If I had to pick just one "perfect" outdoor concert venue, it would be Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado.
If I had to pick Only one, (as if I could choose Only one), band to showcase Red Rocks, it would be Rush.
Put these two together and you get August 16, 2010. On this night, Rush played the first of 2 nights at Red Rocks on their Time Machine North American Tour. The first night, (Our night) is sold out. Rush brought well over 2 1/2 hours of rock and roll to this amazing natural amphitheater. While there really isn't a bad seat in the house, of course, there are better seats. Our seats were good, but as luck would have it, they couldn't have been a touch closer. No worries, the band helped up out as I'll tell you later.
If you know nothing about Red Rocks, you are Missing Out! Red Rocks is located in/at Morrison, Colorado, just west of Denver. This is an outdoor venue with few, if any peers and has been hosting concerts on a regular basis since the 1940's and even had some before that time. Many musicians have claimed over the years that Red Rocks is the greatest outdoor venue in America or even the world. Having been to many concerts here & living in Colorado, I would heartily agree.
Tonight, I'm joined by two of my brothers. Dave, my oldest brother out here in Colorado from Illinois and my brother Bobby LaRosa from here in the Springs & Denver. Dave is out here for 2 weeks and while here, we'll be seeing several shows. This is his second time at Red Rocks, but his first time hanging out with Rush. He was suitably impressed. This time out, Bobby is the photographer and a good one at that. My Blackberry camera just didn't take care of bid'ness that night. So, a Grande Grazie to Bobby!
Rush started off the show with some video footage of what Rush "coulda" been...Rash. it was kind a cool. You'll have to see them to get the full effect, but imagine a young Rush before being "discovered" and playing polka's. The band - Rash, that is, plays a couple of more times throughout the night and added some interesting chuckles. Word has it that the guys from the movie "I Love You, Man", (sorry, I don't recall seeing the movie), make an appearance at the end of the show, so don't duck out without seeing the last video footage.
OK, so on to the Real Deal. Rush hit the stage after the video lead in and Rock for well over an hour. In fact, overall, the band played for nearly 3 hours. They played the classics, the more recent stuff AND added a couple new songs that will be on an upcoming record...yes, that's right, I said record. I'm old enough that I always say record or album...just can't even get in the habit of saying "new CD", so there! The band had no opening act, so it was All Rush, All of the Time. Tonight's show was their Colorado stop on the Time Machine tour and we were definitely treated to a band that knows what they are doing. This three piece band can rock the socks off most bands half their age and get more sound out of the show than bands with twice as many members.
Alex Lifeson is perhaps one of the best but most under rated guitarist in the world, Geddy Lee is the "voice" of the band and while perhaps not the most "out there" bass player, does a fine job and also plays keyboards & bass pedals while singing, last there's Neil Peart.any rock drummer, ( many other genres as well), can tell you that he is the Shizzle. He IS amazing and plays two kits during the night with the second spinning around in front of him while he's playing. Neil is the chief lyricist in the band and for a biker like me, some of his lyrics really hit home. If you ever get the chance, please read Ghost Rider...you get a true feeling for a man who has been to hell and back & it also gives you insights to some of their songs and the origination's of those tunes.
I believe the first song of the night was Spirit of Radio...a Great way to rock the night off to a great start. Rush doesn't necessarily yack to the crowd much, but that ain't all bad, as it just means you get more rock & roll for your buck. Geddy did say, that when you get to be their age; all of the guys are in their 50's, they need to take a break, so, the band took about 15 minutes intermission.
When the band came back, it was time for Moving Pictures, in it's entirety. It's pretty amazing when you hear the whole set of that classic album and realize you were just starting high school when it came out. I have to admit, I wore out two or three cassette copies of Moving Pictures...I Loved that! By the way, cassettes are what came before cd's, but after vinyl & 8 tracks...the band was pretty much flawless in delivery and you could have envisioned yourself back in your buddies basement listening to the album with the lights down, lava lamps & black lights going and a hint of a certain herb in the air...not ME of course, but I heard of folks that did that. Oh yeah, and top off the fashion for the night with jeans and a Rush concert shirt with maybe a flannel shirt over it, ( hey, I grew up in Iowa, what do you want), oh, and don't forget the mullet~ " Business in the front, party in the back!"
The band took another short break after "Moving Pictures"and then came back for a couple more songs and of course more "Rash" videos. The closed out the night with a song from their very first album; "Working Man". Excellent way to close the show! Throughout the show the band was on the Huge screen behind Neil's drum kit that gave a up-close & personal look at the guys for everyone and included a split screen that at some times, showed all three band members at the same time and they also had a jumbo tron screen on the "Exit Stage Left" side of the stage. Both help the enhance the view of some of the more vertically challenged individuals amongst us. Yes, that would include me.
Ultimately, it was a beautiful night for awesome Rock & Roll. Often, what puts a good show over the top and makes it a Great show is the people you see it with. While I'm not opposed to seeing a show by myself, (hey, it's not like I can get a date anyway...), it IS more fun to see it with someone who enjoys it as much as you.
That's All Folks!