Red Rocks is the only other place ever mentioned in the same breath as the Gorge in terms of concert venues so of course I had to go see for myself what all the rave reviews were about. The excuse to finally go came to fruition when STP decided to stop at Red Rocks on their summer tour, which happened to align perfectly with my friends Jason and Susan living in Denver for the moment and a few unexpected days off from work. Marvin and his girlfriend at the time decided to come along partially because the girlfriend’s parents that lived in Denver happened to be out of town that week, thus giving us a free place to stay.
I had not seen STP since they headlined the Family Values tour back in 2001 when they were touring for their last release, the criminally underrated Shangri-La Dee Da. STP disbanded not long after in 2003 due to tensions within the band. After the disbandment Scott made a couple albums with Velvet Revolver and the Deleo brothers made one with Army of Anyone. Now they were back for a “reunion tour” and the fans were there to welcome them with open arms. There was no new album to promote, just a celebration of the badass music already in the catalog.
Red Rocks was exactly as advertised; a natural amphitheater embedded in the red rock formations in the middle of nowhere outside of Denver. The interesting part of the area to me is that these red rocks are only in the one small area where the amphitheater is. Everything else around is nothing but flat land.
I am not sure why but we arrived to the venue fairly early which left a lot of time to drink and screw around in the parking lot beforehand. The only thing we were missing was mushrooms. If I was going to come all that way to compare one natural amphitheater to another I thought it was worth doing it right. Unfortunately Jason’s connection fell through. We befriended our parking lot neighbors but they did not have any either. Then in a moment of sheer serendipity the universe must have heard my request because right after our parking lot neighbors told me they did not have any some random guy came around the car and asked if we wanted to buy some mushrooms. You can’t make this stuff up folks.
I cannot tell you who opened the show but I can say with confidence that the mushrooms were strong and Stone Temple Pilots were on point for this show. They sounded fantastic! I had a great experience at Red Rocks but I still have to give the edge to the Gorge.
SETLIST: Big Empty, Wicked Garden, Big Bang Baby, Silvergun Superman, We Will Rock You, Vasoline, Lounge Fly, Lady Picture Show, Sour Girl, Creep, Crackerman, Plush, Interstate Love Song, Too Cool Queenie, Coma, Down, Sex Type Thing, Sin, Dead & Bloated, Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart