Feature: A wrap-up of Winter X-Games 15 in Aspen, COBy Jackie Lomibao and Jennifer Cohen | January 31st, 2011 | 1 Comment »
For the 10th consecutive year, action sports enthusiasts and revelers from around the planet converged on Aspen, Colorado this past weekend for Winter X Games 15. For little more than a smile, the good folks at ESPN opened the doors to anyone who wanted to check out high flying boarders, skiers and the shock and awe of extreme snowmobiling. (You truly have not seen awesomeness till you see one of these riders do a trick with a 450 lb. snowmobile over his head.)
But, since gravity-flouting action doesn’t tickle every funny bone, people-watching, partying and musical acts are a close second reason for people to swarm the mountain. Like a favorite dim sum hangout, this year’s music scene offered a little taste of some big and varied flavors.
Denver’s own Breathe Carolina hit the awards stage—about one-quarter the size of last year’s stage—at the base of Buttermilk Mountain on a cold, late Thursday afternoon. Blustery conditions produced a slightly anemic crowd, but by the next day, sunny skies ruled and David Schmitt, Kyle Even and band returned for a warm 30 minute set that drew a crowd of 200-300 people, while men’s and women’s Skiing Slopestyle practice carried on a mere few hundred yards away.
Wearing a t-shirt that read “NO AGE,” (a reference to the band of the same name, we presume) Jerks front man Keith Morris, bassist and chick-magnet Zander Schloss, guitarist Greg Hetson and drummer Kevin Fitzgerald pounded out their vintage punk and lamented a constant reminder of their membership in the “biggest, baddest group of all…the human race.”
Unfortunately, after a particularly memorable take on “Anxious Boy” and barely half-way through their set, a noticeably shaken Morris announced a 10-minute break so paramedics could tend to one party-goer’s broken leg — an injury that was in no way a result of the pit, but simply a freak accident — and never returned to the stage. The crowd took it well; the injured fan seemed in fairly good spirits and good for Sailor Jerry for opening up the haute Belly Up — otherwise reserved for untouchable, private parties on X Games weekend — to average Joes and Janes.
“Shutterbug” rapper Big Boi performed on Saturday night at the base of Aspen Mountain as the headliner in the Bud Light Hi Fi Concert. John Rigney of Aspen Skiing Company estimated around 3,500 people for the 65-minute freebie. Fans filled up the Silver Queen Gondola garden and sat in snow on the lower half of the mountain.
Big Boi performed songs from his latest Grammy-nominated CD, “Sir Lucious Left Foot” and his work with Outkast. “It’s all about having a positive message,” he said, “and delivering it to the fans.”
Venue to venue transport was easy, accessible and endearing in its “nut to butt” coziness. A frolic well worth it, especially with only one more guaranteed year in beautiful Aspen.
Jackie Lomibao is a Lakewood-based writer and regular contributor to Reverb.
Jennifer Cohen is a Lakewood-based freelance photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. Check out her website.