Article by Nina Veazey
Approximately 16 miles east of the center of Denver, Colorado, the pale Rocky Mountains turn to a dusty maroon sandstone. While the front range is known to admire the mountain range from a considerable distance, the Red Rocks National Park rises above the city lights. Amid the Rockies’ beauty, a magnificent and purely natural amphitheater has been cultivated and treasured by concertgoers and artists internationally – one that I have fallen in love with at first glance.
Red Rocks Amphitheater is a climb to approach, sitting at 6,450 feet above sea level – taller than Niagara Falls. I have often found myself winded by the steep ramps that wrap around the mars-like formations. At the top my journey is rewarded with a birds-eye view of suburbia, along with a massive stage nestled in between the twin monoliths that were once named the eighth world wonder.
Artists across the world consider a gig at Red Rocks to be an honor; everyone from the Beatles to Ed Sheeran have filled the canyon with out-of-body experiences. I have been to Red Rocks four times over countless summers: sometimes for pop music such as Ed Sheeran or DJ Snake, other times for indie shows such as Lauryn Hill or Dr. Dog. Every time I’ve spent the night with this amphitheater, the moon shines bright above the venue, and the vibe is undeniably positive. Logos and lights are shined against the red rocks’ smooth surfaces as the sun goes down, and the moon never fails to show off in the west.
The position of the stage parallel to its surrounding natural elements provides an almighty acoustic sound, further enhanced by a high-profile sound system. The sound booth is positioned in the center of the crowd, just between general admission and reserved seats. As eager as I am to find a ticket near the front of the bandstand, a position close behind the sound booth provides a perfect blend between manmade and natural speakers.
My memories at this venue are not merely nostalgic; they are built by decades of collaboration between harmony and landscape, in which nature and music combine to create a spiritual experience. I have had the pleasure of making new friends, finding new sounds, and learning new truths at this natural gift that mother nature has carved.