It's been a month since the annual major consumer audio show in Denver, and I'm still buzzing.
The weekend of Oct. 7-9 was filled with listening experiences for me that ranged from surprisingly dismal to stunningly exhilarating. I was mildly impressed by a system costing half a million dollars and knocked out cold over a system costing just south of a thousand.
At shows like Denver's, each day feels short and you have to hustle and limit your listening time in each room just so you can make it to all of the rooms you want to see.
But after the frenzy each day, there can be engaging events or experiences on the music theme that can just set you right for the next day. Small concerts over cocktails or trips to music venues downtown pepper the evenings — after all, those concerned with the way music sounds tend to be dedicated music fans.
This year, I had a music-related experience one night that was more memorable than much of the show. My friends from LA were in town and had heard of a unique dining event that travels the country and happened to be in Boulder that night.
The Blind Cafe was created in Boulder in 2010, and since then, it has popped up in locations all over the U.S. As I learned from its host and creator Brian "Rosh" Rocheleau, it has now been experienced by more than 15,000 people.
So the Blind Cafe isn't a new thing, but it is rare. It comes to town only for a few nights every several months. I've lived in Boulder long enough to have heard of it, but I never knew how special it really was until we checked it out.
Rosh is a Boulder singer-songwriter, and years before the birth of Blind Cafe, he was touring Iceland and performing at house concerts across the country. Taking a break one day, he came across a peculiar restaurant with the hostess standing outside with a stack of braille cards. Each card was for a specific dish, and the guest paid for a meal before entering the darkened hall behind her.
Rosh says that upon opening the cafe door, an incredible din of voices contrasted with the complete and total darkness inside to reveal the essence this cafe. Everything was as you might expect in a European cafe, except nobody could see. Anything.
So rich was this experience for Rosh that he brought the idea back to Boulder, started The Blind Cafe, and added a signature element of his own — music.
Without giving too much away ahead of time, I'll just say this: Eating a meal in blackness so black that it made no difference if your eyes were closed or open, and listening to musicians play while trying to identify your tablemates from voice alone ... I'll never forget the sensation.
Check out the Blind Cafe's website and reserve your spot the next time it's in Boulder, which will be March 9-11. Don't do what I did and wait six years to check it out!
Read more Taylor: coloradodaily.com/columnists. Stalk him: instagram.com/duncanxmusic.