Arvada Center Blog
Find nature at the Center
By Leslie Simon
The snow has melted, the flowers that made it have bloomed, dragonflies are buzzing and bunnies are everywhere as springtime finally hits the Arvada Center. Mother Nature returns for another season of bright colors, delicate smells (ok, the lilacs smell strong), refreshing morning dew, and of course….fuzzy bunnies! A trip around the Center grounds shows that spring is in full bloom, and we are eager to share some nature photos that will put a smile on your face and hopefully not stir up any allergies. Can you identify the flowers of the Arvada Center?
The Arvada Center gets groovy for Woodstock’s 50th anniversary
By Leslie Simon
It was a tumultuous time for the United States in 1969, and an estimated 400,000 music fans descended upon upstate New York for a three-day celebration promoting love and peace at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm. While the official Woodstock 50th Anniversary festival is still in planning stages, the Arvada Center is excited to bring some of those legends of Woodstock to our outdoor amphitheatre on August 29.
The Legends of Rock tour consists of four memorable acts who have influenced generations of bands and created entirely new music genres. Most famous for their time with Janis Joplin on lead vocals, Big Brother and the Holding Company are one of the original San Francisco psychedelic rock bands that came from the same scene as The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.
At the time, Big Brother was looking for a female vocalist. Austin-based Janis Joplin was debating joining fellow Austinite Roky Erickson and The 13th Floor Elevators (the band that invented the term psychedelic rock), but after some serious cajoling she headed to San Francisco to join Big Brother- and the rest is history.
British blues rock band Ten Years After had a major hit with the song “I’d Love To Change the World,” the highlight being an electric guitar solo by Alvin Lee that shows him to be an equal to Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. With lightning fast guitar shredding and Vietnam War-inspired lyrics, Ten Years After helped create the hard rock sound that later influenced rock stars like Van Halen and Steve Vai.
Vanilla Fudge’s biggest hit comes from an unlikely place- The Supremes! Their extended cover of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” helped the band become the link between psychedelic and heavy metal, inspiring and influencing Led Zeppelin, Yes and Black Sabbath. Inspired themselves by The Rascals (led by Felix Cavaliere, who graces the Arvada Center stage on August 17), Vanilla Fudge created their own brand of blue-eyed soul by incorporating heavy guitars and creating the power rock sound.
Rounding out the lineup we have Corky Laing of Mountain, whose hit “Mississippi Queen” had every woman both east and west of the Mississippi River getting down as if the song was about them. Their tough but melodic sound was carried along by the ferocious drumming of multi-instrumentalist Laurence Mustard “Corky” Laing. Corky has recorded with everyone from Velvet Underground’s John Cale to Bo Diddley and shows no sign of stopping.
So get your tie-dye shirt on, grab those love beads, and join us for the Woodstock 50th anniversary with the Legends of Rock tour. Buy your tickets today, and get ready to be transported back to the psychedelic 60s this summer at the Arvada Center.Buy Tickets!
Blurring The Line at the Arvada Center
By Amberle N.
The Arvada Center opened its doors this past Thursday for its latest art exhibition, Blurring the Line: Form, Function, Design, featuring the work of thirty-four artists whose artwork plays on the intersections of form, function, and design. Around two-hundred guests and artists were in attendance, enjoying the galleries as they browsed between the upper and lower sections of the Center.
Ceramics, furniture, and interior lighting were the main features in the Lower Gallery exhibition. Upon entering, one’s eyes are immediately drawn towards the vibrant colors of Knomad Colab’s Harlequin Night, which features an array of lamps decorating the wall with geometric patterns of many colors. Left of the entrance, the displays feature a plethora of works from elaborate cups to exaggerations and combinations of commonplace furniture.
Everyday home items were created with transformative qualities that evoke questions of their form and function. Many works combine aspects of different furnishings into new forms. In the Lower Gallery, Michael Beitz’s Lies Bench invites guests to rest on the intricate and functional design, shaped in a cursive writing of the word “Lies.”
Some artists were featured for their very first time. Emily Stevens spoke about her first Arvada Center gallery exhibit, 67, expressing her love of geometry and wanting to build a confluence of the geometric and organic. Comprised of 67 octahedrons, some of which are vases, the piece is a dynamic set intended to be rearranged according to the tastes of its owner.
The Upper and Theatre Galleries feature wearable art. Some pieces, such as Kristin Stransky’s notion motion, were created to be interactive with guests, featuring lighting and symbols that respond to motion or touch.
