The Soul Rebels at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The Soul Rebels at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

Touch Of Green

Grandoozy Music Festival has wrapped up two days of the  inaugural event in Denver with Sturgill Simpson, Florence and the Machine, as well as The Soul Rebels performing on Saturday, September 15 at Overland Golf Course.

The day started with Head for the Hills, a Fort Collins-based bluegrass group, performing on the Rock Stage.

When Grandoozy first released the schedule I didn’t realize they had booked three local bands from Colorado to kickoff music on the Rock Stage each day. It is an awesome idea to introduce people from around the globe to the local music talent in the Denver area.

South Park theme area at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
South Park theme area at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

After rocking to some acoustic rock, I headed over to the South Park theme area to see entertainment that was available for guests. Comedy Central worked together with Grandoozy to provide carnival games.

South Park has a new season of shows coming out at the end of this month, and with the animated show being based in Colorado; it created excellent chemistry for both the festival and the show.

The Soul Rebels performed next on the Rock Stage. I loved that the production and stage crew setup the Rock Stage to block the sun during the hottest part of the day.

Grandoozy was spiked with New Orleans soul music on Saturday afternoon. I attended the first Bonnaroo Music Festival, and they had the Dirty Dozen Brass Band perform a similar set. This marked my second and third time covering performances from The Soul Rebels.

The New Orleans group of percussion and horns brought the soul of the city directly to the festival grounds at Grandoozy. They also performed in the Visible Blue Room to a packed crowd. Watch the video below.



The first two bands that I caught on Saturday have been on our radar for over five years. They put their heart and soul into their work. I want to say thank you to The Soul Rebels and Head for the Hills for putting in years of hard work.

Around two years ago I started getting press releases for a guitar player called Sturgill Simpson. I listened to his recorded material and thought, wow a youngblood with a strong passion for music. I found his vigor for music production to be captivating overall.

Sturgill Simpson at Grandoozy. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Sturgill Simpson at Grandoozy. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

Simpson’s first big tour sold out venues across the United States. It appeared this outlaw country musician was on his way up. Then he made his rounds around the award ceremonies. That is when I think Simpson realized everything he ever wanted in life was not going to make him happy.

His story of rags to riches, becoming successful, and giving the middle finger to the recording industry, is similar to other musicians.

How long do you cheer for an underdog once they become successful? What does the underdog have left to prove?

I’ve seen this time and time again with entertainers; they work hard to become successful, but after they achieve success, they tend to loose the motivation that drives them to push harder when life gets easier. Occasionally the world is able to witness entertainers that become the best at what they do. Some of these performers have the ability to realize their talent, and continue to share that with the world in an unselfish manner.

That is exactly what it felt like watching my first performance from Sturgill Simpson.

Sunsquabi at Grandoozy at 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Sunsquabi at Grandoozy at 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

During his set, SunSquabi was also performing on the Scissors Stage. They are one of the hottest up-and-coming electronic jam bands from Colorado.

Young the Giant performed on the Paper Stage from 7:30-8:30 and geared the crowd up for the headlining performance from Florence and the Machine on the Rock Stage.

The crowd waited with anticipation for the delicate sounds of British-based band known as Florence and the Machine. For day two the Rock Stage had a slightly different feel with sails/pieces of material hanging for the ceiling.

In 2015 & 2016 I was able to experience Florence and the Machine live on stage. This 2018 set provided new material, as well as the same level of energy that Florence Welch puts into every performance. This marked my third time seeing the band perform, and I loved every moment.

Sunday will provide entertainment from Stevie Wonder, St. Vincent, De La Soul, and many others performing at Grandoozy.

Stay connected to Grandoozy on social media for updates.


Grandoozy Photo Gallery – Saturday, September 15

South Park theme area at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
South Park theme area at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
South Park theme area at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
South Park theme area at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
South Park theme area at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
South Park theme area at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Head for the Hills performing at Grandoozy 2018 on Saturday, September 15. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Head for the Hills performing at Grandoozy 2018 on Saturday, September 15. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The Soul Rebels at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The Soul Rebels at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The Soul Rebels at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The Soul Rebels at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe at Grandoozy. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe at Grandoozy. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe at Grandoozy. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe at Grandoozy. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Sturgill Simpson at Grandoozy. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Sturgill Simpson at Grandoozy. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Sturgill Simpson at Grandoozy. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Sturgill Simpson at Grandoozy. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Sunsquabi at Grandoozy at 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Sunsquabi at Grandoozy at 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Florence and the Machine at Grandoozy 2018 on Saturday, September 15. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Florence and the Machine at Grandoozy 2018 on Saturday, September 15. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Florence and the Machine at Grandoozy 2018 on Saturday, September 15. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Florence and the Machine at Grandoozy 2018 on Saturday, September 15. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Florence and the Machine at Grandoozy 2018 on Saturday, September 15. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Florence and the Machine at Grandoozy 2018 on Saturday, September 15. Photo by: Matthew McGuire