The original line-up of The Samples, which hasn’t played together since the early 1990s, is reuniting for this summer’s Mile High Music Festival.
The festival takes place Aug. 14-15 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. The Samples — with original members Sean Kelly, Jeep MacNichol, Charles Hambleton, Andy Sheldon and Al Laughlin — are scheduled to play the first night.
What: Mile High Music Festival
When: Aug. 14-15
Where: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City
Tickets: On sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, tickethorse.com or 866-461-6556
Cost: Two-day passes start at $150
The Dave Matthews Band and Jack Johnson are headlining the third-annual festival, and tickets go on sale Saturday. More than 40 bands are scheduled to play, including the Steve Miller Band, Slightly Stoopid, Weezer and My Morning Jacket.
The Samples, who have a one-hour set, debuted in Boulder in 1987 and quickly became one of the top acts in the state. The group’s pop, acoustic and rock mix earned the band major record deals, headlining shows at Red Rocks and shared bills with acts like the Dave Matthews Band.
Singer Sean Kelly, who moved back to Colorado three months ago, still performs under The Samples’ moniker. But the August show “is going to be a one-of-a-kind deal,” he said.
“It took awhile to make this happen,” Kelly said. “They wanted the original band — and we wanted to play the festival. It should be very cool and very fun. It’s been a long time since we all played together.”
The Samples will rehearse together prior to the festival, but Kelly said he isn’t sure where this journey will take the band.
“We’re going to get together to rehearse and kick it around,” he said. “We’ll refine our ideas, and try to build an objective for this show. We’ll play, we’ll have fun and we’ll pick out good songs.”
He said the band’s music is “timeless.”
“We were singing about ecology with songs like ‘Close to the Fires’ before it was popular,” he said. “We’ll just wait and see what happens after the festival. You never know.”
Other members of The Samples have been busy pursuing their own goals, and some players have re-invented their careers.
Drummer MacNichol is known for his dub act Mr. Anonymous, and Hambleton was the associate director on the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove.”
MacNichol’s gig with Mr. Anonymous has paid off. The performer markets his music around the globe and he’s opened for Pretty Lights.
“Getting together with The Samples will be fun,” MacNichol said. “I’m definitely psyched to do this show. We haven’t played together in years,”
He said he’s already talked with Laughlin, the keyboardinst, about the band’s Mile High set.
“We’re wide open as to the songs we’ll be playing,” MacNichol said. “We were thinking about more of an old-school Samples’ vibe and hits from all the albums.