The Flaming Lips and Willie Nelson played Telluride Blues and Brews - Reverb

Live review: Telluride Blues and Brews featuring the Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson, Big Head Todd & the Monsters and more @ Telluride Town Park

By Nathan Rist

What do you get when you mix some blues with some beer and a dash of inclement weather and shake it all together in a box canyon in southwestern Colorado? Attendees to this weekend’s Telluride Blues and Brews festival found out.

This year saw bands of different musical backgrounds colliding. Consider the headliners for the three nights. The Flaming Lips closed down the first night with stage antics that made it a memorable live show featuring confetti cannons, dancing girls, lasers and big inflated balls. Big Head Todd & the Monsters, carried the hump day of the festival with practiced charm. Willie Nelson closed down the festival with a thoughtful set that displayed why he is an icon.

The real loss was Saturday morning’s weather. The storm that descended upon the valley was simply ferocious. Freezing temperatures even brought snow. Most people who had the option stayed home for the first part of the day and enjoyed the live broadcast from the festival on KOTO radio. When the clouds lifted and the sun came out in the afternoon, the festival grounds had been turned into a gigantic mud pit. Those souls who braved the rain and snow were rewarded with the grand tasting featuring brews from over 50 micro-breweries.

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Nathan Rist is a freelance photographer and a regular Reverb contributor. He hails from the mountains of Telluride, but he’s currently studying at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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