I grew up in a home filled with live music. My dad is a guitarist, my mom plays piano and everyone sings. As an adult, when I get the opportunity to see live music I jump at it. I especially love singer/songwriter musicians. So, when Vilar Performing Art Center (VPAC) inquired about marketing with HeidiTown, I eagerly accepted. After experiencing the venue this weekend, I am glad that I did.
While I have been to the Vail Valley many times, I am ashamed to say I didn’t know about the 25-year-old Vilar Performing Arts Center, but this venue, located under Beaver Creek Village, is fantastic. And they book some incredibly well-known names, such as David Sedaris, who was there this summer.
In town for their Underground Sound Series that started in September and runs through October 21, we were scheduled to see Miles Miller. He played drums for Sturgill Simpson before breaking out on his own. We’d never seen Miles in concert, but we are big fans of Simpson, so we were intrigued.
Booked at the Lodge at Vail for two nights, it’s dog-friendly so Fritzi got to come. A lucky dog, she’s been to Vail many times and is a true connoisseur of this dog-friendly Colorado destination.
The Lodge at Vail is right in Vail Village, but also a stone’s throw from Willow Park, which is a nice area to walk the dog. Another interesting detail about this property is that Gerald Ford bought a condo here in 1974. He was also president when I was born—that ages me a bit, right?
Lastly, The Lodge at Vail was the first lodge available to skiers when the ski area opened in 1962. It seems appropriate that we have now stayed at this iconic Vail property.
Vail is only about 20 minutes max from VPAC in Beaver Creek. The Vail Valley incorporates Vail Pass to 45 miles east in Gypsum, Colorado (just past Eagle).
We dined at Dusty Boot Roadhouse, steps from VPAC. Having been around for 26 years, Dusty Boot has more than a few local fans. And although quiet at this time of year, we enjoyed our dinner. And sitting at the bar meant we had stellar service.
Note that guests of the VPAC receive 25% off their bill at Dusty Boot on the evening of their show, making it an excellent go-to joint for dinner and a show. Be sure to mention to your server that you are heading to VPAC after dinner to receive the discount. Please be aware that the restaurant is closed for part of the “mud season” prior to ski season so that the staff gets a short break.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Vilar Performing Arts Center is a gem. There are 530 seats in the theatre, but not one has a bad view. This underground facility has been built in such a way that every patron gets an intimate experience with the artist or artists on stage.
The stage hosts everything from theatrical acts to comedians and magicians to musicians. An amazing amount of events take place here including many private galas and concerts as well.
We first enjoyed a VIP experience in the May Gallery Patrons Lounge, as part of the VIP Access to Underground Sound. Quite a way to start off an evening, we indulge in local whiskey and a lovely spread of appetizers including exquisite desserts.
The night started off with Cousin Curtiss and Harrison B. The music style is sort of a blend of Americana and the fastest bluegrass you can imagine. This goes beyond toe-tapping into the realm of “get the heck up and dance!” These two men pushed their guitars to the limit, and we loved every minute.
Miles Miller, whom I met backstage, seems genuinely happy that he is able to play music for a living. His hard-earned success as a solo musician is not lost on him and that comes across in an authentic humility and thankfulness.
His music has heart and soul whether it’s a guitar ballad like A Lonesome Feeling or a danceable number like Highway Shoes. A combo of country and Americana, we were pleased the “Solid Gold” album is available on vinyl. We bought it, along with Harrison B.’s hot sauce (yes, he has a hot sauce) at the merch table. The hot sauce is great on eggs, by the way!
There are no greater musical moments for us than discovering new artists whose careers we will continue to follow for years to come— and that is how it was on this particular night at Vilar Performing Arts Center.
The rest of the Underground Sound Series goes as follows:
Madeline Hawthorne — October 12
Alfredo Rodriguez & Richard Bona Trio — October 14
Darlingside — October 21
When considering the price and lack of silly fees at VPAC, this can be an affordable night out. For instance, seeing Lyle Lovett at VPAC (and he plays there often), is often a cheaper ticket than seeing him in Denver. Our show to Miles Miller was just $24.50 per ticket.
We are heading up for the “Teton Gravity Research-Legend Has It” on December 1. Part of the VPAC film series, it shows the weekend of World Cup Races | Birds of Prey, on Beaver Creek Mountain. No doubt, it will be an exciting weekend to be in the Colorado mountains.
Disclosure: Vilar Performing Arts Center is a current advertiser with HeidiTown.com, and my Vail Valley weekend was hosted.