Margaret Hair: Opening act stands out at Ski Jam |

Margaret Hair: Opening act stands out at Ski Jam

Music festival continues with tribute bands today, Sunday

Margaret Hair

— Walking out onto the stage of the Steamboat Music Tent on Thursday night, Texas rock band Jonathan Tyler and The Northern Lights was met with a few cheers, a few less-than-flattering cat-calls and not much else.

It took the hard rocking, blues-drenched band about 15 seconds to erase any skepticism a crowd of Wailers fans might have had. Barreling into a set of original and cover songs that included choices from the Jimi Hendrix and Muddy Waters songbooks, The Northern Lights delivered a show packed with irresistible energy.

A six-piece rock band from Dallas, The Northern Lights follow in the footsteps of classic rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and Southern standbys such as Lynyrd Skynyrd. Leadman Jonathan Tyler grinds through original lyrics and shreds through powerful guitar solos. That's backed up by a killer band that keeps everything chugging along, and bolstered by scorching vocals and worthwhile tambourine solos from singer Mo Brown.

During an opening set that lasted about 45 minutes, the band played to a growing Music Tent crowd that would fill out by the time The Wailers took the stage. The Northern Lights have a presence that doesn't easily compare with the band they preceded, but it was a difference the audience seemed to appreciate.

For their part, The Wailers served up plenty of reasons to dance. Though occasionally falling into too-long instrumental grooves, the headlining act and possibly most anticipated Steamboat show of the year worked its way through a set sure to satisfy its fans.

It's close to impossible to leave a Wailers show without a smile, and faithful renditions of classic songs such as "Stir It Up," "So Much Things to Say" and "I Shot the Sheriff" ensured a happy crowd leaving the Music Tent at the end of the night.

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Ski Jam continues today and Sunday with "After the Hill Chill" shows from 3 to 6 p.m. at Bear River Bar & Grill by 1970s cover band Skyrocket. Admission is included in Ski Jam festival passes and will be free and open to the public at the start of the shows until the venue starts to fill.

At the Music Tent in the Knoll Parking Lot, 1980s cover band The Molly Ringwalds plays today, and Neil Diamond tribute act Super Diamond plays Sunday. Doors for the Music Tent shows open at 7 p.m. Tickets for those shows are $15 and are available at All That Jazz, Steamboat Ski & Sport and Christy Sports in Central Park Plaza, or online at or Remaining tickets will be available at the concert door.

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