In honor of its 10th anniversary, Denver-based band Bonfire Dub will perform a special show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Dec. 9 featuring classic hits from The Doors. Along with Bonfire Dub’s reggae-rock originals, show attendees will be treated to songs from Jim Morrison’s iconic group. Bonfire Dub’s keyboardist, Minturn resident Jeff Armistead, recreates the keyboard wizardry for which Doors bandleader, Ray Manzarek, was known. Bonfire Dub: The Doors kicks off the Vilar Performing Arts Center’s season on Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets for the show are $15 and are available now at the VPAC box office (970-845-8497; www.vilarpac.org). The VPAC is located under the ice rink in Beaver Creek Village (68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek, Colorado).
“This show is a celebration — of our personal journey’s, of our anniversary, and paying respect to The Doors,” said Bonfire Dub founder and lead singer Scotty Stoughton. “We’re really looking forward to getting back to the area. The VPAC is our favorite indoor venue we’ve ever played. It’s a special place. And our first show was in Vail, so it’s kind of fitting.”
Bonfire Dub plays a deep and powerful blend of roots music — original songs with rich melodies, featuring down tempo, acoustic-laced and electric steel driven reggae, folk and dub. The band performed its first cover of a Door’s song — “L.A. Woman” — a few years ago, Stoughton said. “It brought out an alter ego in me, and it was really well received; the band is the perfect instrumentation to play it,” he said.
On the heels of that success, the band soon added a few more Doors songs to their repertoire. “We thought it’d be a good challenge for the band, to see what we were capable of, learn some new material and give it our own spin,” Stoughton said. “The Doors is an iconic group that wasn’t around long but had some powerful hits. Once you get into it, you get to unravel some of the mysteries behind the songs.”
In addition to paying tribute to The Doors at the upcoming show, Bonfire Dub will perform its latest song “Kashmir.” Over the years, many of Bonfire’s songs have been inspired by eastern philosophy, indigenous struggles and political injustices. Stoughton weaves stories of hope and struggle, mostly derived from his humanitarian aid experiences in Haiti and Central America.
Stoughton wrote “Kashmir” following a month he spent living in Kashmir, India last spring.
“It was an intense, very empowering and very inspiring experience,” Stoughton said. “I’d never been to an occupied country before. It was pretty heavy.”
While there, Stoughton stayed with some Muslim families, gaining firsthand insight into their struggle, and he also sat in on a human rights panel. The song, “Kashmir,” represents the deep mystical roots of Kashmir, the struggle of the local people and the solutions for hope and peace in the future.
“They are extremely well-educated, really smart and incredibly hopeful people for the most part,” Stoughton said. “It was incredible to see the human spirit continue to drive forward to find the future they deserve.”