If you looked up the word "spoiled" in the dictionary I'm pretty sure there would be a photo of me for the week of July 4, 2011. Allow me to elaborate.
In my quest to have a very Colorado summer, I have been nearly desperate to get up to Morrison and see a show at the famous Red Rocks Park. So my friend Amanda and I made 4th of July plans earlier than I have ever made holiday plans in my entire life and bought tickets to see Toad the Wet Sprocket and Blues Traveler. Then two weeks before the 4th, Amanda got a rad job and moved to Indianapolis. Leaving me with two tickets and a bunch of friends who had already had things going on. So I threw it out on the internet and crossed my fingers that someone really fun had nothing to do on the best day of summer. I toyed with the idea of going up alone-I've been to shows by myself and it can actually be really fun-but somehow going to an iconic venue for the first time on the 4th of July solo just felt like a bummer.
I lucked out big time and my friend Ashley thought she was moving a week earlier and found herself with nothing to do so she took the ticket and we decided to celebrate her last week in Colorado with a bang. (Note-either I am driving people out of Colorado Springs or I need to make friends with fewer flight risks.)
I'll just gush for a moment about how spectacular Red Rocks-it's hard not to speak in hyperbole about it. You drive up this windy road and park and then you walk up about a billion stairs and then suddenly you realize you are seeing a concert quite literally IN a mountain. As in, there are rocks all around you and the band is performing to a backdrop of red rock.
Here we are at the top of the venue-see how it looks like you can see forever? That's because you can see forever.
We were having a hard time sitting still and then this happened
Those first 10 seconds made the hair on my arms stand up. I was right back to about 19 when our family friend's asked me to dog-sit for a week and I would spend every evening with the patio doors open blasting "Fear" and feeling like I was finally an adult. Which seems hilarious now because I was 19 and barely an adult but this album forever has the feeling of the first tastes of the world absolutely feeling like your oyster.
So this week was made, I didn't really need anything else to happen for it to be another pretty great summer week.
But then I happen to be down chatting with some guys in the office and they happened to mention that they might have this extra ticket to see the Avett Brothers and suddenly they are thrilled to get a cheerful designated driver and I'm beside myself to be hitting yet another show at Red Rocks.
They had a friend in town from Florida who had the ticket hookup and the whole evening turned out to be just kind of perfect. Or as Mark put it on the way home, "this was an error free evening, we didn't make a single mistake." The guys were the kind of smart-aleck gentle teasers that remind me of my brothers and because they were all on loan from wives, I got the play the snarky kid sister role that is really one of my best.
The tickets turned out to be VIP, it rained just enough to feel like an adventure but then stopped before it got cold or annoying, the guys managed to get set lists and photos with the opening band and the Avett Brothers did a John Denver cover which made me cry and miss my dad. Guys with kids don't get to a lot of rock shows so it was awfully fun to be with people that were just as outwardly giddy about being there as I always feel at a good concert.
The Avett Brothers melted our faces off as I knew they would but the real revelation of the evening for me was finally understanding all the fuss about Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. They are from Vermont so they played in New England quite a bit but I had never paid much attention. The five of them strutted on stage at precisely 7:30 and proceeded to bring the house down. Grace Potter herself is tall and beautiful with long blonde hair and legs that I didn't think existed outside a Victoria's Secret catalogue. And then she grabs a guitar and this unreal voice takes over and I instantly regretted never learning to play an instrument. Did I mention she rocks three inch heels through the whole set? And that she also plays the keyboard? I was transfixed. If I were a tall, blonde girl who could screech like that and play like that, these are the songs I would want to write and this is the kind of show I would want to put on.
This video pretty much sums it up-be sure to check out around 5:50 when the whole band gets on the drums together. Sick.
I don't even know how the rest of the summer expects to compete. I'm happy to let it try!