Commentary

The ten biggest jam-band scene stereotypes

Page 3 of 3

All of the music sounds the same The problem with the term "jam band" that got attached to improvisational bands in the '90s is that they lump too much together. Some bands in the genre play traditional bluegrass, and some play electro-pop; it runs such a full spectrum of different sounds. Phish and the Grateful Dead don't even sound anything alike -- although the "What Phish Sounds Like to People Who Don't Like Phish" video is hilariously accurate.

We all wear patchwork pants and tie-dye While the fashion sense of many in the audience is stuck firm in "summer of '97," the majority of guys out there are wearing a T-shirt, cargo shorts and a baseball cap, same as any frat boy or dad. Women tend to wear sundresses and whatever is cute, practical and comfortable, much fashion veering toward the practical/outdoorsy genre. Look down and check out people's shoes, and you'll see some of the sickest Nikes on some of the rattiest-looking dudes.

Everyone's on drugs A lot of people think of jam-band shows as a time to really let loose, and there is nothing at all wrong with that. Drug use is more common at jam-band shows than other concerts, for sure, but don't think that every person in there is hallucinating and on another planet. There are a lot of people in recovery who already did their share, and sober groups like the Phellowship and the Wharf Rats are always present at shows. There are also a lot of people who have gotten older and have realized that hangovers hurt and the shows are just as enjoyable -- if not more -- sober.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Leslie Simon