Happy birthday, beleaguered bandshell 


Knowingly or not, those who caught this past weekend's El Toro de la Muerte show at Acacia Park were eyewitnesses to history. In addition to being the last installment in this year's free summer concert series, the event also rung in the 100th year of the much-beloved Acacia Park bandshell.

Of course, this centennial anniversary could have gone completely undiscovered were it not for Reverb's extensive "research." But now the truth can be revealed, along with the wildly disparate views of experts on the bandshell's historical and aesthetic merits.

In one corner, we have the Colorado Historical Society, whose 2004 architectural inventory rapturously described the bandshell's semi-elliptical buff brick arch, its multi-light windows with geometric glazing, its corbelled brick chimney, and a few dozen other details that only a historian or architect could appreciate.

Well, some architects, at least. A recent assessment by local firm HB&A proved considerably less appreciative. In its 2011 document, "Acacia Park Concepts: Developing the Jewel of Downtown in the Historic City Center," the agency places the beleaguered bandshell alongside drugs, cigarettes and dead trees under its no-holds-barred category "BAD":

"Stage/band shell: Band shell not used very often, not well maintained, ugly."

A little mean-spirited if you ask me, but to each their own.

Meanwhile, for the more high-spirited among us, the Colorado Symphony has unveiled details of the final show in its "Classically Cannabis" series. The Sept. 13 event will be held at Red Rocks, where the orchestra has, in recent years, teamed up with an array of pop artists that includes Amanda Palmer, Amos Lee, DeVotchKa and, this past weekend, Warren Haynes, who led a "symphonic celebration" of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead.

This time around, the symphony will be going it alone with the newly unveiled "Red Rocks on a High Note," an audio-visual extravaganza that will find the orchestra front and center. The organization is likening the concert to "a musical Ted Talk with light projections and very powerful soundtrack brought to life by more than 80 musicians." Repertoire will include standard orchestral fare by Beethoven, Debussy, Berlioz, Vivaldi, John Adams and John Williams. There will also be a composition from Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood as a tokin' nod to the 21st century.

And finally, in the Just When You Thought They Were Retired It Turns Out They're Not Department, The Nobodys will be playing a tour kickoff show — an all-ages one, no less — at the Triple Nickel on Aug. 15.

Those with extremely limited peripheral vision should be warned that the entrance to Colorado Springs' "Infamous Punk Rock Dive Bar" is no longer at the corner of Wahsatch and Colorado. In fact, the whole bar has moved next door to the space previously occupied by Brother Luck Street Eats, while cannabis social club Studio A64 has expanded downstairs to occupy the original location.

One big advantage of the new space, at least for the musicians performing there, is that the stage will no longer be tucked away in a separate area. That means acts won't be playing for no one while oblivious patrons down pitchers of PBR in the main bar. Of course, some acts will still be playing for no one, but that can't be helped.

"It's actually really awesome," says perpetually enthusiastic promoter Bryan Ostrow. "Everyone is a little closer together and — my favorite part — people have to watch the bands."

Send news, photos and music to reverb@csindy.com; follow our updates at tinyurl.com/indyreverb.


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