The Geiger Counter: Get this First Friday party started |

The Geiger Counter: Get this First Friday party started

The legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band will perform at 7 p.m. as part of Silverthorne's First Friday event Aug. 3. The band was formed in New Orleans in 1977, has 12 studio albums and is known for revolutionizing the New Orleans brass band style by incorporating funk and bebop into traditional jazz.
Courtesy Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Don’t know what to do this weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Pull up a seat to the counter, and I’ll tell you about everything that’s hot and happening.

I never heard of the term “First Friday” until I visited my brother in Denver when he lived a block off of Santa Fe Drive. Every month, the art district transforms into a wild block party. Like a pub crawl, we hopped from gallery to gallery, checking out the newest works while catching up with friends and peers. While I felt completely out of my element, it was neat to see him socialize with ease. It opened my eyes to the neighborhood, and to see the tradition spread and be fully embraced by the town of Silverthorne warms my heart.

The first First Friday I went to in Summit County was to see a concert by Uprooted, a reincarnation of the ’90s band Rusted Root. People flooded Rainbow Park last September as the group played memorable old songs and new favorites. It was a great way to unwind with craft beer and fried food after a long week.

I also made it out for May’s offering, a free beer festival featuring more than 30 breweries from around the state. There was whiskey, wine and hard seltzers, too, as well as pork belly from The Raven at Three Peaks and burgers made from Scottish Highland cattle.

I still can’t believe that the party was truly free — I had assumed it was free to attend but then samples were purchased a la carte — and the town merely asked for donations. In the end, the event raised $14,000 for various nonprofits. That’s a nice mix of relaxation and philanthropy.

I’ve lived here for just over a year, and that May night was the first where I recognized, and was recognized by, locals from all over — finally making me feel like I have a foothold in this wonderful community.

Now it’s party time once again for this month’s First Friday. Starting at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 2, the evening will be filled with live music and activities. The Frisco Funk Collective will take the stage first, with the legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band closing out the festivities. In between tunes, guests can cool off with free ice cream sandwiches or enjoy bounce houses, climbing walls and other family-friendly games.

If you’re the sort who plans ahead, the following month will have The Original Wailers in Silverthorne for a concert on Sept. 6. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for then and all of the First Fridays to come.

What I’m Listening To

‘The Big Day’ by Chance the Rapper

While Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” may be the song of the summer, Chance the Rapper’s “The Big Day” has a shot of being the album du jour. The record, which dropped July 26, is blissful, optimistic and earnest. Though it meanders and may be a bit of disappointment for fans of his mixtapes, there are still songs worth a listen in the full-length, 22-track “debut.”

One of my top tracks is the second, “Do You Remember,” which features Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. The band used to heavily be in my rotation, but I haven’t listened to them in almost a decade — and this is coming from a guy who covered Gibbard’s version of “Train Song,” a duet he made with Feist for “Dark Was The Night.” To hear Gibbard’s voice again brought back a flood of memories and gave me goose bumps.

Along with nostalgic references to ’90s pop culture and cameos by John Legend, Randy Newman, James Taylor and Justin Vernon, “The Big Day” is a solid escape to happier times.

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