Three Nights with the Kitchen Dwellers - Mishawaka

Three Nights with the Kitchen Dwellers

In their second appearance at the Mishawaka, Kitchen Dwellers showed their impeccable skills as musicians over this past Memorial Day Weekend. With the addition of three supporting bands, Banshee Tree, High Country Hustle, and Ghost Town Drifters, each performer put on a show to remember. Setting into this exciting weekend, the Mishawaka crew was dedicated to working diligently to put on an incredible three-night run for everyone in the Poudre Canyon!

Night one began as bluegrass lovers gathered in the canyon hills. Banshee Tree kicked off the music-filled weekend with a unique fusion of sounds. Combining psychedelic rock, jazz, swing, and electronica, they provided the necessary energy to christen the crowd for the night ahead.

Following the uplifting harmonies of Banshee Tree, the adored Montana quartet finally took the stage. While blending heartfelt moments with heavy pickin’, Kitchen Dwellers properly commenced the anticipated holiday weekend run. During their first set, the group paid tribute to David Grisman, playing their renditions of his songs “Salt Creek” and “E.M.D.”

Kitchen Dwellers came in hot for their second set of night one, beginning with their legendary song cycle of “The Crown” and Bad Liver’s “Pretty Daughter.” The quartet ended the set with another memorable song cycle of “Ghost in the Bottle” and Perpetual Groove’s “Three Weeks.” After shocking the crowd with an unforgettable encore of Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee,” everyone left grateful that two more evenings of Kitchen Dwellers’ psychedelic, yet traditional, pickin’ awaited.

As we got ready for night two, the venue was hustling to make all ends meet, make sure the restaurant goers were satisfied, and ensure that the artists were in for a busy and exciting night! Coworkers, family, and friends are crucial to this business. It allows for many great things to be accomplished on the back end of putting on shows. The support and help we get from these people is invaluable. It is very important to implement time for fun with family and friends, even through all of the busy times as well.

The Mish filled up fast with patrons on Saturday. All were ready and anxiously waiting for another outstanding performance by the Kitchen Dwellers and their supporting acts. High Country Hustle set the mood perfectly. The crowd roared and was instantly amazed by their fun, joyful, and energetic twist on bluegrass jams. Their music is a little more laid back, with a more easygoing style of bluegrass, compared to the Kitchen Dwellers that is! Everyone was so supportive of this act and all the opening bands throughout the weekend.

Joe, aka Captain Joe Funk, the lead bassist for the Kitchen Dwellers, has some groovy and funky technique with the stand up bass. His picking and jamming made for some incredible basslines, and allowed for synchronization between all four of this elite team! He led the crew all weekend long; Joe’s bass playing and time keeping abilities are outstanding! He is named Captain after all!

One of the most moving parts of the show had to be the lights. Seeing the strums of the instruments perfectly match up with the light flashes created an experience and feeling that one just cannot describe. It was so cool to see the lights of the venue light up the forest behind. The lights of a show, along with the music (of course) sure curate an amazing show! Being in the moment and taking in all aspects of the show truly show what the power of music can do for anyone!

There is a famous saying in the world of bluegrass music, “Never miss a Sunday show.” Even with two nights of Kitchen Dwellers leading up to the third and final day of this concert run at The Mishawaka fans came out in the masses to be at this Sunday show, which they knew would be the best show of the entire weekend. Three-day pass holders who had been to each show so far this weekend were more excited and ready to party than ever, bringing a ton of energy that made it feel like the first night all over again!

The third night began with a traditional bluegrass set from the Ghost Town Drifters, where we had the pleasure of welcoming four members from the band on our stage and they started the night off with some hard pickin’ on the Poudre! The Drifter’s music is uptempo, fast, and elaborate, getting people up dancing, laughing, and overall having a great time with incredibly talented musicians starting the night they have been waiting so long for the most appropriate way possible. Ghost Town Drifter’s music is classical bluegrass in nature, but takes heavy influence from soul and jazz music, taking complex compositions and combining it with full harmonies that give the music a more modern feel to it that was easily enjoyed by everybody and made for a perfect stepping stone into the funky jams we were preparing for the rest of the evening!

As the sun fully set behind the Rocky Mountains on this Sunday evening and the Kitchen Dwellers took the stage for their fifth of six sets of the weekend, the crowd roared with excitement when they saw the band take the stage together for the first time this evening. During this set, the band played title tracks such as “Mountain” and “Seven Devils” that every person in the crowd was singling along with, creating a true sense of community among the people in attendance, many of which did not know each other before this weekend and thanks to the Magic of the Kitchen Dwellers now have a lifetime bond between each other. This energy continued for an hour as the band played with full passion in their music through their first set.

After a short thirty minutes of recovery for the Kitchen Dwellers, they came back to the stage ready to play for another hour and a half for one last hoorah to end their three-night run at the Mishawaka with a bang! For the second set of the night and the final set of the weekend, the Dwellers took to the ‘Spacegrass’ side of their discography and played songs that were full of delay, reverb, wham, and as the name of the genre suggests, completely spaced out bluegrass. Many of the songs they were playing were recognizable and well-known but had an extra twist on them, extended versions with long solos, experimental sounds, and psychedelic influence, turning into full-on improvised jams that really demonstrated the band’s full potential and made for the best music the band played all weekend. As the ninety minutes rolled by seconds at a time, the set came to an end before we knew it, and the Kitchen Dwellers walked off the stage and said goodbye to the crowd expressing their appreciation for having so many incredible and loyal fans hang out with them all weekend.

The Kitchen Dwellers are a gift that keeps on giving, and of course, the band wouldn’t say goodbye without a proper encore, and that’s exactly what they gave us! They made us think that the weekend was over before it was, but they came back to play the extended experimental jam version of “Visions of Mohr” to put the cherry on top of the six jaw-dropping sets the band performed for us over Memorial Day weekend. The Kitchen Dwellers gave us an unforgettable weekend filled not only with tranquility and peace by the river being surrounded by nature but also immense joy and excitement surrounded by the people we love and cherish in our lives, growing relationships closer and creating relationships that will last a lifetime, an experience accompanied directly by what could be the best live music performance of the year, a gift directly from the Kitchen Dwellers to us all that we will hold on to forever. On behalf of the Mishawaka Team and the Kitchen Dwellers, thank you for spending your weekend with us, we hope you enjoyed it just as much as we did, we will see you all again very soon!

Written by:

  • Brad Campbell
  • Jacob Drury
  • Kelsy Henderson
  • Emily Davis

Photos from: Sunny Side Production

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