Article and photos by Melodie Yvonne Ramey
DENVER, CO (October 27, 2017) – It’s true that laughter is the best medicine, and a good case of the giggles can fortunately be purchased legally on every corner in the fine city of Denver, Colorado. It was something a little more potent than recreational marijuana that raked people in on that fine Halloween weekend, however. Travelers from all across the galaxie converged on that top destination city not just to partake in the local goods. They weren’t just looking for over the counter guffaws. They were looking for something that heals the soul, something to make them feel good even when things behind those smiles weren’t ok. The word was out that Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom would have the best fix that fine evening. Multiple melodies were on the menu, and Cervantes was just the right venue to serve those musical masterpieces up fresh. Fans traveled from far and wide to cross that beautiful threshold, and bathe in the melodic epiphanies that were about to brew forth. The legendary Blind Melon would take the stage soon with a jovial genius that never disappoints.
Everyone was chilly from the night air, but walking into Cervantes was like a beautiful combination of being at home by the fire and having a nice night out all at once. The kind and courtesy venue staff greeted the hordes of people with smiling faces all as eager to see the evenings show as the guests. Duey and The Decibels took the stage to an already almost packed house. The music began, and suddenly it was apparent that Chris Cornell’s vocal doppelgänger had taken the stage.
People flocked to the front to get a look at the band producing such melodic marvels. Duey and The Decibels cranked out hit after fabulous hit, each one somehow even more heart wrenchingly beautiful than the next. They performed Soundgarden’s “Outshined” with a heat so ferocious that they almost outshined the song’s originators. Their immaculate rendition of Temple of the Dog’s “Say Hello To Heaven” had a passionate conviction that sent the notes sailing up to heaven to greet the legend himself. Cervantes was full to the brim and standing room only by the end of Duey and The Decibels miraculous set.
One of the most amazing things about Blind Melon is that they don’t just garner fans. Every single show is a family affair. The music is not the only reason that so many melonheads will travel so far. Each and every member of the band are as down to earth and good-natured as they come. They don’t just treat their fans like friends, they treat them like kin. This kind of love and respect for their fellow humans was obviously instilled in these men by their upbringing from birth, and often even their own beautiful families come out to enjoy the show and mingle as well. The lovely Tennessee Tuckness shined so bright with pride for her prodigious son, Travis Warren, that even after the house lights were down she was still glowing. Even the beautiful and magnanimous Nel Hoon came out to show support for the boys in their newest incarnation of the band.
Blind Melon took the stage to an anxious audience that immediately greeted them with cheers of glee. Initially whispers swept through the crowd about the missing member of the legendary band, but they were quickly mesmerized by the magic of Nathan Towne until it was like no one else ever existed at all. They shimmied and danced throughout their entire song catalog including the classic fan favorites “Change” and “No Rain” as well as a tease from some of their newer material with a hauntingly beautiful rendition of “Last Laugh”. As always the men honored Shannon Hoon’s memory throughout the evening by giving the fans the night of their life while also making sure to play songs that were just as important to him. They played a heartfelt rendition of “Vernie“, a serenade to Shannon’s grandmother, and then even delved full force into rarely played material with a hypnotizing version of “Glitch” dedicated to Hoon himself. Their set came to an end all too soon, but the pleading of the crowd won over the night, and they came back out with a full force encore of “I Wonder” and “The Pusher” that had the whole crowd up on their feet and ready to follow them to their next tour stop on the following night no matter how far away.
It’s no surprise that there are so many die-hard melonheads this long after the original formation of Blind Melon. Even after multiple lineup changes the band is still going strong, no doubt thanks to the original Hoon spirit. It was Shannon’s strong essence that helped draw the men together in the beginning, and even helped bring them their final missing piece recently. His legacy lives on through these men and his fans. On perfect nights like the one at Cervantes, when the energy is just right, it’s almost as if Shannon is right there on stage with them. His voice so engrained in the melodies that it comes from within, dancing over the din like a guardian angel playing sweet nothings on the heart-strings. It’s easy to see why the fans flock in numbers every chance that they get. These gentlemen are not in it for the money. It’s their true love of the music that drives them and binds them, and even death cannot stop true love. That one night of music at Cervantes might have just been a small part of yet another new beginning for the men of Blind Melon, but the evening’s magic sealed their immortality in the hearts and minds of every fan in attendance now and forevermore.
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