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.
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.
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.
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.