Free concert series closes out with two shows this weekend
The Bud Light Rocks the Boat free concert series is coming to an end this weekend — but not before viewers and skiers are treated to not one but two more free concerts this weekend. Explore Steamboat caught up with both bands ahead of the shows.
First up, Saturday’s concert features the band Magic Giant, which has been called “the most festive band on the festival circuit.”
They’ve spent the past five years climbing the Billboard charts, amassing fans in every city they visit, and the band has been named one of “10 Artists You Need to Know” by Rolling Stone Magazine.
Explore Steamboat: It seems like from the time you released your first LP in 2017, you were a hit right off the bat – what you do think it was that drew people to your music?
Magic Giant: That’s very kind. It’s been twofold. The lyrics we wrote were meaningful to us, and because they meant something to us, they seem to have struck a chord with a bunch of other people who feel like misfits in the world. That plus we love playing music live and playing with a group of friends and strangers, not just for them.
ES: During the pandemic, you guys hosted a digital music festival — tell me about that.
MG: When the pandemic struck, we felt the urge to do something that could help in some way. Since we were all in lockdown, we knew it had to be online. It started with just close friends the first weekend and then it started getting bigger and bigger til we had dozens of guests like The Lumineers, Woody Harrelson, Walk the Moon, Jason Mraz, David Blaine; we raised over $100,000 for causes, mostly to get frontline responders the PPE they needed in order to save lives. It happened really quickly, and was a lot of work but so fulfilling.
ES: In coming out the other side of a pandemic, what’s inspiring you in your songwriting now?
MG: It continues to be the triumph of the human will for us — that our minds can do anything we believe we can. We can persevere through darkness and come out stronger for it.
Closing down the mountain on Sunday will be the New Orleans-based Dumpstaphunk, one of the area’s hottest jam and funk bands.
Explore Steamboat: Tell us a little bit about the band and your style.
Ivan Neville (co-founder, vocals and keyboard): The band consists of two guys from the Neville family — myself and my cousin Ian — and two other guys who I’ve known for a long time (Nick Daniels and Tony Hall) both bass players.
We also have one of the funkiest young drummers out of the New Orleans area (Deven Trusclair) — he’s amazingly funky. Then we’ve got a couple of horns with Ashlin Parker playing trumpet and our trombone player extraordinaire, Alex Wasily. We’re a funk band and one of the funkiest! We’re from New Orleans which makes us naturally funky but I would say we’re funkier than most.
ES: I know that you come from a family with a long history on the New Orleans’ music scene — how did that affect your own career and sound?
IN: It impacted my career in the sense that everyone was playing music when I was growing up. My uncles, my dad (father is legendary R&B singer Aaron Neville) … it was natural that I went into that world and it was just eat, sleep, breath music from day one.
And being in New Orleans — it’s a magical place; it just oozes music and the vibe — the food, the people. Being from that family gave us access to a lot of things and opened some doors for us here and there. But we did the work and were able to kick the door down ourselves in most cases. But the Neville family laid a pretty solid path for us to follow.
ES: You released an album a year ago, “Where Do We Go From Here.” Tell me about that.
IN: The title track coincidentally came about before the pandemic but we completed the writing and song in the midst of the pandemic. I mean, ‘where do we go from here’ is a question for the ages — it’s something you gotta stop and contemplate every so often, everyone does. Lately, things have happened in the US — social injustices coupled with the pandemic — you’ve got to sit down and ask yourself that.
ES: Did you figure out an answer?
IN: We did come up with the idea that if we do more things with love and with the intention of love and we express more love and put more love out into the world, then we will go great places.
What: Bud Light Rocks the Boat free concert series presents Magic Giant and Dumpstaphunk
When: Magic Giant at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, and Dumpstaphunk at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 10
Where: Steamboat Resort
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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