Upgrade. Just the word alone conjures a category system, and if you're looking at upgrading anything, you're admitting that what you've got can be better.
If, for example, you upgrade from a junker car to an Audi, what you notice around you in the Audi isn't money, per se. What you notice are the excellent decisions made around each curve, knob and feature. Most often, people pay more money for better choices made.
But that paradigm isn't infallible. One example of the consumer paying less or the same for better experience can be found in the amazing new concert venue that has been in development but open for business for about a year — The Caribou Room.
The Caribou Room, as I mentioned last week, holds about the same amount of people as the Fox. It's located just outside Nederland on the Peak to Peak Highway, right at the turnoff for the Nederland tennis courts and ice skating rink.
Peter Fiori is the man responsible for The Caribou Room, and he is also the owner of Sweetwave Audio, a well-known local pro audio dealership, audio production and installation company, and rental house for an extensive backline of musical instruments.
Which makes him about the ideal person to open a serious music venue. With Sweetwave's backline, whole bands can just show up at The Caribou Room and play on choice, hand-picked gear from Peter's collection at a moment's notice. It also means Peter can outfit his new venue with the best gear available.
And The Caribou Room has some of the sweetest gear, let me tell you. Speakers are provided by Meyer Sound, the guys who got famous designing speakers for the Grateful Dead. Front of house and back of house mixing are done on massive Midas live mixing consoles — state-of-the-art equipment usually found in super-large venues, mega churches and stadiums.
But it's the details that really tickled me on my first visit to the place. Everything is oriented exactly as you want it. Production equipment and staff are artfully hidden from view. The temperature of the venue is impeccable, with the slightest breeze provided by a singularly massive fan above the audience.
I probably stared at the fan too much, but I just appreciate the little things like that. There is a balcony system that runs along the sides and back of the hall, and the sound up there is just fantastic. The vibe up there is cool, too — there's a colorfully lit balcony bar and many spots to just hang out.
Another groundbreaking feature is Peter's streaming of shows to internet audiences. Peter develops a separate mix just for the live stream and plans to offer six camera options plus a next-to-stage virtual reality camera that allows viewers to pan around the room while listening.Strangely, as life is not without its quizzical paradoxes, it seems that Peter is also battling some legal trouble related to his purchasing of the building.
On Thursday, he plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges, while two felony charges were dismissed.
Read more about that here, but do check out the venue if you get a chance. The experience is definitely worth the drive.