Last year during Widespread Panic’s annual June pilgrimage to Red Rocks, I bore witness to a natural phenomenon so sublime, it will be emblazoned in my memory until my dying breath. An awe-inspiring lightning shower accompanied nearly the entirety of Saturday’s second set.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
We have all been to shows in which our objectivity towards the music is undermined by a more powerful force. Something happens apart from the stage that distorts, and often intensifies, the true sonic nature of each set. These are the shows that lay futility at the feet of those who try to listen to a recording later on to recapture the magic. This happened to me for the first time in October ‘99 when I saw Phish at Illinois State. I was smitten with a girl who would, very soon after, become my first love.
So, Widespread Panic played a show at Red Rocks on Saturday night. Honestly, for those of you who have seen them in that setting before, that’s about as good of a review as you need. All it would take is one glance at the set list, particularly from the second set on, to know that it was a spectacular evening.
Last year My Morning Jacket played a single night at Red Rocks Amphitheater, but as they are becoming more and more of a household name, one night wasn’t enough for this year. The Louisville, Kentucky boys came in strong for the opening night on Friday with a 29-song set. It’s been over a year since the release of their sixth album, Circuital, and as of lately they have shed the “Victory Dance”/Title track opener in favor of a more random choice of opening songs.
On Sunday afternoon The New Mastersounds were finishing up a remarkable set of true funk as Renard “Ras I Ray” Shy, Sr. (bassist/singer for Easy Star All-Stars) sat in the audience at Red Rocks Amphitheater enjoying the music and mingling with fans.
Summer is officially over. According to the calendar, it happened several weeks ago, but in my mind it happened last weekend - the day Red Rocks Amphitheater finished their concert season. At this point in the year, the weather becomes too unpredictable, and more importantly too cold, to continue sitting outside late in to the night, even for the noble cause of seeing live music. This year, Flogging Molly closed out the concert season, bringing So Cal acts Hepcat, and Fitz and the Tantrums along for the ride.
Fans that did not score tickets to Phish at Red Rocks Amphitheatre should worry not; there just happens to be a four-day camping and music festival a few short miles away on a private ranch. For those that did score tickets, The Phamily Reunion Festival offers what Red Rocks cannot: camping and a safe ride to and from the festival to each Phish show.
Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull played Red Rocks last night, the same venue where riots broke out at a Tull show back in 1971. Ian briefly discussed the incident, which can be seen here. Check back soon for Grateful Web's interview with none other than Ian himself! Here are pictures from last night's Jethro Tull show as well as video clips. We ho