Written by Cool Hand Luke Monday, 09 January 2012
In Cold Skier Magazine's latest "Rankings" issue, Steamboat Ski Resort's new outdoor stage received a top listing, edging out Fargo, North Dakota's outdoor skating rink/bowling alley/rock hall to be voted the No. 1 Sub-Zero Music Venue in North America.
"The new Steamboat stage brings the perfect combination of stage size, music quality and finger-numbing cold," writes Cold Skier Magazine's entertainment editor, Hanz R. Blue. "We found no other venue that could match it. And some matches would've been nice, as I froze my keister off listening to some mediocre Texas Red Dirt band slightly rocking it onstage in winter parkas and fingerless gloves."
The venue also was praised for attracting a standing-room only crowd, although some points were deducted because the only way to attend the concerts and not have to pay outrageous beer prices from nearby restaurants is by standing.
"With everyone standing, it makes it easier to huddle together and develop some much-needed body heat from fellow concert-goers," added Blue. "There's nothing that says 'neighborly atmosphere' like nuzzling up to some strangers and trying to discretely stick your hands up their parka to keep the feeling in your fingers when the sun goes down behind the buildings at 3 p.m."
Although Steamboat's latest entertainment venue took North America's top award, Blue was quick to note that it wouldn't even make the top-10 list of Sub-Zero entertainment venues worldwide.
"The Russians really set the standard for ice-cold concerts," noted Blue. "I've watched an entire orchestra play a Mussorgsky symphony in temperatures that reached -25 degrees. And they don't mess around with gloves or even coats. Those Russians are some tough SOBs. There are also some top-notch venues in Iceland, including the famous Musical Igloo, which I believe U2 played at in 1983 as they were building their careers. Bono's hair actually froze and starting breaking off from the cold while he belted out Sunday Bloody Sunday. It was magical."