Boots on the Ground! Things to do in Denver When You’re Drunk Pt 2: Red Rocks!

yeah right

Welcome back to another edition of Boots On The Ground! In part 1 of this 2-part series I shared my experiences in and around the Denver area, focusing mainly on Coors Field, beer, food and beer. Today I wanted to show you the primary reason I visited the Denver area a few weeks ago.

I went to Red Rocks!


I suggest enlarging each of these photos if you have a chance. I took about 200 photos and these made the cut.

It’s a pictorial!

I first became aware of the Red Rocks Amphitheater, located in Morrison Colorado and just a 20 dollar Uber ride from downtown, back in the early 80’s. MTV aired a live concert of U2 at Red Rocks.

Sorry for the crappy quality. I didn’t upload it.

I was absolutely blown away by the visuals of the amphitheater. I had never seen anything quite like it. It was then that I vowed to myself that one day I would see a live show there.

This is the story of that day.

I’m a serious musicphile and attend multiple concerts per year. Hell, I saw a show the week after seeing the one I’m going to tell you about. Whenever I attend a large musical gathering I always start to wonder, am I getting too old to do this? The answer is always an emphatic “FUCK NO!” I plan on attending live shows until they scrape my sodden remains off of the dance floor.

Fun fact! The first live concert I ever attended was in 1977 and I’ve been going ever since. While I am primarily metal-centric I do attend multiple genres of concerts. I’ve partied with Snoop Dog! I won’t get into the extensive list of bands but I will say I’ve seen a LOT of bands. A LOT!

While planning my trip to Denver I checked the web site for Red Rocks and accessed their calendar of events. Red Rocks hosts every musical genre you can imagine so I had quite the choice of acts to peruse. The weekend before the show I attended was “Reggae at the Rocks” weekend which sounded like a bunch of fun. Then I saw a date listing…

David Byrne.

Sold and fucking sold!

I’ve actually seen Talking Heads live 3 times back in the early 80’s. Familiar with the movie “Stop Making Sense?” I saw the exact tour the night before they filmed most of it. All three times the band was fucking fantastic. Each performance qualified as one of the best shows I’ve ever seen and having never seen David Byrne tour solo it was time to do just that.

Best part about the schedule was the Colorado Rockies were in town the weekend before and I was able to go to 2 games. See part 1 of this series. The show I attended was the Monday night after the weekend series.

We’ve got a few things to show and enlighten you with so let’s do just that.

As mentioned I took an Uber ride from my room in LoDo out to the venue. It was about 20 bucks each way. The driver took me as far as regular vehicles were allowed and dropped me off “near” the entrance.


The visuals were already incredible.

Here is the most important tip I can give you about attending a show at Red Rocks in photo form.

Do me a favor and enlarge that photo a few times. Notice that line of brightly colored “ants” ascending the side of that goddamn mountain?

Yep. That’s the walk in. NOBODY told me that in order to attend a show here you had to CLIMB THE GODDAMN ROCKIES BY STAIRCASE!

Take another look.

I exercise daily including walking for fitness every other day but I do that shit at sea level. This was a fucking climb at serious elevation. There were people doubled over gasping for breath all the way to the top. I only stopped the one time but still. You can do it!

File this away for future reference folks.

When you reach the entrance, after you down your first beer of course, you ain’t done climbin’ yet.

The visuals around this place are amazing.

What’s great is as you walk into the theater you are at stage level so you can get a real nice look at the stage before climbing to your seat.

Another view.

I was in row 35. As I reached my seat I got my first view of one of the more familiar visuals here. The Rocks.

The lighting changes the coloring of the rock pile dramatically as the evening progresses. You’ll see.

One thing to take note of is the amount of space between the rows. There is plenty of room to walk down the rows without disturbing the folks in your row. It’s extremely well laid out. As I sat down they were posting public service messages on the big screen. Enlarge this for entertainment.

Sure. Everyone made sure to pay attention to the rules and NOT fire up a joint or 2 or 20,000. I can pretty much promise you a contact high if you’re not partaking. I had a tasty edible on the way in that I consumed while I climbed the stairs to the venue. If you don’t have any smokeables the entire audience is happy to share.

As I was waiting for the show to start, I looked around and began to wonder how difficult it was going to be to get a beer and eliminate said beer. Then I looked at the end of my row just a few yards away.

That little building you see is a BEER STAND! IN MY ROW! The photo was taken while I was sitting in my designated seat. Holy shit this place fucking RULES! Not to mention that there are wandering beer vendors who will gladly bring a beverage to your seat.

They thought of everything!


As “effects” were settling in I again took notice of the surroundings. You can’t help but be amazed by how fucking gorgeous this place is.

The sun was beginning to set and the atmosphere was definitely changing.

There was an opening act called IBEYI. They are twin sisters of Cuban and French origin. I hadn’t heard of them but apparently they were in Beyonce’s “Lemonade” video. Which kind of explains why I hadn’t heard of them.

They were really solid. Cool stuff. The twins joined David Byrne and the entire band for the final encore of the night later in the show.

After a bit the sun had set and it was about show time.

