If there was ever any doubt that rock and roll is alive and well, rest assured it is, as exemplified by this closing day of the Labor Day Weekend 27th Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival.
The Record Company
Sunday started off at 3 pm with a set from the band The Record Company hailing from Los Angeles delivering its unique brand of American Rock and Roll straight from the heartland. Fans from as far as Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Casper, Wyoming came to bask in the brilliance and energy of the trio who redefines, on their terms, the meaning of power trio. Drawing from diverse influences, combined with a punk rock energy and sensibility, The Record Company set the tone for an evening of pure, unadulterated rock and roll by playing their hits, including Rita Mae, Got Me on the Move and ending with an unexpected rendition of Sabotage by the Beastie Boys.
Gary Clark Jr.
Around 5 pm, with clouds looming over the mountains, Gary Clark Jr. took the stage and redefined the meaning of guitar hero.
Once he hit the stage, as a slow storm brewing over the Rockies, there was no doubt that Gary Clark Jr. and his band meant business.
Slowly coming out of the gates like the storm brewing with Catfish Blues, then blasting through Travis County, Don’t Owe You A Thang, Bright Lights and ending with a powerful rendition of The Beatles’ Come Together. Guitar aficionados and fans alike were left mesmerized by the force of nature called Gary Clark Jr.
His distinctive guitar tone, alongside his soulful vocals, will likely make him go down the annals of rock and blues history as one of the greatest guitarists of all time alongside the three Kings (Albert, B.B, and Freddie), Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix and other luminaries.
A unique guitar voice for the ages known as Gary Clark Jr.
Zac Brown Band
Around 7:30 PM the daunting task of surpassing the previous acts were left for the headliners Zac Brown Band and their unique style of country, rock, and 70’s blues rock. Without hesitation, after stepping back onstage for an encore, Zac Brown told the audience,
I have one of the greatest bands in the world behind me. Let me show them off for a minute.
Running through a varied, energetic set that included The Whipping Post by the Allman Brothers, The Eagles’s Take It to the Limit and a rousing cover of Metallica’s Enter Sandman, The Police’s Message in a Bottle, Adele’s Someone Like You combined with hits and romantic ballads, the Zac Brown Band delivered on all fronts in remarkable fashion on a memorable, late summer evening set amidst the heavenly backdrop of the Colorado Rockies.
The Festival organizer reported that this year’s three-day event was the most successful since its 1991-inception. Set against the Elk Mountain Range, a daily audience of 10,000 music lovers, and a world-class line-up, this music festival has earned its place as one of the great ones to attend yearly.
To read the JAS Jack Johnson review, click here.
Anne Howard contributed to this article.