On Scene for Feb. 17

Simple pleasures

As a recent Steamboat transplant, this was my first Winter Carnival. I didn't catch as much of the events as I would have liked, but in some ways, I saw all that I needed Saturday morning.

It was the coldest weather Steamboat has seen in weeks -- cold enough to quickly numb exposed body parts and turn steaming coffee into lukewarm sludge in seconds -- and the sidewalks were jammed. Skis, dogs and red cheeks were everywhere. Little kids in snowsuits held casually onto ropes with one hand while hurtling toward a finish line on snowboards pulled by galloping horses. Crossing the street under a clear blue sky -- here comes the sappy part -- I had a moment. Standing by myself on snow-covered Lincoln Avenue, looking at a brilliantly white ski mountain while sipping lukewarm coffee and listening to kids yelling and playing behind me as the sun warmed my face, it suddenly became the nicest morning I've had in quite a while. Thanks, Winter Carnival folks.

And high schoolers, the word around town is those are the best snow sculptures in years.

Hot, hot soul

In case you missed it Sunday night, De La Soul came to Steamboat and absolutely ripped it up. The sold-out crowd at Levelz was treated to a fired-up, beyond-expectations show that had me and several friends unable to stop smiling, jumping around and waving our arms to rhythms we wish we had. Fresh from the Grammys, De La Soul gave out more of an extended party mix than a set of distinct songs, making for a nearly nonstop, high-energy set that included highlights -- or my highlights, pick your own if you were there -- such as "Potholes on My Lawn" and a teaser of "Me, Myself and I" from the "Three Feet High and Rising" album.

"Potholes" was the kind of obscure choice that you've forgotten you liked so much and loved hearing get rocked out like it did. A few people after the show complained about the short set -- I'd say De La Soul was on stage for about an hour, others said 30 or 45 minutes -- but whatever, whiners, it was a great show. The De La DJ did some hot spinning of hip-hop tracks before and after, making for the kind of night that doesn't happen in Steamboat too often.

-- Mike Lawrence

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