I don’t know whose idea it was to combine beer, food, arcade games and a music venue, but 1Up – Colfax is doing it right. They’ve sucked me in with concert streams and their pinball machines in the past, so when the opportunity came up to go and take photos for the Jen Hartswick Super Jam I was all over it. Shout-out to Music Marauders for getting this party together. It was their 5 year anniversary party, after all.

The party started with the Jaden Carlson Band to what was already an antsy, beer-drinking and ready-to-go crowd. And I know I keep repeating it, but Jaden’s awesome – and so is her band. Over the past year they’ve really gelled together. I haven’t caught a full set since Groove Music Festival last year and maybe it was the darker and more intimate stage set-up, but it seemed like they were excited and the crowd was equally excited, and by the time they were joined on stage by the rest of the Super Jam folks the place went nuts.

And the keys played, the faces the keys player makes.

Now, the Super Jam consisted of Jen Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band,) Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band,) Skerik (Les Claypool,) Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers,) Joey Porter (Juno What?!,) Nick Cassarino* (Nth Power,) Eddie Roberts** (New Mastersounds,) and Nikki Glaspie (Dumpstaphunk) so the talent in the room was at an absurd high. But what these guys did, what I think makes or breaks these shows where musicians kind of show up and play, is that they practiced. It may be cheating, and it may not have the variety of styles and those “whoah did that just happen” super spontaneous style moments every 5 minutes, but it doesn’t matter because it was good. And because when they jammed, they jammed like they meant it. Like, really, really meant it. I’ve seen a few of the artists play together before for an Everyone Orchestra set and what I remember the most is that it took foooorrreeeevvveeerrr for everyone to figure out what was going on. This time, everyone meshed together well on stage, and Jen’s vocals brought everything together. Girl can belt it out, and being able to be so close to the stage had a good chunk of the crowd with their mouths hanging open because hot damn (go to about 2 minutes in, pretend you’re 4 feet away and that Trey isn’t there to uhm, add to the vocals.)

* – I honestly have no clue where this man came from, but he needs to come back to Denver and start a band and never ever ever leave. If I was deaf I’d go see him play music live.

** – last spotted on stage during the Last Waltz Recreation at the Fillmore in Denver, dressed up in a suit-ish outfit. He was in a suit-ish outfit again, dude’s got style.

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