By Raetta Holdman

DENVER (CBS)Independence Eve Presented Anadarko celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. For the occasion, the Civic Center Conservancy has invited Chris Daniels and the Kings featuring Freddie Gowdy back to the stage for the third time.

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“Anytime you wind up doing a great enough job that somebody asks you back, that’s terrific,” Chris Daniels said. “To be asked back two more times, three times in total — that’s great.”

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The band is also marking a milestone this year, celebrating its 35th anniversary. It’s a remarkable journey for any band, but Daniels credits part of the success to Colorado itself.

“Colorado has the best listening audiences on the planet. We (Coloradans) come out for music events. This is a music lovers state.”

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That means planning for a big concert like Independence Eve takes extra attention. The band has two goals:

– Get the party going.
– Honor our veterans.

“One of the things we try to do because we have a full horn section, we always try and bring in some of the music of Colorado so we can go all the way back to Glenn Miller and do something fun like that, all the way up to our own tunes that came out last year.

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“It’s a whole range of stuff, but then you’ve got to do the hits, too. It’s okay if you throw in an ‘Uptown Funk.'”

(credit: Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

When it comes to honoring our military, Daniels has a different take on the music.

“One of my favorites is ‘American Tragedy.’ It’s a song about Vietnam vets and they didn’t always get a fair shake. I like doing that because often times we have Vietnam vets in the crowd and I like to honor them, so that’s one that means a lot to me.”

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But this consummate musician knows this is really about all of the Denver metro area coming together to celebrate the nation’s birthday.

“It’s amazing because you have almost 100,000 or over 100,00 people all coming out to celebrate music and fireworks. It’s a great time.”

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Raetta Holdman