Copper Mountain closes out the ski season this weekend with the second installment of its 10th Annual Sunsation celebration and concert series. The weekend will feature tons of “good vibrations” from the reggae community, a “trance arena rock” band from Georgia, some lonely boys from Texas and more, as well as on-mountain competitions that will have patrons wondering what year it is. Saturday will feature two big names: Steel Pulse, reggae legends from the U.K. and Perpetual Groove, a band from Savanna, Ga., that blends Southern rock, funk, jazz and trance. In addition to music, Copper Mountain is hosting the zany Red Bull 1976 Games – a nod to the 1970s, when Denver had a chance to host the Olympics. Self-proclaimed reggae minister Pato Banton will perform on Sunday with his new backing band, the Now Generation and headliners Los Lonely Boys, from San Angelo, Texas will close out the celebration.
Saturday’s headlining band, roots reggae artist Steel Pulse, has been performing for an extremely long time. To put things in perspective, the band is even more retro than the 1976 Red Bull Games. Steel Pulse has been a heavy hitter in the reggae scene since the mid-70s. It formed in 1975 in Birmingham, England and included David Hinds (the primary songwriter as well as the lead singer and guitarist), Basil Gabbidonon (guitar) and Ronnie “Stepper” McQueen on bass. Their 1978 debut album, “Handsworth Revolution,” is regarded by many as a landmark British reggae album. In 1985, the band hit a high point in its career when its album “Babylon the Bandit” won the Grammy for “best reggae album.” The band has had an ever-evolving line-up of musicians, but the two original members still remaining are David Hinds, who sings and plays rhythm guitar, and Selwyn Brown on keys and backing vocals. Before Steel Pulse plays, the funky Southern/indie-rock artists Perpetual Groove will take the stage. PGroove, as the band is commonly known as, is no stranger to the festival setting, as the musicians have toured incessantly over the years and are gearing up to host their annual Memorial Day festival, Amberland. The band is known for its genre-defying sound and its ability to make each performance unique. “Improvisation is a cornerstone of our performances. Every song we have has at least a little structure in it that we dance around,” said PGroove drummer Albert Suttle. Suttle promised that there will be a little bit of everything in their Sunsation performance – a little improv, some structured songs, and maybe even a cover or two. Concert-goers can take a step back in time with the Red Bull 1976 Games, which will be going on all day Saturday. The games will feature snowblade cross and an old school air competition. There will also be awards for the best retro attire and team mojo. Both participants and spectators are encouraged to dress up. The inspiration for the games is the 1976 winter Olympics. The ’76 Olympics were originally awarded to Denver but were rejected by Colorado voters. Red Bull, knowing that the Colorado High Country missed out, wants the ’76 Olympics to have their day, according to its website.Also performing on Saturday will be the AC/DC cover band BC/DC.
For Copper Mountain’s closing day, the family friendly Texas rockers Los Lonely Boys will headline. The band consists of three brothers: Henry, Jojo and Ringo Garza. Los Lonely boys play a laid-back style of rock blended with roots, country and traditional Conjunto music, according to the bands bassist, Jojo Garza, who said that their sound was influenced by classic rock and a family tradition. “It comes from all the years of playing a lot of the music our dad taught us, old rock like the Beatles and Elvis, the list goes on … Ritchie Valens was a big part of our lives, the first Mexican rock and roller,” Garza said. “You tend to use the bits and pieces that you’ve learned from every corner of the world that you’ve been, and it continues to grow.”
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