Coors Field Is Considering a Concert Series for Next Season
If there is a strange request that a concert promoter can make of a musician, it's a safe bet that Scott McCaughey has heard it. He co-founded the Young Fresh Fellows in 1983 and played with R.E.M. for close to twenty years. Lately, he's been on tour with the Baseball Project, an '80s-college-rock supergroup that also features Peter Buck and Mike Mills of R.E.M., Steve Wynn of the Dream Syndicate, and Linda Pitmon. So McCaughey has played thousands of shows, but when he was asked to swap out his hat before the Baseball Project played at Coors Field last month, that was a first.
Scott Goldstein The Baseball Project plays at Coors Field last month.
McCaughey was wearing one with a San Francisco Giants logo -- he's a lifelong fan -- and when Rockies staff members saw it, they immediately went to find him some more appropriate apparel. It was only partly a joke. The staffers were stretched thin because of a broken water main, however, and in the scramble, the best they could come up with was a plain black hat marked "MLB," a giveaway from a game earlier in the season.
The Baseball Project is not idly named: The band's three albums contain nothing but songs about the sport. Some tell the stories of obscure players, some refer to historic games. The leadoff track on the most recent album, 3rd, is nothing more than a list of numbers that correspond to well-known MLB statistics and records.
So the group is an appropriate choice for a concert at a ballpark. It had played a regular show at the Oriental Theater the night before the game and mentioned the one-off set at Coors Field from the stage. A couple dozen fans followed them to the ballpark, and for close to an hour before the scheduled first pitch, the Baseball Project played in a cabana while the crowd filtered in. When it got to "The Day Dock Went Hunting Heads," a song about a game in 1974 when pitcher Dock Ellis intentionally hit the first three Cincinnati Reds batters he faced and tried to hit two more, the Rockies put Scott McCaughey with his bandmates and replacement hat up on the Jumbotron. They were playing the Reds that day -- or at least were supposed to: The water main couldn't be fixed in time, and the game was ultimately postponed.
But the Baseball Project got its full set, and while this was a one-off concert orchestrated by a friend of both the band and the team, live music may soon be a regular fixture at Coors Field.