Sunday, December 23, 2007

Rocking at Red Rocks

Journal Entry: Twelve, Rocking at Red Rocks
Red Rocks Amphitheater is nestled just west of Denver a few miles south of I-70 near the small town of Morrison. This is not a part of the Arkansas River valley, but it is an electrifying summer experience that all should have. It is a natural red rock, open air formation that towers three hundred feet on each sloping side. The massive monolithic natural creation keeps secrets of the Jurassic period of 160 million year ago. Fossil fragments of the giant 40 foot sea serpent, Plesiosaur, the marine reptile Mossaur, and flying reptiles can all be found here. The amphitheatre itself was dedicated in 1941. The city of Denver, years ago decided to use this form for a venue for music. Its original name was the Garden of Angels and has attracted musical artists since the first of the 1900’s. It has evolved into the best acoustic amphitheatre in America. The musical sounds are not tampered with or absorbed at all because of the hardness of the rock. This situation allows the ten thousand listeners, who are seated directly in front of the stage, an astounding musical experience. This particular night the rocks glowed red as the sun set caressed them and we had a spectacular lightening show as a storm came very close as well. We started the night in a small line waiting to climb a steep ramp. There were several vendors selling their wares to us as we waited. One memorable vendor was walking around selling “special brownies”. Another vendor was selling Hemp I Scream. He also generously gave samples of his treats to all who wanted it.

We were lucky enough to actually sit on the seventh row from the stage. We were there to see the rock and roll icon, Bob Dylan. The first band was named Full Metal Jacket and the 20 something crowd were attending just for them. I heard some surrounding people say Bob Dylan, for them was just a bonus. Those of us from the sixties era knew Bob Dylan was the king. It was interesting to see all ages at Red Rocks this night; the just out of college crowd, through the grey hairs who grew up with Dylan and protesting the Vietnam War. My son said Dylan’s lyrics were so true with the current feelings of disdain over American involvement in the Iraq war.
I told him that Dylan just gave the old songs about Vietnam a rebirth and found a new younger audience to please. Either way, all I know is that ten thousand fans literally stood for two hours while an older version of Bob Dylan, 66 years old to be exact, showed everyone how to be a rocker at any age. The music was full of energy and the raspy voice of Dylan was actually a soothing, familiar sound that made the grey hairs in attendance have a feeling of peace and security. It was obvious that Dylan did not have to continue to tour with concerts, since I am sure he does not need the money now. But the fact that he seemed to really enjoy the music itself as much as we did, made me smile. When we drove to Red Rocks that evening, the sky had an uncharacteristic haze over the front range of mountains.
After attending the concert, we realized that the haze was coming from Red Rocks itself. The ushers were more concerned though, with cell phone usage during the concert, than the very palpable aroma of marijuana. It was a very appropriate venue, setting, and artist for the memories and smiles brought back to the minds and faces of the older audience.

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