Night two of the five night Colorado run took place at a hip little venue in Avon, located in the Vail Valley. Agave, a traditional Mexican restaurant by day – live music venue by night, hosted Aqueous and BIG Something for an intimate show. The welcoming vibe continued with a crowd of Colorado residents and again, familiar faces from back East. Agave filled up while the band completed soundcheck; the excitement from fans was palpable. Situated on a cozy corner stage, Buffalo’s groove-rockers were ready to get the crowd moving.
Holding true to their “cant stop, won’t stop” mantra, it was only fitting that the set opener was “Strange Times,” from the 2012 album Willy is 40, which segued beautifully into a highly anticipated “The Median.” Next up was an exceptionally fun bust-out of the Gary Numan song “Cars,” played only one other time 467 shows ago on 7/28/14. The set concluded with a soaring, extended “Kitty Chaser (Explosions).”
After the set concluded and load out was complete, the opportunity arose to sit with Evan McPhaden (Bass/Synth) for a conversation about touring, songwriting and his roots as a musician. The exchange started, Evan spoke about how it felt to be back in Colorado and being on tour with North Carolina’s BIG Something. Very happy to be back in CO, Evan said he’s been excited to be playing new venues and sharing the tour with BIG Something. Stating that a perk of a co-headlining tour allows time to enjoy the show as well as perform. Delving a bit into his involvement in the creative side of things, it was uncovered that Evan contributes heavily to the songwriting process. On Color Wheel, he wrote “Weight of the Word,” the music for “Split The Difference” and “Mandela Effect,” which was a NYS Staff voted Best Album of 2018. When asked about McPhaden’s hand in songwriting, he humbly downplayed his efforts even though he is known as a gifted writer and composer.
Evan began playing music at a young age. Encouraged by his father, whom played bass, Evan picked up the guitar to join in on jams with his dad. He gave it his all, but one day he picked up a bass guitar and he said it just “felt right.” As far as bass-lines go, McPhaden pulls out some low end grooves that provide the heartbeat for both melodies and jams that Aqueous is known for. Giving credit to his rhythmic partner-in-crime Rob Houk, Evan explained that since Rob joined the band he feels much more confidence and flow when performing, and this is certainly apparent on Color Wheel.
The conversation with Evan concluded with some real love for the AQuantainces. Evan shared his appreciation and respect for their fans, stating that watching a fan sing “every single word to every single song” was incredibly moving. Looking forward to the next stop on the tour, the band prepares for more travel through the mountains and more adventures at new venues. Next stop, Winter Park at Ullrs Tavern. These shows will be available on Nugs.net for streaming with a subscription. Full set list for the Agave set can be found below. Tour dates for the Aqueous/BIG Something tour can be found here.
SET ONE: Strange Times > The Median, Say it Again > Cars1 > Kitty Chaser (Explosions)
Notes:1 BUSTOUT: LTP 7/25/14 (467 shows)
Catch up on Part One with Dave Loss HERE.