Cornmeal at State Bridge

The year after I moved to the great state of Colorado one of our treasured
refuges of music burnt to the ground. The main lodge of the famed State Bridge,
home of Yarmony and countless concerts over the years, suffered an awful fate. A
beautiful locale right on the Colorado River was the type of awe-inspiring spot that
people keep coming back to. I unfortunately never made it out before the fire but
like a Phoenix rising from the ashes State Bridge reopened this year. Renovated and
ready to host music again the new venue still retained the luster of its former glory.
Summer Camp arranged for me to make the trip out so Amy and I hopped in the car
and made the long trek to the outskirts of Bond, Colorado.

We camped at Rancho Del Rio just up the road and after we got settled we
grabbed the shuttle down the road. We got our first glimpse of the venue and took a
moment to thank Kris and Chris for putting us on the guest list. They were definitely
ready to rock and after a long tour and traveling 9,000 miles who could blame them.
It was their tour closer. I know for a fact that they always bring the heat when they
play Colorado and our surroundings would only add to that energy. When we went
inside, the venue was just gorgeous with a multi-tiered layout and plenty of room.
To the left of the stage as you entered a massive fire pit greeted you. As we roamed
around I noticed Wavy Dave chatting with some fans. That’s the type of place State
Bridge is; it was most definitely homey. It’s a place where friendships are made and
everyone is family. I was immediately struck by the warmth of all of those in
attendance at this hallowed venue. Allie came out as well and spoke with the
members of the audience before the show. I took the opportunity to thank her again
for taking part in my Private Camp Counselor set and tell her that Rex sent his love.

The ironic thing is that I actually ran into a couple people who I had the
pleasure of meeting at Summer Camp. Matt and some of the Cornstalker crew had
made it out to see their favorite band. I also saw Marc from Rock the Earth who we
stood next during our onstage set for moe. It was obvious that as Cornmeal took the
stage good people surrounded us at State Bridge. Cornmeal’s first set was pretty
straightforward and full of bluegrass goodness. Allie’s violin soared over the crowd
as the full moon illuminated State Bridge. It gave an added level of intensity to the
overall vibe. JP’s picking mesmerized me as he belted out some signature tunes.
Highlights from the first set included Calling Me Back Home, Shelter, and an
absolutely sweet Old Virginia. After a great set Cornmeal retired backstage and the
fans continued to mingle and make friends.

The second set took us to places that Cornmeal is not really known for. With
strong elements of jam and spacey psychedelic it was just an insane musical
journey. I love seeing a well-rehearsed band playing at their peak. It is something to
behold to see players at Cornmeal’s caliber playing at the top of their game. This is exactly what everyone was witnessing that night deep in the mountains of Colorado.
Cornmeal was firing on all cylinders and they just shredded the night away. For a
band to hold it together for 10 years is a testament to their belief in the goodness
that they produce. That massive range of experience definitely came into play at this
show. With incredible versions of When The World’s Got You Down and a smoking
Girl I Left Behind the second set played on until late in the evening. It was just
perfect. Cornmeal showed us why they are one of the premiere bluegrass outfits
touring today.

Cornmeal has become a Summer Camp stalwart and seeing them out in my
home state is just another reason why I love that festival. Like moe. and Umphrey’s
McGee, Cornmeal has become a partner at Camp. They are another reason to make
the trip out to Chillecothe for Memorial Day Weekend. I feel blessed to be able to see
such great music on a regular basis. Thanks again to Summer Camp for getting me
out to this show, and thank you to Cornmeal for always bringing the heat in
Colorado. State Bridge was the icing on the cake of an unforgettable night in the
mountains.

Nick Stock
Summer Camp Counselor