We recently sat down with Scott Morrill, owner and head talent buyer at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom and The Other Side in Denver, CO to discuss the music scene, how he got involved in working in the industry, some of his favorite musical moments over the years, and the recent acquisition of Fort Collins venues Hodi’s Half Note and The Aggie Theatre. Colorado has such a vibrant music scene, we wanted to get the inside scoop from someone on the inside.L4LM: What was the show that you saw, as a fan, that gave you that “this is IT” moment?SM: There were several shows that I saw that made me realize I needed to be around music my whole life, but one that comes to mind is a late night show at Jazzfest in 2000 with Soulive at the House of Blues Parish Room. I was with four of my best friends and we had no tickets and it was sold out. We ran into Sam Kininger (former sax player for Soulive/Lettuce) outside the venue and told him we were big fans and didn’t have any tickets. He didn’t know us at all but ended up hooking us up with two tickets and then we found two more out front and were in. It was my first time seeing them live and the energy they had going in that room was ridiculous. We all couldn’t stop smiling and it was one of those moments that I said to myself, “Someday I want to make as many people as possible have this feeling that I’m having.”L4LM: Who were some of your favorite acts growing up?SM: My first concert was Michael Jackson with my parents at Mile High Stadium when I was 7. I, of course, loved Michael Jackson as a kid. But as I got to middle school I listened to all classic rock, the typical artists that everyone passed around – Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Doors, The Beatles, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead. Then I got to high school and listened to lots of hip-hop. I was a freshman in 1990, so I was listening to Dr Dre, A Tribe Called Quest, Pharcyde, Digable Planets, De La Soul, and quite a bit of gangsta rap. I knew all the words to NWA, Ice Cube, Easy E, etc. When I got to college, I started getting into jam and funk. I saw a bunch of Widespread Panic and Phish and then Galactic, Soulive, moe., Yonder Mountain String Band, etc…Soulive “El Ron” Live at Cervantes 8/22/08:[courtesy of MoBoogie]L4LM: How did you get involved in the music industry? What was your first job?SM: I went into commercial real estate out of college and was a financial analyst for five years, but always had music on my mind. I was able to take out a second mortgage on my house to start Cervantes. So my first job was everything, really. I helped with the bar, made the posters, did lights and sound, hospitality for bands, and gradually got into talent buying.L4LM: What are the Top 5 favorite shows that you have booked?SM: Soulive was my first big show I booked the first year Cervantes was open and will always be one of my favorites. After that, there have been so many but a few of my favorites would be Pretty Lights, Greensky Bluegrass, Lettuce and Fruition for my birthday last year was amazing. Those all being at Cervantes. I also book Sonic Bloom Festival and Arise which have definitely been some of my favorite musical experiences with so many different bands. I also would have to say Tipper at Red Rocks for my first official show there as a promoter. That was a very special experience. Hard to pick 5!Tipper w/ Android Jones at Red Rocks 2015:[courtesy of bigeyedphish79]L4LM: A lot of folks don’t see all of the behind the scenes work that goes into putting on even just one show, let alone a full year’s worth of shows to fill a venues calendar. Tell us a little about the process and the team that takes care of it all….SM: The team at Cervantes has grown organically over the years and has become something that we are all very proud of. It’s really more of a family than a team. Each show could be broken down into booking, promotion and production. Our booking team consists of Adam Stroul and myself, who are the head buyers, and Hunter Stevens and Dave Halchak who are assistant buyers. After a show is booked it goes to our Marketing Director Diana Azab, who wears several hats and is assisted by Cris Bachman and Jamie Jay. They make sure the show is properly promoted through every outlet possible. Then when it comes down to executing the show, we have our Production Manager, Trent Hufford, handle all the logistics and our General Manager, Matt Greer, there to handle day of show communication and settlements with the band. I feel very fortunate to have a staff who cares so much about Cervantes.L4LM: There is a pretty happening scene in the greater Denver area, and out in Colorado, in general. What do you attribute that to?SM: Well, I think the scene continues to get better each year because we have more and more music lovers moving to Colorado. Colorado offers so many things that are very attractive to twenty-somethings that have just graduated college, or looking for a change from their current environment. Now that we have a reputation for having one of the best music scenes in the country, it is only going to get better. Musicians and fans want to live somewhere they can thrive and Colorado is arguably the best in the nation.L4LM: Cervantes recently purchased The Aggie Theatre and Hodi’s Half Note up in Fort Collins, aka “Fort Fun”, in the last year or so. Fort Collins is a beautiful town, and home to Colorado State University. How important was that acquisition on your end?I think it was a very important acquisition. It allows us to offer bands another market to play when they are routing through Colorado. I think it’s very important for bands to play different markets when they come through Colorado to expose themselves to as many fans as possible. This will only help them grow their overall Colorado fan base to someday play bigger venues in the state such as Red Rocks.Sonic Bloom 2016 Recap:[courtesy of Electronic Colorado]L4LM: Do you think there is over-saturation of the market right now? It seems like there is almost too many shows to choose from. Is that a good or bad thing?SM: I think that as long as the vast majority of the shows are successful that it isn’t over-saturated. It is pretty amazing how many shows we can have in this state compared to ten years ago, or even five years ago. I think the variety of shows to choose from contributes to our music scene and makes it more attractive for fans and musicians to move here. Hopefully the fans can keep up with all the new venues and shows. There is only one way to find out!L4LM: What upcoming shows at Cervantes/Aggie/Hodi’s are you most excited for?SM: So many great shows coming up! Check out Cervantes and Aggie websites for all upcoming shows. We are having Moon Taxi for the first time at The Aggie on Dec. 1st and Cervantes on Dec. 2nd and 3rd the latter of which are dual room shows with Joey Porter’s Shady Business on The Other Side. The Marcus King Band plays Hodi’s Half Note on Nov. 30th. The Travelin’ McCourys are coming through for a run of shows and doing Aggie on Dec. 8th and Cervantes on De.c 10th. Elephant Revival are playing Aggie on Dec. 9th and they are a band that I go way back with and played, I think, their first gig in Denver at Cervantes opening for Railroad Earth back in the day. New Years will be awesome too with Stick Figure in the Ballroom and DeadPhish Orchestra w/ Cycles in The Other Side.L4LM: Thanks so much for sharing with us, Scott. We’ll see you out at Cervantes soon!For information and upcoming shows at Cervantes/Other Side, click here.For information and upcoming shows at The Aggie Theatre, click here.For information and upcoming shows at Hodi’s Half Note, click here.
