Colorado is recognized as the breeding ground for some of the most talented musicians that exist today. When I graduated college in 2012 and was deciding my next move, a quick look at Jambase and the Red Rocks summer calendar had me convinced that Colorado would be my new home. Though I hardly knew a single person in the entire state, I packed up my Subaru and headed for the Mile High City (Denver) in the hopes of finding like-minded souls to share beautiful experiences with. When I arrived in late October, 2012 (days before Amendment 64 passed allowing recreational use of marijuana in the state), I knew I had made the right decision.
Through a sequence of serendipitous events, the Magic Beans played a huge role in my transition to the Colorado music and social scene. When I first arrived I had no friends or acquaintances, so I found myself, in search of good music and good people, frequenting popular venues like Cervantes and Quixotes. Striking up conversations with strangers, I nudged my way into the right friend groups and afterparties. This boldness led me to a gathering on Christmas Eve where I met a very striking gentleman named Willis. After exchanging pleasantries and getting to know each other, we began discussing plans for New Years Eve. I had tickets to the String Cheese Incident, but admitted that I had no one to go with. Willis immediately offered for me to join him on a party bus leaving from Nederland, CO, a tiny little mountain town about an hour away from Denver. This seemed daunting at first, but something inside me said go for it.
As I drove up the last of many windy roads in Nederland, I found myself in front of a huge, gorgeous house with breathtaking views. To my dismay Willis had not arrived yet, and so he instructed me to knock on the door and ask for Hunter. My heart raced as I knocked gingerly, feeling like a complete outsider. Upon the doors opening, I was greeted by a kind-looking man. Timidly, I explained that I was a friend of Willis’, and asked for Hunter. The man smiled and invited me in, so I followed him up the stairs to the main part of the house where I found 15-20 beautiful people standing around chatting. I mustered the courage to walk over to a group of girls and introduced myself. They were all incredibly kind and made me feel right at home. Willis soon arrived and the pre-party started. After overhearing a few different conversations, I gathered that the house was inhabited by a band called the Magic Beans.
The night was absolutely wonderful. I was accepted as part of the group, and had a great time getting to know everyone. I had never been on a party bus before, and I quickly decided that this was the best way to get to and from the show. We danced the night away to SCI, then went back to the house and kept the party going. It was very comforting to know that people were interested in me and wanted to be my friend. I left that next morning stilling beaming with joy.
Curious about the Magic Beans’ music, I made a point to see them the next time they played in Denver. I was intrigued by their unique style and saw a lot of familiar faces at the show. To this day, I have maintained a lot of the friendships that I made that night in Nederland. The experience, as a whole, gave me confidence to continue planting roots and branching out in their community and throughout Colorado.
Summer came around and I heard the Beans were throwing their own music festival, Beanstalk, however, I lacked the funds to make it happen. Over the next few years I saw the festival grow bigger and bigger, and when I saw who would be in attendance this summer- acts like Kyle Hollingsworth, Michael Kang, and Joe Russo- I knew I couldn’t miss it again. To find out more about the band and their growing festival, I caught up with the Beans to conduct an interview, which you can read here!
I feel incredibly fortunate to have landed at the Beans’ house that fateful night three years ago. The relationships I made have been strengthened and many doors have opened for me since. This story is a great example of how amazing Colorado’s music community is. I’m beyond thrilled to show my gratitude, full circle, through this story on Sparkleberry Lane as I prepare to cover the third annual Beanstalk next weekend.
I hope to see you there!
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