Speaking to her work, Sarah Havens, a costume creator with the Arvada Center, commented on her six-piece set of hats. “Each piece was an opportunity for me to tell my story through costuming, [reversing] the normal use of theatre costuming which doesn’t often tell stories.” Each hat features a human body in some way, from the figureheads on her ship-like creations to tiny figures that express the action of the story, which details her life and travels by boat along the east coast of the United States.
Other artists spoke to what inspires them. Jesse Mathes’ distinctive neck-pieces are inspired by paintings of Queen Elizabeth I of England, using many techniques such as Japanese basket weaving to create her unique radial designs. Mathes is an Arvada local, and this summer she will be teaching her techniques to the Colorado Metalsmithing Association.
Wearable art presents its own unique challenges. Ryan Gardner provided many insights on his work. “When creating wearable art, there’s [a lot of thought] that goes into making it practical as well. Some artists create elaborate pieces that aren’t really designed to be worn, but when you’re also making pieces for sale you’ve got to keep comfort and wearability in mind.” Ryan cited many architects as the source of his explorations into the limits of materials in his art. One of his fellow artists, Josiah Trujillo, provided an interesting contrast with jewelry inspired by organic shapes.
These are just a few of the artists and displays at the Arvada Center. Blurring the Line will be featured on display until August 25, 2019.
By Leslie Simon
Giddyup to the Arvada Center this summer for a rootin’ tootin’ good time! On June 15, Grammy-winning western music and comedy group Riders In The Sky take to the Arvada Center outdoor amphitheatre. The “singing cowboy phenomenon” started in the 1970s, and Riders In The Sky continue this entertaining tradition for families everywhere.
While many fans have been following their career for decades, younger fans may know them from a less-expected place- Pixar’s Toy Story! It’s only fitting that this band of cowboys would create a medley of songs for the Woody’s Roundup: A Rootin’ Tootin’ Collection of Woody’s Favorite Songs Toy Story 2 album. With names like Joey the Cow Polka King, Woody Paul, Ranger Doug and Too Slim, Riders In The Sky sound like they would fit right in with Woody and his pals. This family-friendly night will see cowboy hijinks, classic country and western tunes, thrilling rope tricks and more!
Listen to Woody Paul, “King of the Cowboy Fiddlers,” as he fiddles faster than a hot knife through butter. Keep watching Woody Paul as he becomes “King of the Clothesline” and performs daringly silly rope tricks. Be astounded as Ranger Doug shows off his yodeling prowess and entertains with the song “That’s How A Yodel Was Born.” You’ve got Too Slim on the upright bass (that sometimes wears a bandana around its neck!), and Joey the CowPolka King bringing the party with his accordion. Or as he calls it- the “Stomach Steinway.”
Get your tickets today to see “America’s Favorite Cowboys” and get ready for a night of laughs, groans, one-liners and two-steppers!Buy Tickets
Dinner Before the Show
by Leslie Simon
Let’s go out to dinner and see a concert! You’re yearning for a good night out on the town, and Arvada has so many great spots, how do you even begin to choose? This summer, we are making it easy for you by creating this concert and restaurant pairing guide that covers our entire Summer Concert Series.
June 15 – Riders In The Sky & Hot Club of Cowtown
Looking for a casual night of Western swing and country tunes? Grab some down-home cooking at 4 Barrel Bar & BBQ. Built in a former Texaco service station, 4 Barrel offers up ribs, pulled pork and all the other usual BBQ favorites. Make sure to try their special Arvada Hash- tater tots covered in pulled pork and green chili. It goes great with double-bill Riders In The Sky and Hot Club of Cowtown, two western favorites that entertain audiences young and old.Riders In The Sky & Hot Club of Cowtown
June 29- Orquesta Akokán, with Baracutanga
Latin music makes us think Latin food and drink, and Global Goods and Coffee Shop makes the best cortado in town! Popular in Cuba, this coffee drink is an espresso mixed with warm milk, and goes great with their Panini-pressed sandwiches. Afterwards, head over to the Arvada Center for Cuban big band Orquesta Akokán, where driving mambo rhythms and exuberant horns will have everyone on their feet.Orquesta Akokán Tickets
June 30: The Denver Brass: Awesome Summer Mix!
