I was planning to attend a conference in Denver toward the end of October when I learned that Ryan Bingham would be playing the Ogden Theater on November 25. I quickly scooped up tickets. I also scooped up tickets for his show on January 2 at the Royale, when I would be back in Boston. It’s not often that I catch the same tour in two different cities, but seeing Bingham twice provided a vivid reminder of why he is one of the greatest Rock and Roll artists of his generation. He’s proven his is an artists who is constantly evolving and stretching. From his early days touring with the Dead Horses to the tour with his current band, his sound has morphed considerably, yet remained quintessentially his own. It’s fascinating to see him live, both to hear the new songs and to hear new takes on his past work. He’s also got great stories.
As it turns out, it is equally exciting to see him twice on the same tour as it is to see him with a new band. Both shows were in front of large, enthusiastic crowds, but the set list was not the same, and the audience in Denver was larger than the one in Boston. Drummer Nate Barnes, guitarist Daniel Sproul, and bassist Jimmy Stofer were 3/4 of the Colorado-based band Rose Hill Drive, so they were playing in front of a hometown crowd. Yet the audience in Boston was equally enthusiastic, and Bingham and the band turned out equally high-energy performances in response.
The opening bands were different, as well. Jamestown Revival opened the Denver show. Their folksy harmonies were reminiscent of the Everly Brothers, but with a harder, more contemporary edge. The LA-based band Bird Dog showcased their Texas and Oklahoma roots, infused with some “Grunge” sensibility, in their opening set for the Boston show.
I didn’t have my camera in Denver, so I had to rely on iPhone 6s. The photos were not great. But since the show featured a special guest, and because I was impressed with the music of Jamestown Revival, I have included a few images here. A much better gallery of this show can be seen on The Marquee, a Colorado based music magazine.