There's youth, there's talent and there's The Wheel, the Monument-based four-man set of 16- and 17-year-olds that embodies both. We've written about these teenagers and their classic rock-inspired fire before, so we're going to allow someone else to wax poetically about them for once. Howzabout Randy Kotterer, the owner of George's Union Station (2419 N. Union Blvd.), who calls frontman Sean Woestehoff "one of the best guitarists in town?" Not bad, right? For just $5 (or $10 for those younger than 21), you can check out The Wheel at 8 tonight, alongside local acts Ashley Raines and Nerve. Be warned: Your face might melt away. For more info, call 227-7168. PF
I've never wanted to go in a hot-air balloon. Maybe it's all the flammable material. Or the lack of a steering mechanism. Or that the cockpit is made of wicker. Whatever it is, I'm pretty sure I won't be making a trip around the world in one any time soon. If you're content to watch from afar like me, check out the 31st annual Colorado Balloon Classic, going on this weekend in Memorial Park (270 S. Union Blvd.). Get some shut-eye tonight so you can witness the balloon ascension at 7 a.m. Saturday, Sunday or Monday. And catch a nighttime Balloon-Glo, too. Go to balloonclassic.com for a complete schedule, or call 471-4833. AL
The last time Air Force was breaking in a new head football coach, Ronald Reagan was president, Fisher DeBerry had a full head of black hair and, well, where were you in 1984? Today, AFA fans will converge on Falcon Stadium for new coach Troy Calhoun's debut as the Falcons host South Carolina State with a noon kickoff. DeBerry's successor plans to unveil a more balanced offense instead of relying so heavily on the option, and the Falcons should have a more aggressive defense. Tickets range from $15 to $36, with plenty of excellent $27 seats available. Call 472-1895 or check goair forcefalcons.cstv.com/tickets/afa-tickets.html. RR
Three cool things "33," in no particular order: Patrick Roy; the miles per gallon my '85 Honda gets; and the 33rd annual Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival running this weekend at Manitou Springs' Memorial Park (500 block of Manitou Avenue). The festival starts on Saturday and runs through Monday. Browse a large selection of vendors, listen to the vigorous schedule of live music and snack with the kids. The event is free and lasts from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. For more information, call the Commonwheel Artists Co-op at 685-1008 or visit commonwheel.com. EA
Labor Day. You relaxin'? Feelin' loose? Not too drunk to leave the house? Good. Then I suggest one of two activities. First, watch the The Vintage Base Ball Grudge Match at Rock Ledge Ranch (3202 Chambers Way), where the Colorado Territorial All-Stars from Denver (Booo!) try to beat up our home team, the Camp Creek Cloud Busters (Rah rah rutz, kick 'em in the ...). First pitch at 1 p.m. Or, watch or help raise money for various local causes by participating in the American Discovery Trail Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K Fitness Challenge leaving from America the Beautiful Park (126 Cimino Drive) beginning at 6:30 a.m. Visit adtmarathon.com and rockledgeranch.com for specifics. MS
We'd challenge you to attend The Killers show tonight and not get some goose bumps. Their brand of dance-punk New Wave, highlighted by Brandon Flowers' soaring vocals, is perfectly tailored to a place like Red Rocks Amphitheatre (18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison). The only thing that could screw up the equation would be, say, Flowers' voice going out. In May, that's exactly what happened after two songs, sending everyone home early. Tonight's the redux, and all tickets from that spring show will be honored; sniff around outside the venue to see if anyone's selling. They're general admission, $39.50 each, and also feature opener Louis XIV at 7:30. KW
So many art-related fundraiser events make you empty the wallet just to walk in the door, meaning there's not enough cash left to enjoy the moment. Nobody will make that excuse today at Bratz 'n Fine Art, benefiting the Manitou Springs Carnegie Library restoration, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post (324 Beckers Lane). For $10 a person, you get grilled bratwurst, salad and beer, wine or iced tea, plus live music from the Miles Street Jazz Band. Then comes plenty of local-produced art for sale from artists such as Michael Baum, Mary Henson, Dan Bedell, Tracy Miller and many more, with a percentage going to the restoration fund. Buy tickets at the Manitou library or call 685-5206. RR
This week's 7 Days contributors: Edie Adelstein, Pete Freedman, Amanda Lundgren, Ralph Routon, Matthew Schniper and Kirk Woundy.