By Alan Crandall
writer, photographer and editor of Rockymountainjams.com
Halloween is a special time in Boulder. Stories of past year’s revelry have been told so many times that they now have become Boulder lore. Shoulder to shoulder folks in all forms of costumes and attire, or lack thereof, are now woven into the tapestry that is the Pearl Street Mall Halloween history. Wild parties spilling out into the Mall Crawl are what many think of around Halloween. Times and culture have changed and recent efforts to revive the Mall Crawl were thwarted, so for me, Halloween is about costumed fun and music.
I am not sure where or when the Halloween tradition of one band covering another band’s music began, but I am glad it did. This Halloween I witnessed the Great American Taxi perform music from the Grateful Dead, Van Morrison and Primus, The Motet Funk up the music of the Dead, and The Warren Haynes Band perform the music of James Brown. All amazing shows that I knew I would enjoy so for me the biggest surprise was the Anders Osborne/Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe collaboration covering the Rolling Stones best album “Sticky Fingers.” I should point out that this match up and performance for Denson was not just for Halloween, he is doing a full “Sticky Fingers” tour, in any case they blew up the Boulder Theater, took the audience for a ride and brought us back down to earth.
Either one of the very powerful performers, Anders Osborne or Karl Denson would have been a great show considering their talent and the amazing musicians they travel with, combined it was like thunder and lighting.
Osborne opened the show with some hard driving rock, jumping around the stage like a performer possessed. Then after a short break they reconfigured to stage an amazing show, from “Brown Sugar” to “Moonlight Mile” I was in a rock history bliss. I believe their version of “Wild Horses” is the best I have heard. “Sister Morphine” was nothing short of amazing. I had a fantastic night at the Boulder Theater, one the record books and another great Pearl Street Mall experience that I will weave into my Halloween lore.