This is one of my favorite photos ever.

Just before David Byrne took the stage, there was a murmering throughout the crowd that grew louder and louder and turned into a pre-concert roar.


Holy fuck are you shitting me? That’s a full moon rising right as the band took the stage. If I was still in my acid head stage I might have been content to just die right here on the goddamn spot!

A full fucking moon too?

The band took the stage.

You know? I had some pretty cool concert photos of the performance but I’m going to keep those and the memories for myself.

It was easily one of the best shows I had seen maybe ever. The setlist was just nuts. He played sooo damn many Talking Heads songs. There were about 10 other musicians on stage and at one time EVERYONE was playing drums.

I do have a good shot of what my brain was seeing during the show.

THAT! That’s exactly what my brain saw.

At the conclusion of the show I had to take one last photo of the Rocks.

And the exodus began in earnest.

Bring a little patience as you exit the venue. The good news is you are walking DOWN hill this time but it is a pretty good hoof to the Uber/Lyft pick up spot. If you take the time, use the restroom and be prepared for a little wait you’ll be fine. Of course it’s going to be a little “cluster fuckery” since there’s only one road in and out. It took maybe 40 minutes for my ride to work through the traffic but I had no issues with that. I was feeling quite amazing at the time.

Final Uber ride back to the hotel and there I was.

This didn’t just meet my expectations of what I wanted this experience to be: It blew them right the fuck away.

I was talking to some of my “seat buddies” around me before the show and I told them that I wasn’t a religious person but this place felt spiritual. It was powerful as fuck.

This is Sacred Ground.

I WILL be going back and right damn soon.

If you are a fan of live music or even if you’re not this destination needs to be immediately placed on your “Must DO!” List.

Go. See. Listen. Live.

Just go.

yeah right
yeah right
yeah right is a lifelong Vikings fan. And always wanted to be an astronaut. And a cook. So he's cooking for astronauts now.
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Your “Giant Nuts on the Table” Friday Evening Open Thread – [DOOR FLIES OPEN]

[…] Right released the second half of his trip to Denver, where he went to Red Rocks and saw David […]

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

An incident during a performance by Jethro Tull on June 10, 1971, led to a five-year ban of rock concerts at Red Rocks.[9][10] Approximately 1,000 people without tickets arrived at the sold-out show. Denver police directed the overflow, non-paying crowd to an area behind the theater, where they could hear the music but not see the band. The situation seemed satisfactory until some of the people without tickets attempted to enter the amphitheatre by charging at, and breaking through, the police line. Some of those without tickets began lobbing rocks at the police, and the police responded by discharging tear gas at the gate-crashers. The wind carried the tear gas over the hill, into the paying crowd and onto the stage. Following the “Riot at Red Rocks,” Denver Mayor William H. McNichols, Jr. banned rock concerts from the amphitheatre. For the next five years, shows at Red Rocks were limited to softer acts, such as John Denver, Sonny & Cher, The Carpenters, Pat Boone, Seals & Crofts, and Carole King. The ban on rock and roll was finally lifted through legal action taken by Denver concert promoter Barry Fey, who tried to book the band America at the venue in 1975. After being denied a permit by the city, Fey took the city to court, and the court ruled that the city had acted “arbitrarily and capricious” in banning rock concerts at Red Rocks. Starting in the summer of 1976, the rock bands were once again welcomed at the venue. Jethro Tull played Red Rocks again on August 12, 2008 and on June 8, 2011.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Most wasted performer; Tom Waits; Ian Mathews was supposed to be the opening act for the Eagles and he got laryngitis. They found Tom in a downtown bar that Jack Kerouac & beat friends used to drink at and brought him up to take Ian’s place. He was fucking wasted; still put on a pretty good show considering and remembered most of his lines, pretty much him and his piano.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

*Most wasted performer [that I’ve seen at Red Rocks]


Thank God the time I went we were drive all the way to the entrance. My fat ass stopped being used to the altitude as it was. I’d have died.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Glad you enjoyed the shit out of it.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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One of my biggest regrets from my time living in CO is not making it to a show there. We went once during the day to walk around and check out the views, but obviously not the same.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

RR show with most estrogen; Chris Issac, the womens be dripping for that dude, really good show too.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Cool story bro alert:

Moose the most wasted; two straight days of the Eagles. Those were the days when they allowed you to stay all day, so drinking and smoking all day long. A few other drugs and the I wondered down to get my hand stamped with my fake ticket for the restroom trips and got thrown out. Managed somehow to sell some other fake tickets for a random scalper dude and got back in over the course of five hours. My friends had called the sheriff’s dept. and the hospital to see if I was there. Showed back up in time for the show.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Show of trippin’ balls the most; Bruce Springsteen.


Well, clearly I need to go to Denver.

Game Time Decision

That place looks amaz-balls
/ adds it to the bucket list.


– Andy Reid, standing outside a random fried chicken restaurant

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

First weed smoking at Red Rocks was a Genesis show in 1976.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Back in the day it was free form open seating; people would put blankets down and it was difficult to walk down the isle. Tripping over people is a good way to meet them.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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