We like live music in our town. We like it a lot.
In fact, we like it so much in Fort Collins that we seem to celebrate live music 24/7/365. Most recently â€“â€“ just this last weekend â€“â€“ the Fort Collins Musicians Association hosted yet another music festival in our cityâ€™s many and diverse venues. Itâ€™s called the Fort Collins Music Experiment, FoCoMX â€“â€“ and this year there were more than 200 performers â€“â€“ everything from the sweetest solo singer to the roughest, rawest hardcore metal band â€“â€“ playing everywhere from the big, live music theater in town and nightclubs to butcher shops, breweries, movie theaters and more.
Thatâ€™s part of the attitude in Fort Collins ÂÂÂâ€“â€“ we donâ€™t necessarily care if a big star or a hot-selling band comes to play festivals like FoCoMX. Weâ€™re perfectly happy and excited about making our own music here and getting out to play it for our family, friends and fans. If what FoCoMX is trying to represent about the music scene in Northern Colorado is true â€“â€“Â that this is the home to literally hundreds of bands of all stripes â€“â€“ then we have musicians hiding under every rock around here. And when an event like FoCoMX comes around, they all want to come out to play.
Last weekend at FoCoMX I saw some cool stuff â€“â€“ a musical saw player, a band made up of zombies, delicate jazz, cellos mixing with raging guitars, a band in the middle of a bowling alley and lots of raucous, extroverted behavior on stage. But Iâ€™ll admit what brightened my weekend the most was seeing the Lincoln House Band â€“â€“ a collection of Junior High kids who are being taught to rock properly â€“â€“ cranking out upbeat versions of songs by Santana, U-2 and the Go Gos. As they played â€“â€“ and they were a big band â€“â€“ I scanned around the room and saw people nodding their heads and tapping their feet to the music. These kids were doing their job as well as anyone else in the festival.
Now, really, thatâ€™s how much we like live music in Fort Collins. We not only like it for ourselves, but weâ€™re also teaching our kids how to express themselves with style.
Of course, the proof of what Iâ€™m saying here doesnâ€™t just begin and end with FoCoMX. All summer long we have live music series playing throughout the city and weâ€™ve got the regionâ€™s premier live music event to look forward to in August â€“â€“ Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. Of course, our music venues â€“â€“ and even some places that arenâ€™t â€“â€“ keep the city rocking every day, every week. Our musicians are also always supporting various benefit causes by banding together in special events at the drop of a hat.
You want live music? Come to Fort Collins and see how itâ€™s done â€“â€“ itâ€™s not about overblown stardom or outrageous riches â€“â€“ itâ€™s about keeping a fire burning that lasts all year long.
Tim Van Schmidt is a freelance writer and a Fort Collins resident._