Have you ever been to a show at the historic Chautauqua Auditorium tucked beneath the base of one of the most popular hiking destinations in Boulder? I hadn’t, until an opportunity finally arose and I got the chance to cross “See Concert at Chautauqua” off of my super long Colorado Bucket List. I was not disappointed. In fact, Boulder showed me a pretty good evening on Saturday night, starting with happy hour at the Boulder Café (which included half-priced café plates and fondue along with a huge selection of half-priced wine and beer. B. Café offers their popular happy hour from 3PM to close, every day of the week).
The night got ten times better when my group discovered that the concert goers commuting to Chautauqua for the show could ride the Boulder Hop bus up to and from the venue for free– coincidentally, one of the bus stops happened to be located just steps away from the front doors of the Boulder Café, on 13th and Pearl.
It’s kind of hard to beat a dinner bill cut in half and free ride to the show.
After weaving through neighborhoods occupied by some of Boulder’s most coveted addresses, the bus arrived at Chautauqua and dropped our group off in time to trek it up the hill to will-call, pick up our tickets, and catch the last song by show opener, Catie Curtis.
Once inside of the auditorium, built in 1898, I took my beautifully crafted seat, carved of wood along with the rest of the audience that had packed themselves into the old building, with its naked rafters exposing over a century of diligent upkeep on the barn-like building that has been voted in the “top ten places that artists like to play” because of the intimate feel and superior acoustic settings of the venue.
Large open doors let the cool summer breeze in, and an attentive Chautauqua staff escorted ticket holders to their specific seats. In time, The Weepies took the stage which was adorned with a whimsical display of glittery cardboard cut-out stars and moons. The stage decorations were similiar to those found in a 4th grade play, but the music being delivered by the two artists that make up the popular indie-folk band, and their traveling bass player, was definitely mainstream caliber. Haunting vocals, emotive lyrics, and the story of a husband/wife team achieving years of success through their onstage collaboration had the crowd bobbing their heads, calling out songs, and singing along. The mellow music echoed perfectly off of the auditorium walls that have heard the sounds of all types of musicians including John Phillip Sousa and more recently, the Indigo Girls.
Whether you’re having a night out with the girls, out on a date night, or just taking your mom out on an I.O.U. present from her last birthday—check out the rest of the monthly fall music offerings at Chautauqua, and be sure to grab dinner and a drink at the Chautauqua Dining Hall before the show.
And if you’re trying to conserve funds—don’t worry. Just grab your favorite lawn chair and post up outside of the open doors of the building. No charge, great music, a sky full of stars and some fresh Chautauqua air.
Thanks, Boulder. It’s been fun. Let’s do it again sometime.