We’re here to help with your late-night planning as this summer’s annual Labor Day Weekend Phish run at Commerce City, Colorado’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Park approaches: Throughout the four-night, summer-closing stand, Live For Live Music and Denver’s Cervantes‘ will keep it rolling with an eclectic series of nightly after-parties [ticketing information].
The late-night festivities will begin on Thursday, August 31st following the first night of Phish at Dick’s with hybrid tribute project Steely Dead. On hand to help the band meld the structure, arrangement and precision studio recordings of Steely Dan with the Grateful Dead’s free-flowing, melodic improvisation and masterful song segues will be a pair of local favorite horn players, The Motet saxophonist Drew Sayers and his former bandmate, trumpeter Gabe Mervine. To grab your tickets to Steely Dead on Thursday, 8/31, head here.
On Friday, September 1st, the after-party programming will take over both Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom and its adjoining room, the Other Side, for a dual-venue blowout. In the Ballroom, Colorado jam mainstays Magic Beans will recruit some of their many talented peers for a special Magic Beans & Friends performance, while DJ Airwolf will man the decks at the Other Side. Ticket-holders will be free to move back and forth between the two venues for the duration of the event.
Magic Beans have partnered with Backline, the music industry’s leading mental health resource, to donate $1 from every ticket sold to support the band’s longtime friend, Tyler Gwynn, as he bikes 236 miles from Aspen to Cervantes’ for the show in support of mental health. For more information about the Friday, September 1st Magic Beans & Friends show at Cervantes’, head here. To purchase tickets, head here.
On Saturday, September 2nd, The Phunk Sessions will regroup in Denver, CO on Saturday, September 2nd to tie a bow on Phish‘s 2023 Labor Day Weekend run at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park with a dual-room funk summit at Cervantes’ featuring members of Galactic, Soulive, The Motet, Lettuce, and more in the Ballroom and DJ Airwolf at the Other Side.
A staple of the Denver music scene and beyond, Live For Live Music‘s The Funk Sessions series has been bringing rotating lineups of musicians together for all-star dance parties for several years. In addition to spreading to New Orleans during the last two editions of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the series has cemented its place as a go-to Dick’s late-night since 2019 with an offshoot dubbed The Phunk Sessions.
The lineup for the fourth annual installment of The Phunk Sessions features Eric Krasno (guitar, vocals; Soulive, Krasno/Moore Project), Stanton Moore (drums; Galactic, Krasno/Moore Project), Eric “Benny” Bloom (trumpet; Lettuce), Wil Blades (keyboards; Eric Krasno & The Assembly), and Drew Sayers (saxophone; The Motet) along with other surprise guests.
The members of the lineup are all well-acquainted, with interconnected creative relationships dating back decades. Krasno and Moore’s quarter-century connection recently blossomed into the Krasno/Moore Project, which just released its debut album, Book of Queens, an organ trio tribute to towering female musicians including Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, H.E.R., Kacey Musgraves, and more. Bloom, the trumpeter for Grammy-nominated funk outfit Lettuce, spent years collaborating with Krasno during his tenure with the group, which he co-founded back in 1992.
San Francisco organ wizard Wil Blades has been a secret weapon for various Krasno and Moore projects through the years, most recently as the organist for Eric Krasno & The Assembly. Meanwhile, Blades and Bloom have recorded and toured together as part of the Adam Deitch Quartet and various other outfits. Denver local Drew Sayers, a veteran participant in The Funk Sessions, has collaborated with his Phunk Sessions at Cervantes’ and shared bills with them around the country as a member of The Motet.
Even beyond the billed musicians, The Phunk Sessions has been known to attract exciting guests on the fly. Get excited for the 2023 edition of The Phunk Sessions by revisiting Phish bassist Mike Gordon‘s 2019 sit-in on a cover of Little Feat‘s “Spanish Moon” here. For tickets to The Phunk Sessions at Cervantes’ on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023, head here.
Finally, the Live For Live Music/Cervantes’ Phish Dick’s 2023 late-night series will come to a close on Sunday, September 3rd with Bone Diggers, the Bay Area’s all-star Paul Simon tribute project, Bone Diggers, featuring members of ALO, Billy & The Kids, Trey Anastasio Band, Circles Around The Sun, and more.
The live exploration of Paul Simon’s timeless catalog will feature Reed Mathis (bass; Billy & The Kids), Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz (guitar; ALO), Adam MacDougall (keys; Circles Around The Sun), Jeff Franca (drums; Thievery Corporation), Scott Rager (drums; Tea Leaf Green), Steve Adams (bass; ALO), and Jennifer Hartswick (trumpet, vocals; Trey Anastasio Band).
For tickets to the late-night Bone Diggers show at Cervantes’ on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023, head here.
We can’t wait to see you all in Denver this weekend! Find more information and ticketing details for all of Live For Live Music and Cervantes’ 2023 Phish Dick’s after-parties here.