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In the late 1800s, what we’d today call a tour was known as a circuit: Traveling theater shows, opera companies, or musicians would ride the railroad to various towns and perform at each stop. Colorado’s version was nicknamed the Silver Circuit, and it was started by Peter McCourt (brother of Baby Doe Tabor).
More than a century later, the Silver Circuit is making a (limited) comeback. Denver band King Cardinal—the 2015 Band of the Summer winner at the Underground Music Showcase—will bring their Americana sound to three mountain towns this summer for a pilot season of the revived Silver Circuit, which ended in 1944.
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The first stop is Leadville on July 23 at the famed Tabor Opera House; tickets are $20 to $40 and doors open at 7 p.m. Then, the band travels to Steamboat Springs’ Chief Theater (August 12 at 8 p.m., tickets are $10), and a to-be-determined venue in Trinidad (September 23). Each evening will be slightly different, but you can count on your money doing some good: Proceeds benefit the historic theaters, which are badly in need of renovations and other upgrades. “It’s a way to bring attention to the historic buildings throughout the state and also to [a] local band,” says Matthew Fritz, King Cardinal’s manager. “We’re really excited to be the first band that kind of brings this back.”
The contemporary iteration of the Silver Circuit is the result of efforts by Dana Crawford, Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado Creative Industries, and others. The goal is to extend the circuit in the future—but in order for that to happen, this year’s pilot program has to go well. In other words: Get your tickets and help bring back a lively reminder of Colorado’s storied past.