Martini Shot brings party to Gondola Square | SteamboatToday.com

Martini Shot brings party to Gondola Square

Kari Dequine Harden/For Steamboat Today

The seven-piece band The Martini Shot will bring its high energy, horn-heavy sound to the base of Steamboat Ski Area at 3:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 25, marking the midway point in the Bud Light Rocks the Boat Free Concert Series.

— Pop-rock band The Martini Shot will bring its high energy, horn-heavy sound to the base of Steamboat Ski Area on Saturday, marking the midway point in the Bud Light Rocks the Boat Free Concert Series.

"We thrive on being a party band," said lead singer Andy Clementi. "We like to play all the fun stuff."

The seven-piece band is known for its covers — ranging from the 1950s to the latest releases — but it’s also produced three (and a half) albums of original songs. The latest, "Last Call," was released during the summer.

"Serving good times with a twist — From Pueblo's party band comes a self-produced and punchy pack of 11 songs that wraps up pop, rock, funk, reggae — even bro-country — in a horn-driven, polished package," wrote Jon Pompia in a review of the album for The Pueblo Chieftain.

Based in Clementi's hometown of Pueblo, The Martini Shot is well-established in the southern Colorado music scene, where it plays regular Saturday gigs at clubs and bars, primarily in Colorado Springs.

The band is also popular at weddings — one of which brought members to play in Steamboat for the first time during the summer.

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But it's the festival scene that's the band’s favorite, Celmenti said, and the Gondola Square show fits perfectly with that vibe. Spring through fall, The Martini Shot plays numerous outdoor festivals and concert series across the state.

The band’s recent awards include 2015 Best of the Springs (Colorado Springs Gazette), 2014 Best of Pueblo (Pueblo Chieftain) and 2013 Best Cover Bank (Indy Music Awards — Colorado Springs Independent).

Martini Shot has opened for Eddie Money and Blue Oyster Cult and FogHat, and the band lists some of its major influences as Barenaked Ladies, Reel Big Fish and 311.

On what sets the band apart, Clementi pointed to the horns and their addition to songs traditionally played without horns.

"We're not afraid to add those horns in just about everything we play," he said.

The band was founded by Clementi with fellow students at Adams State University.

The name came during a trip to Las Vegas for Clementi's 21st birthday. A friend said he'd always liked The Martini Shot as a band name, in reference to a Hollywood slang term for the last shot of the day on a movie set.

It's a metaphor, Clementi recalled his friend saying, for a celebration and a coming together at the end of the day.

Members have come and gone, but now marking 17 years, the band has accomplished considerable longevity.

"We genuinely do really like each other," Clementi said. "We are lucky and blessed to be playing together."

Between gigs, about half the band members have day jobs as educators, including Clementi, who worked as a choir director and currently is the director of activities and athletics at a Pueblo high school.

Clementi said his students get a glimpse into the viability of playing as a professional musician and pursuing one's passion.

"A lot of our students are fans," he said.

Today, Clementi gets to play alongside local musicians he idolized growing up in Pueblo.

"The guy who sold me my first guitar is our bass player," he said. When he was in high school, escorted by his parents and joined by his sister (a drummer), Clementi used to sit in with a couple musicians whom he now calls bandmates. "Those guys were heroes to me."

There's another key element to their particular brand of music, Clementi said: "We don't take ourselves to seriously."

The band is crowd-focused, and it want its audience to have a good time.

"We don't normally make a set list,” he said. “We feed off the crowd and the energy."

The band takes requests, doesn’t shy away from anything and always add its own twist to songs.

Of the band’s wide-ranging audiences through the years, Clementi said there's one thing he's consistently observed — "If you give them the chance, they're gonna dance."

The Martini Shot will play from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday on the Steamboat Stage in Gondola Square.

If you go:

What: The Martini Shot performs at Bud Light Rocks the Boat Free Concert Series

When: 3:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 25

Where: Steamboat Ski Area’s Gondola Square, 2305 Mount Werner Circle

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