By Alan Gionet

DENVER (CBS4) – A seven piece Allman Brothers tribute band named the “Other Brothers” was wafting its sounds out of Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom and across Welton Street Friday night in Five Points. In the seats separated by distance, a group of people from Evergreen were thrilled to be there.

“I think it’s worth it, look at our seats,” said Campbell Brown. “Been 13 months. Ready to get back out there.”

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Four friends sat together. Other tables were apart in the venue originally built as a jazz club decades ago.

“Feels normal. Feels like there’s some sense of normalcy, coming back to normalcy,” said Heather Nigat.

On stage, the band with three percussion musicians drove through Allman Brothers classics.

“It’s pretty unbelievable, but it is different,” guitarist James Dumm said about the slim crowd. The band smiled to each other as they played. “There’s also that camaraderie,” he added. “It’s a different vibe, but it’s kind of like communal. We’re all in this together.”

The show, one of two for the band on Friday night, was a sellout with 100 people in attendance. That’s all Cervantes’ can allow in under COVID-19 restrictions.

“The ticket price is quite a bit higher than it was pre COVID,” explained owner Duncan Goodman about how they manage to put on the performances. “And people are willing to pay the price. They want their live music. It’s been a long time without it, and they’re willing to pay for it.”

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Admission for some of the acts they’ve been booking have been more than $100. It still doesn’t put the club on good financial footing.

“It’s a lot better than being shut down. It’s not sustainable the way that we’re operating right now, but at least it’s putting a dent in that overhead,” said Goodman.

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About a half mile away, the Taylor Clay Quartet played at Nocturne. A jazz supper club. They brought music back in January because they had to, explained co-owner Nicole Mattson.

“I think jazz is in particular really great music to have back right now because it is such an intimate music,” she said. Putting music back on stage meant no seating a tables right in front to keep distance.

“We’re still at about 27% of our original occupancy,” she said, adding that it “would be lovely” to have full occupancy again. The jazz was calming and clear. “Oh it feels great to have the music back for sure.”

“I had a few things that were kind of continuous throughout the pandemic,” said Other Brothers guitarist James Dumm.

There were a few outdoor gigs back in the summer. Then things slacked off again. Musicians he’s known were stung by the unemployment system.

“If we were picking up gigs here and there that was posing a problem for people on unemployment because then you have to claim it for that you know? It can lock you out of the system, things like that.”

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Playing with the band through songs like “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Blue Sky,” the band got buoyed by the crowd.

“There’s definitely more energy when there’s a big room that you’re playing to, but now we haven’t played in so long this is great,” said drummer John Michele. “These guys are great they’re such great musicians… We’re playing for us and for the crowd. So we have fun no matter what.”

James Dumm feels the crowd and the music and life.

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“You know having people in here I think there is that sense of camaraderie of like, we’re all getting back to normal together hopefully.”

Alan Gionet