Denver Colorado is an art lover’s city. My wife had most of our time scheduled for visual art adventures, since she is an art writer. But I had my own ideas. There is so much to do in and around the city, that you could easily enjoy an entire month exploring Denver. That said, the one thing I personally wanted to do most was see a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Fortunately, the one night we had available, Red Rocks had Tedeschi Trucks Band on its schedule. This is an amazing band.
For live music fans, like myself, having this experience is a bucket list item. Ask any live music enthusiasts, and they will agree. Many of friends have been there at least once, and I know several people who have flown there or drove there, from Los Angeles, just to see their favorite band perform in this truly unique and special place.
The natural setting of Red Rocks Amphitheater is spectacular. Monolithic rock formations surround the stage on 3 sides stretching high up into the hills, enclosing the audience in a sacred natural amphitheater. Just being a part of this setting makes you feel energized. Add to that the anticipation of a live performance by a top notch band, and the energy is electric. Everyone is fired up, friendly and ready to rock, as they pass through security and enter the venue. Many arrive super early to enjoy a hike through the rock formations and to tailgate in one of the parking lots before the show. All of the lots feature different views of the dramatic Reed Rocks landscape.
I have wanted to see the Tedeschi Trucks Band for many years. While I do not have any of their albums, I love their style of music. Derek Trucks is an incredible guitarist with jazz, blues and rock influences. Susan Tedeschi is an outstanding lead singer who also plays rhythm and lead guitar extremely well. The band includes two drummers, a 3 piece horn section (sax, trumpet and trombone) and 3 backup singers, one of whom could easily front his own band. The group is super tight, and every member is given a chance to shine. It was a great show. The sound was crisp, nicely mixed, loud but not too loud.
As the sun set and darkness took over, the surrounding rock formations were bathed in light provided by the venue. This effect created a very different mood than the natural light from earlier. The audience was having a blast, as their favorite members traded turns taking center stage.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band played all their fan favorite tunes, and the entire audience was on their feet, dancing, singing and playing air guitar. I must admit that I did not know the songs, but I really appreciated the music and the musicianship. What I appreciated most of all however was the venue itself. In fact, I loved it so much, that I returned the following day to hike and photograph the park. Hiking here during the day then going in to see a show at night is a great thing to do while visiting Denver.
If you want to get the most out of your time at Red Rocks, which is less than a half hour drive from Denver, consider arriving super early. That way you can park more easily, walk around the rocks, look for wildlife and hang out with your friends.