Ah, the early shows.
There’s something about those afternoon set times that, somehow, make the Mish even better. The sun is shining, the tunes are playing, and the river beckons to offer relief from the summer heat. All of this, along with an evening performance from the Colorado queen of soul Hazel Miller, equates to a damn near perfect day.
Accompanying the Hazel Miller band were co-headliners Chris Daniels and the Kings, as well as two openers: Goatz! and William’s Reserve. All of the bands, including several family members, shared the green room. It created a sense of comfort, joyfulness, and belonging among everyone, whether you were family, band mate, or lowly Mish intern. The kindness of everyone, especially Hazel Miller, absolutely astounded me. (Hazel, if your reading this, will you be my adopted grandma?) It was this genuine feeling of goodwill among everyone that made the day ten times better, and made me thankful for the opportunity to be involved.
The show started with William’s Reserve, which got the crowd going with some easy-going funk/rock tunes. To follow up, Goatz! came out to perform their country/blues set and switch up the mood a bit. (Unfortunately, Goatz! is not an up and coming hip-hop group comprised of former farmers, which I originally had thought.)
After the openers, Chris Daniels and the Kings took the stage as the early evening approached. The Kings busted out the funk, as well as some good old rock-n-roll, to a smaller but eager crowd. The set list was a mix of original songs, as well as some covers of more famous tunes, including a rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”. Overall, the set was fantastic and well executed.
As night started setting in, The Hazel Miller Band came out and started serenading the fans. Although it was a relatively small turnout, the energy matched that of a sold out show. And, like a true performer, Hazel Miller matched that energy. It didn’t matter who you were; if you could stand, Hazel Miller was getting you dancing. Whether it was a slow dance with that special someone, or a fast-paced funk number, everyone went to center stage and danced their hearts out. The set list included original songs, as well as many covers of popular songs like Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”. After the grand encore, the crowd was still chanting for more, and Hazel happily obliged. Overall, this was one of the best shows of the year. Not because of the turnout, or even the music, but the sense of togetherness that filled the venue. No one was alone, everyone was family, and there was nothing but love.
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