Un tiempo bueno | SteamboatToday.com

Un tiempo bueno

Los Lobos played music to please every type of audience member

— Thursday night’s free concert brought long lines of illegally parked cars, long food lines, long beer lines and long bathroom lines.

But there were no long faces at the Los Lobos concert at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.

Los Lobos saxophonist Steve Berlin used an analogy that fit both the way the band recorded its latest CD and the way its music engaged the crowd.

“Everyday we were starting from the farthest bottom part of the hill and trying to push the rock up it,” Berlin said.

From a stage on the Headwall ski trail, Los Lobos’ eclectic sound swelled over the crowd, starting with the tight group of dancers near the bottom of the trail to the free-running children at the top.

The band covered songs ranging from Grateful Dead to Santana to the Allman Brothers Band.

“I’m impressed with their diversity,” Eli Campbell said. “I hear a little polka, a little Latin and some rock. See, now there’s ’50s music.”

David Caddell described Los Lobos’ sound as “Widespread Panic from Mexico.”

“There’s a misconception that these guys only play Mexican music,” Caddell said. “They are one of the most well-respected bands around as far as roots rock ‘n’ roll. There aren’t many bands out there as good as them. Tonight they have played original music, a short reggae break and a salsa-influenced Latin beat with rock ‘n’ roll.”

The music inspired every type of dancer.

There were African dance moves, shoulder rolls, nodding heads, stomping feet and classic jam band spasms.

Knees bent deeper the closer they were to the stage.

Behind a pocket of quiet dancers was Erik Johnson, who was doing “the sway.”

“Because that’s what I do,” he said. “I don’t move good.”

And then there were people like Dan Lemmer, who don’t attend the Free Summer Concert Series to dance or listen to live music.

“I just come here to talk to people,” he said.

As nightfall settled over the hill of smiling concertgoers and the music ceased, people took their time exiting.

Eventually, only empty plastic beer cups and paper plates were left — except, of course, for the one dedicated fan who yelled out a final “Encore!”

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