To get to Rhythms, turn off I-25. Take a right on Clinton, but don’t be misled by the vacant Country Dinner Playhouse’s barn shape. Keep looping around to the big red a-frame with the RHYTHMS banner hanging down. There’s plenty of parking outside and plenty of space inside. That space is divided into three sections. The front is well lit and upbeat with bright colored wood and couches. In the center, a generous amount of table space surrounds the dance floor and stage. Squared up in back, more couches but the colors are subdued and the lighting is intimate.
The raw wood with X’s framing the doors and faux stone walls evoke its Traildust roots, but the overall effect is more classy mountain than belt buckle country. Still, Rhythms is largely a blank slate, and there’s the sense that, as its identity develops, it won’t fit neatly in to a single genre or label.
My friends and I order drinks, and it takes a while to get them, certainly too long for the mostly empty room. The waitress, when she does return, explains that there are glitches with the new drink system and the tickets don’t always come out. She asked us to let her know just before we’re thirsty, so she can keep us happy, which, for the most part, she did. There were a few other just-opened hiccups, but they were small when compared to Rhythms’ potential.
Gusty supervises house wedge arrangement then retreats to the DJ booth to work though the sound-check’s adjustment rituals. Fans trickle in, filling the tables that edge the dance floor, though Rhythms is nowhere near capacity when the band takes the stage for the first of their three sets.
Every Angus Mohr show is a different narrative of songs zipped together, dropped, or rearranged, and the band has a nefarious talent for playing all the songs I love except the one I’m craving most. Saturday night they maintained their streak, playing all of my past gotta-hear-it-or-I’ll-die songs: “Morning Dew,” “Fields of Fire,” “Fields of Athenry,” “Ring of Fire,” as well as the three, going into this week, I had been looking forward to most: “Shady Grove,” “Barbary Coast,” and “Thousands are Sailing;” however, since Thursday’s practice, I’d been dying to hear “Sorrow.” I still am, and with the upcoming festival season’s shorter sets, I may be dying a long time.
But that’s all part of the anticipation.
Cheyenne next Saturday—a great excuse for a little summer roadtrip—see you there!