Imagine having a hobby you love so much and yet, the vast majority of your peers consider you insufficient, at best. This happens every single day for women in esports.You might consider that an exaggeration and while a horde of various outlets and surveys claim that the number of female gamers is rising, the number of women participating competitively is stagnant. The best option to succeed as a woman in esports is to find a female-only team to compete with. Why is that?As a girl in a boys world, I just wanted to seriously play video games. Maybe not as hardcore as others, but I wanted to be competitive. The easiest thing to do was find a girls only group. They feel my struggle right? In came Sweet Synergy, an amazing organisation aimed at simply getting women to come together and play in a safe space. I was on a team for some time and as I departed I realised, isn’t segregating ourselves as a female-only organisation a little hypocritical? We want to be included, and yet we’re completely excluding ourselves from the general populous of esports. From then on I was totally against female only tournaments and leagues. I never watched them, rolled my eyes at any event or mention, never had a care in the world. As time went by, and after some research, an epiphany took place. As I was watching the female-only Intel Challenge tournament I realised I’m equally as hypocritical if I don’t support women in esports in any capacity. Support is all we ask for in any realm. These women are busting their asses just as much as the boys to take advantage of every single opportunity given to them. Why scoff at them when they’ve gotten farther than most women can say?Organisations like Team Dignitas, CLG, and Team Secret are already vetting CS:GO female rosters. StarCraft II player, Scarlett, has won the most prize money as a female player for Team Expert. There are lists and lists of women currently competing that have found their own success. But most of that comes from female-only tournaments. Take CLG’s female only roster, for example. According to esportsearnings.com they’ve won roughly $30,000 (£23,990) in prize money since their creation in 2015, while their male counterparts have won roughly $300,000 (£239,904).Team Secret’s female roster taking the top prize at the Intel Challenge Katowice 2017If we want to support women to play just as well and as much as men, why segregate them? The overarching point of this is the fact that you can support women in esports without being a complete and total hypocrite, even if you think female only teams are contradictory. Women in esports need support, in any form and fashion. The list of women that have gained so much success where they are is slowly, but surely, growing. Most of them have no choice but to play in female only tournaments, but that’s what is best available to them right now. So why fault them for succeeding? You should build women up, not tear them down for their efforts. Is CS:GO your game of choice? Why not check out the next female-only tournament? Know a woman that’s considering the competitive scene? Encourage them to participate. Big fan of a particular host, commentator, player, or even journalist? (*wink* *wink*). Tell them. Tweet them. It’s the little things that keep them going. Knowing that there are encouraging people in this silly community we’re so in love with helps more than you can imagine.You don’t have to pick a side. Show the world that not everyone is like what you see in Twitch chat.
NBA Finals 2019: 3 takeaways from the Raptors’ Game 3 road win over the Warriors NBA Draft 2019: What will the Lakers do with the No. 4 pick? Kevin Durant has also been out since straining his calf in the Warriors’ second round series while Kevon Looney will be sidelined for the rest of the Finals after suffering an injury in Game 2 against Toronto.“No one cares that guys are hurt,” Green told reporters following Game 3. “Everybody wants to see us lose. I’m sure people are happy they’re hurt. We’ve just got to continue to battle and win the next game. Go back to Toronto, win Game 5, come back to Oracle, win Game 6 and then celebrate. Fun times ahead.” Related News “They played really, really hard and gave it everything they had,” Kerr said during his postgame press conference. “Just ran into a better team tonight. Toronto played an excellent game. Made big shots every time they needed to. … They deserved it.””They out-played us. They deserved it.”- Steve Kerr reacts to the Game 3 loss. #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/kG49W2ck0z— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 6, 2019The Warriors will host the Raptors in Game 4 on Friday. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. ET. “We just got to continue to battle:1. Win the next game2. Go back to Toronto, win Game 53. Come back to Oracle, win Game 64. And then celebrate.”Draymond Green speaks about the Warriors plan for the rest of the series after losing Game 3. pic.twitter.com/Ab2LdpuZdW— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 6, 2019Green recorded 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the losing effort for Golden State.Meanwhile, the Warriors’ lone healthy star, Stephen Curry, was fantastic Wednesday. He finished with 47 points on 14-of-31 shooting and added eight rebounds, along with seven assists.“He was amazing,” Green said of Curry, via the Mercury News. “I’ve got to play better and offer him more help.”Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he was “very proud” of his team after Game 3. James Harden, Anthony Davis lead players invited to USA Basketball camp Draymond Green believes the Warriors will bounce back.A depleted Golden State team fell behind 2-1 in the NBA Finals after it lost to the Raptors 123-109 at Oracle Arena on Wednesday. The Warriors were playing without Klay Thompson, who missed the game with a strained hamstring.