Old Towne Lights by Ryan Levander

Well the time has come, the Old Towne lights will be coming down after one last beautiful night in Fort Collins. 

Each October the lights make their first appearance, and stay up through the weekend after Valentine's Day. Many people debate that the lights should stay up year-round (as they are just so beautiful). Personally, I think it's tasteful to just leave them up during a certain time of the year. I think they are appreciated more; can't have Chrismas year round! 🙂 

They certainly add an element of class, sophistication, excitement, and joy to the sensational scene. 

It certainly is a treat to live in a city where they take such pride in not only the activities of the downtown scene, but the presentation and overall look as well. 

I'll leave you with my favorite Old Towne lights photo of the beautiful season! 

Elephant Revival/SHEL Show by Ryan Levander

Back in the year of 2012, NoCo Lifestyle writer/photographer Ryan Levander went to a New Year's Eve show. Fast forward to the year 2013 and he still thinks it's worth talking about. (It wasn't really THAT long ago…)

Whenever I asked my friends if they had heard of Elephant Revival (ER), most suprisingly said no. The band members reside from a little town just West of Fort Collins called Nederland. The town itself has many more vertical feet than people; with a population 1,470 people and elevation of 10,000 feet. Literally nestled right in the heart of the Rockies.

Maybe that's where this folk/celtic/gypsy/rock/alt/country/just downright organic band got it's vibe from; the mountain life. [Oh and listing all those genres was absolutely necessary becuase they can be classified under any and all 🙂 ]. NoCo Lifestyle wasn't able to snag an interview with the pressed schedule of ER, but we look forward to talking with them in the future! 

However, I was able to dig up some interesting information on their website about their beliefs and name origin…

Elephant Revival also shares a commitment to responsible stewardship of the planet and its inhabitants, working with organizations such as the Conscious Alliance, Calling All Crows, Trees Water & People, and other nonprofits supporting humanitarian causes. Their very name was chosen out of empathy for a pair of zoo pachyderms who, upon being separated after 16 years, died on the same day. The band related that heart-rending story during their April 2012 debut on fellow Coloradoans Nick & Helen Forster's internationally syndicated "eTown" radio show – like Elephant Revival, a blend of music and social consciousness."

The NYE show itself – Fantastic. Usually the bands before the headliner are good, not great. Well SHEL put on a real quality opening act. SHEL is a Fort Collins based band who are all very good looking and sounding sisters! 🙂 Again, NoCo Lifesyle looks forward to talking with them at some of the upcoming shows this year!

Elephant Revival was up next. While it was my first ER show, I was still blown away with the genuine sound all members created with such unique "instruments" such as washboards, musical saws, stompboxes, djembe, etc. Almost all bands are better live. With ER there is no comparison. While their albums are fantastic, you just MUST see them live. It will blow you away. 

NoCo Lifestyle is very excited to be so close to ER & SHEL and looks forward to more shows/interviews/photos! 

For more information on Elephant Revival please visit HERE.

For more information on SHEL please visit HERE

Recap of my year, NYE Happenings! by Ryan Levander

I have lived and seen quite a bit of the US in the quarter century I have been occupying oxygen for. I grew up in the frozen conservative tundra that is North Dakota, moved out to the free spirit liberal city that is Asheville, North Carolina. And visited many, many cities inbetween the two! 

I have learned a lot about community in the latter part of my years. Community is what makes a city function to it's fullest potential. Community is the choice to a home more than just where you see your family. Community is, Fort Collins. 

That being said, I've lived here for one year and feel VERY welcome in the community of Fort Collins. There is such a good mix of everything to do in the Front Range. The musical scene is fantastic, the food is local and second to none, the arts scene adds depth to Old Towne, and the outdoor activites year-round are endless. But without the people, everything I just mentioned is cool, nothing more. When you add awesome people to get out and have fun with it becomes, well…home! Thanks NoCo, I definitely have many homes away from home! 🙂

Later on this week I'll put up some of my favorite photos of the year in the Community section under "Galleries". I took over 5,000 photos this year, each one better than the next. NoCo is just so beautiful! 

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**Ok, let's get to the gravy for tonight! So much going on…

…"First Night Fort Collins" is an event kicking things off at 5pm in Old Towne. The kid shows start at 5pm, all other ones start at 6pm. Get there early so you can see the shows you want to see! You can buy a pass for the whole event (Over 100 performances!). More information on that here: First Night FoCoFireworks will also be apart of the night! 

Musically it's going to be a great night…

…Fierce Bad Rabbit will be playing at Hodi's Half Note debuting their latest album drop, The Maestro and The Elephant. Doors open at 9pm, show starts at 10pm! 

Nationally renound Folk/Indie band Elephant Revival will be playing at The Aggie tonight as well. They are close to home, having originated up in the high country of Nederland, CO! 

Those are the biggest events going on tonight in Fort Collins. If you are in the Loveland area or want to see the biggest firework show north of Denver – check out the Centerra Mall Outlets! 

Again, these are the biggest events going on, I'm quite positive every bar and restaurant in Old Towne has their own thing going on – so give 'em a call if you want to check them out, too! 

NoCo Lifestyle's will be snapping photos at First Night Fort Collins, Fierce Bad Rabbit's Show, and Elephant Revival over at the Aggie Theatre as well! Gonna be a busy but fun night!

Check back here and on our Facebook Page for all the great shots! Also, we're on twitter @nocolifestyle 

Here's to a great 2013 everyone – have fun and be safe tonight!