By: Zach Dahmen
The Fox Theatre gave Boulder an early Christmas present this year: a local lineup, and atop it, Boulder’s own Cold River City. The night started off with Tenth Mountain Division’s improv bluegrass rock and continued with Lula Granji’s grooving electronic instrumentals. Both bands delivered and set the tone for Cold River City’s third return to The Fox stage.
Arguably one of Boulder’s most successful and talented bands, Cold River City weaves between funk, soul, blues, and rock like they’re crocheting their music together. The six-piece is comprised of Jeremy Baugh (guitar/vocals), Emma Fields (vocals/percussion), Cody Hart (guitar), Brian Hubbert (vocals/guitar), Austin Pacharz (bass), and Andrew Oakley (drums). Almost every member is also involved in other projects- A Shadow of Jaguar, Asalott, Campos, BANDITS, and Groov are just a few. Clearly, this makes Cold River City a band that has its hands deep in the heart of the Boulder music scene.
As it came time for CRC to take the stage, their giant sign flashed and the noise of the crowd swelled. The atmosphere felt like coming home: something familial but with the kind of energy that left the crowd of several hundred buzzing for hours. Cold River played a medley of songs, stringing through their four previous releases and their upcoming album, Thank You. Sorry. Love You.
Taking the stage at The Fox is an honor for any band, but especially a local one. It comes with great reverence; almost too much. But Cold River City struck the right balance at their show and rightfully so. For as eclectic as their musical collection is, they know exactly who they are. There is a real sense of family on stage; you can see how much they love what they do individually and as a group. And that sort of energy translates to the audience in a very real way. The manner in which Cold River City connects with their audience has a real and comfortable truth to it. At one point in the show, Hubbert told us “Put down your cell phones and let’s be present here in this moment.” And it was an authentic moment. This is a band that wants to connect here, now, and tonight.
And though there were a few sentimental moments like this, one must remember that Cold River City is also the type of rock and roll band who takes full pulls of Jack Daniels onstage between songs. They know how to make your head swing with purpose and how to shake souls with authentic solos.
The show closed with a highlight: Oakley’s set-ending drum solo followed by Pacharz jumping on Oakley’s kit and presenting Oakley his bass to drum on. The two wildly whipped sounds until the rest of the band joined them for an encore, which ended with Hubbert knocking over Oakley’s kit and slamming down his own guitar.
It was a night full of memorable music and moments that created a hazy morning for many in the Boulder crowd. It was a great party, an early Christmas present, and an incredible night of local music.
Happy Holidays Boulder.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.