Red Rocks Amphitheatre
After I witness a transformative set of music, this is what inevitably occurs when the dust settles. After a band plays high energy, pedal-to-the-metal music for a cool 100-minutes, it’s difficult to ascertain which pieces stood out as the highlights among many other highlights – the crème de la crème. That’s why I try to balance dancing and having fun with taking notes in the middle of a song or right after it ends. It’s the only way I can filter the musical narrative and determine the truly supernal from the “merely” superb.
All brought a powerful message of love, togetherness, and caring for humanity and our planet: a concert that made your soul shine! The good vibrations were carried on the gorgeous Red Rocks sunset on a clear warm summer evening.
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.
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.
From a dready skater busking on the streets of Australia, to a world-touring artist selling out one of America’s most premiere venues, John Butler proves authenticity in music truly prevails.
Friday night’s Red Rocks gig was simulcast live over cyber waves to ensure that the whole globe could relish in the spunky, feel-good beats the Aussie chaps threw down on this, their largest headlining show.