The Denver Brass: Awesome Summer Mix concert blasts to the past with popular songs like “Hey Jude” and the Ghostbusters theme, getting us in the mood for another blast from the past- pinball! Play the silver ball at SomePlace Else Brewery before the show and feel like a kid again.Denver Brass Tickets
July 11: The Colorado Symphony presents Mozart Under Moonlight
With guitars available to play right there, we think Mozart would feel right at home in this live music friendly coffeeshop. A staple in Olde Town Arvada since 1993, La Dolce Vita serves up locally-made quiche, ice cream, coffee and live tunes. So grab a piece of coffee cake from this local favorite before seeing another local favorite- the Colorado Symphony performing Mozart Under Moonlight!Mozart Under Moonlight
July 13: The Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra
Brewing up their own special beers and winning awards for it, New Image Brewing has really upped the brewery game in Olde Town Arvada. Head to their taproom and try out a Better Together India Pale Ale, then come over to the Arvada Center to hear another the music of a duo that is also better together- Ray Charles and Count Basie! The Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra graces our outdoor amphitheatre again this summer, this time playing selections from the 2006 album “Ray Sings, Basie Swings.”CJRO Tickets
July 15: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo
When we think New York City, the first thing to come to mind is pizza! Stop by Homegrown Tap and Dough for a soda and a slice before heading over to see one of New York City’s brightest stars- Pat Benatar. Pat Benatar and her husband Neil Giraldo have been making NYC-gritty music together for 40 years, but sound as fresh as if they just met a year ago.Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo
July 21: A Symphonic Tribute to Comic Con
As a kid, comics and cartoons went hand-in-hand with sugary cereals on Saturday mornings. Now that we are adults, we can have cartoon-colored breakfast cereals any day of the week. Head over to The Cereal Box for gourmet cereal with any toppings you want before seeing the Colorado Symphony Tribute to Comic Con show at our outdoor amphitheatre. Stay forever young as the symphony performs songs from video games and pop culture.Comic Con Concert Tickets
August 4: George Thorogood and The Destroyers
Dive bar vibes and an old-school jukebox- definitely the kind of place where you can imagine George Thorogood sitting at the bar, or playing loudly over the speakers. Feel bad to the bone grabbing a drink at 12 Volt Tavern before jamming out under the stars to one of rock and roll’s most famous bad boys.George Thorogood
August 14: Justin Hayward, with Michael Dawes
Justin Hayward from The Moody Blues brings a lot of class wherever he goes, so set the tone of the night right with a delectable pre-show seafood dinner at Smokin Fin’s. It’s the perfect start for a great night with someone you love. Opener Michael Dawes rounds out the night with an English fingerstyle guitar technique that will leave the audience intently listening to every note.Justin Hayward
August 17: Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals
With over 1,400 kinds of whiskey, School House Kitchen and Libations can get anyone ready for some “Groovin’.” Hit up this popular schoolhouse-themed bar and restaurant before Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals play at the Arvada Center- it’s only fitting since they were playing at the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles when their first number one song “Good Lovin’” broke.Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals
August 24: The Colorado Ballet – An Evening Under the Stars
Opened in 1933, the Arvada Tavern has a cozy speakeasy feel that can bring romance to any night out on the town. Stop by the tavern for a specialty cocktail before heading over to see the Colorado Ballet – An Evening Under the Stars. If the night goes well, you can head back to the tavern after the show for a late-night cocktail, as they stay open until 2 am on the weekends and 12 am during the week.Tickets for the Ballet
August 29: Legends of Rock – 50 Years of Woodstock
Sausage, pretzels, beer….. sounds like the food court at a festival! Kline’s Beer Hall will get you in that festival mood with homemade sausages and local brews before we celebrate 50 years of Woodstock with Legends of Rock here at the Arvada Center. Come see Big Brother & the Holding Company, Vanilla Fudge and more as we revisit the vibes of 60s psychedelia with the bands that created the sound.Legends of Rock Tickets
September 6: Squeeze, with X
This year before the Squeeze Songbook Tour at the Arvada Center, get “Tempted” by one of the everchanging beers on tap at Denver Beer Co. Their outdoor patio is the perfect place to get into a happy and light mood before you see bestselling English pop band Squeeze take the stage at our outdoor amphitheatre.Squeeze Tickets
If you get hungry during the show- have no fear! Steuben’s Arvada will have a pop-up kitchen here at the Center serving many of their crowd favorites during each summer performance. Don’t miss their chicken and waffle cones or the vegan-friendly Impossible Burger. Full menu available at arvadacenter.org.