Visiting Colorado’s Amazing Red Rocks Amphitheatre After Reopening
I had a chance to take in a show this last weekend (August 8, 2021) at Red Rocks, and let me tell you, it's business as usual.
Best of the Best
Ask any major concert act, and they'll all tell you the exact same thing - Red Rocks is one of their favorite, if not absolute favorite, venues in the world. Tim McGraw went on the record with that statement, as have many others.
Slowly But Surely
Back in March 2021, concert lovers jumped for joy when it was announced Red Rocks would be able to open for shows with a limited capacity of 2,500 visitors.
A month-and-a-half later, in mid-May 2021, it was announced the venue was cleared for a capacity of 6,300. At that same time, the public was informed Red Rocks would open to full-capacity crowds on June 21, 2021.
Fast Forward to August 2021
What was it like attending a show at Red Rocks on August 8? Put simply, it was just like the good ol' days, back before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19. This particular show had a crowd of 9,000, putting it right at the venue's normal capacity.
It's been five years since my last concert at Red Rocks. That was a concert featuring the band Heart. Talk about a nightmare. That concert was barely 24 hours after the two Wilson sisters got into a huge fight, one that would keep them separated for years. Between the tension with the sisters, accompanied by monsoon rainstorms and severe lightning, the concert was a complete and total dud. Please forgive me Nancy (Wilson). I've been a fan for over 40 years, but that concert really sucked. Take a look at the photo below. That's me with Ann and Nancy Wilson. This photo was the day after their big fight. You can literally feel the tension.
Breakdown of the August 8, 2021, Joe Bonamassa Concert
When it comes to security, protocols, seating, and all the other fun elements that go into a live concert, it was as if time stood still. To break it down, the following attributes could be described as:
- parking = excellent
- admission to the amphitheater = smooth as glass
- sound = perfect
- lighting = awesome
- seating = some of the best in the country
- ticket price for Joe Bonamassa - a little steep, but worth every penny
- weather = couldn't have been better
- exiting after the concert - most organized I've ever seen at any venue
- drink prices - this is where things go south. Close to $40 for two vodka 7's. Ouch.
Regrettably, because I was at Red Rocks over the weekend, I was unable to attend the awesome Beach Boys show at Grand Junction's Las Colonias Park. After speaking to those who did get to attend, the report sounds similar to my experience. It was a great show, just like before the dark times... before COVID (to be read with an Obi-Wan-Kenobi vibe).
There are a number of great shows on the horizon, indoor shows to boot, which you can enjoy the good ol' fashioned way. Check out Clint Black, a full-capacity show, coming to the Avalon Theatre in Grand Junction this December. For that matter, Reba and Brooks & Dunn are back for a two-week run at the amazing Coliseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Don't Want to Count Eggs Before They Hatch
Who knows what the future holds, but for the moment, it appears we get to enjoy concerts in the manner in which we're accustomed. I recommend you get out and catch a show or as many as you can. The shutdown served as a wake-up call, a reminder as to how important live concerts are to me.