If we were to try to sum up Red Rock Amphitheater in Colorado in a single word it would simply be “breathtaking”. Our most recent trip to the magnificent outdoor venue took place on April 20th for a sold-out show with Slightly Stoopid (featuring Karl Denson), Cypress Hill, and Tribal Seeds.
We arrived at the venue fresh from the airport and the genuine personalities of the Denver crowd quickly became apparent. We met locals who
welcomed us into their tailgate, thrilled that we had made this trek to the Rocks. Everyone we came across had the same happy reaction as they tried to describe what we were about to experience that night.
The climb up the mountain to the Red Rocks entrance is an event in itself. The hike made us acutely aware of our physical prowess and hearing the bass echoing from the amphitheater all the way from the parking lot kept our feet moving.
We eventually made our way into the venue and explored during Tribal Seed’s late afternoon set. We felt like little kids at Disneyland, adventuring around to see the attractions. There was a great variety of food and drink vendors dispersed throughout the venue to discover. In case you were wondering, the nachos were on point.
We posted up at different vantage points as we made our way through the crowd. Whether you were watching the band jamming om the stage, the light projections onto the rocks beside you, or turning around to glance at the rising crowd above, every angle offered a remarkable view.
The view from the top of the venue is equally amazing as the one from the photo pit. From the top, the structure of the amphitheater can be fully visualized, as well as the beautiful Denver skyline behind the stage. The thousands of people surrounding you feel microscopic compared to the canyon rock reaching towards the sky beside you.
The acoustics in the amphitheater are simply unparalleled. It sounds like you are beside the artists in their studio; the connection to their music was heightened as we were able to literally feel the sound pulsating on us. This is what music is supposed to sound like.
Cypress Hill still knows how to put on one hell of a live performance. They played back-dropped by a beautiful sunset as the crowd participated in constant sing-alongs to Cypress Hill’s classics. DJ Muggs and Bobo Correa performed a wild scratch and bongo solo that sent crisp echos into the mountains. It was great to get our hip-hop fix as they rapped into nighttime.
Finally, a smoking skull was projected on the rocks and the Slightly Stoopid crew rolled up on stage in a hot-boxed van. It was, after all, 4/20.
Miles Doughty screamed “COLORADOOOO” into the mic about 100 times that night, but the first time sent shivers
down our spines as his voice echoed all around us.
C-Money fist pumped with his trumpet in between songs and the serenading saxophone was continuously harmonizing with the band, keeping our heads bobbing to the rhythm.
The atmosphere in the crowd was obviously appropriate for the “holiday”, in a state that recently legalized marijuana. A fog of smoke rose constantly from the audience, sitting above everyone’s heads like ghostly halos.
It was a magical experience all around and one we will not soon forget. For those in Philadelphia looking to get Slightly Stoopid, their “Kicking Up Dust” summer tour will be rolling into Philly on August 10th to play the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing with Atmosphere and The Budos Band. Tickets are on sale now.
[Photo credit: Mike Martinoli]