I haven't been for the last eight years or so. So this was the first real concert I'd been to since seeing Marc Broussard in Savannah, Georgia in November 2021. I've seen a dozen or so bands playing in small bars, but I mean first real bought-a-ticket-just-for-this kind of show.

The show was at the Gerald R Ford Amphitheater, and this is a venue for adults. I'm not sure if this is a Vail thing, or if venues have evolved since I stopped going to live music, but the concession stands sold wine and champaign, served in ice buckets, and charcuterie boards. So fancy.

I'd never heard of the opening group - Father John Misty - but they were excellent. I liked their upbeat, big band stuff a little more than the slower, folksy song, but the music was excellent all around.

The headliner was The Head and the Heart, and I only knew three songs by them. It was so late by the time they started and I had an hour drive back to Glenwood Springs, so I didn't think I'd stay for their whole set. But despite not knowing the songs, I absolutely loved the show. They had an incredible stage presence, really interacted with the audience, and I loved watching how into them the crowd was.

My friend Stephanie, the super fan, stood next to me during the whole set and gave me the play-by-play interpretation of the lyrics. I really enjoyed this - watching how meaningful the band was to her and her enjoyment in sharing the experience with me. This song, Missed Connections, she forever associates with me because of the missed connection ad I once placed in Craigslist. That was six and half years ago and even though we don't live in the same place anymore and see each other only once or twice a year, I love that she still thinks about this time of our lives and our friendship every time she hears that song.

And that's really what the night was about for me. Not the music, not Vail, but getting to hang out with the people who were such a big part of my Colorado life. It was a great night.