Shakedown Bar in Vail Village is giving Sunday Funday a boost this winter. Each week, the famed live music joint puts on nearly eight consecutive hours of live performances, opening with an après-ski set from 4-8 p.m. and ending with an electronic music set from 9 p.m.-midnight.
The free afternoon set is called the Sunday Sweet Spot and is hosted by Vail Village stalwart after Dave Tucker. Coming off the one man guitar solo sets he made a name for at the Red Lion, Tucker will perform with a different band every Sunday at Shakedown, jamming with friends and other local musicians he brings in. results in a new sound and set list for each show.
“We’ve never played together before, necessarily,” Tucker said. “When you think of music as a conversation, it’s like not knowing what we’re going to talk about until the next song comes along.”
Tucker also aims to expand beyond the typical après-ski setlist and offer audience members a more diverse arrangement of artists and eras.
“It’s more of an organized, deep thing than Sweet Caroline’s post-song tracklist,” Tucker said. “I’ve done eight years of that, so I’m tired of most of those songs. It’s everything from Roy Orbison to Radiohead.
The Sunday Sweet Spot ends at 8 p.m. After a brief hour-long hiatus, the scene shifts from rock band après-ski to late-night rave, with Shakedown House Sessions presented by Benjë Productions.
Shakedown House Sessions are ticketed and run from 9 p.m. to midnight. The show is hosted by Matthew Burhite, a DJ under the name Benjë and founder of Summit-based Benjë Productions. Similar to The Sunday Sweetspot, each week Benjë collaborates with a different DJ from Colorado, bringing a variety of styles to the venue while maintaining a cohesive aesthetic.
“The vision is simply to keep classic electronic music alive,” Burhite said. “Old school raves are what we’re looking for. We don’t play popular stuff, just to keep the classic rave scene alive. You hear stuff you don’t know and artists you don’t know, and you walk into a dark basement and party all night long.
A complete list of DJs who perform with Benjë Productions is available on the company’s website and includes artists from across the state. Shakedown House Sessions places Shakedown among a number of other local venues that have begun to embrace Vail’s electronic music scene and attract burgeoning DJ talent to the valley.
“It’s wonderful to see everyone following this, just because the love for electronic music here and pretty much all over the world right now is huge,” Burhite said. “I know we don’t have a lot of that in the county, but everybody wants that kind of music here, so let’s give it to them.”
Burhite said the reception has already been positive, as evidenced by the increasing number of regulars from week to week.
“It’s been a great journey, seeing it start in December,” Burhite said. “We’re starting to build a fan base of people who want to be there and want to share it. It’s amazing to see. At first there were probably about 30 people there, and the last few shows we had were almost at capacity.
A full schedule of upcoming performances at Shakedown Bar can be found on their website, ShakedownBarVail.com. For up-to-date information and details on upcoming Sunday performances, follow @davetuckermusic and @benjeproductions on Instagram.