Sometime after watching Jason Biggs play the made-famous-by-Will-Farrell cowbell part on Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult (I was prepared for that) and before listening to Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider sing a Dave Matthews Band tune(I wasn’t prepared for that) Yukon Kornelius wowed me.
The band—a collection of guys from the popular 90s groups, Barenaked Ladies, the Dave Matthews Band, Guster, and N.E.R.D.—played in Vail Friday night as part of the weeklong Vail Mountain kickoff party, Vail Snow Daze. There were plenty of other good shows and happenings throughout the week—a pub-crawl, a snow-dummy demolition derby, concerts by EVE 6, and Robert Randolph and the Family Band—but this was the one I really wanted to see. These guys have played fewer gigs since forming a year ago than I have cups of coffee in a day.
I was expecting the Jason Biggs cowbell routine because he performed it with Yukon Korneli us in last year’s Warren Miller movie Children of Winter, but the barrage of heavy metal tunes played by guys with much-closer-to-pop-music backgrounds was unexpected. They pulled ‘em off—Highway to Hell, We’re Not Gonna Take It, Round and Round—and looked like they were having a blast doing it. Snider even informed the crowd on when it’s appropriate to use your index and pinkie fingers to display “heavy metal horns” as he called them. (Yes, in the presence of heavy metal legends or when listening to heavy metal songs. No, when little Johnny successfully uses the toilet for the first time.)
The guys finished off the night with a metal version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. And if that wasn’t enough, Vail partygoers woke up to six inches of fresh snow the next morning. Check out the shots we got from the Snow Daze weekend. —Chris Outcalt