My wife and I were on a one week vacation in Denver, CO staying at our Airbnb house in the Highlands district. OUR MAIN MISSION in Colorado was to see the very talented JD McPherson and his band . . a new fav of ours. It so happened that our best opportunity to see this talented dude was as opening act for Robert Plant & Alison Krauss at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Thursday, September 1st. Now my wife lived in Denver, CO for 12 years many moons ago and had been to Red Rocks many times.
I’ve never been to Colorado in my life so this was a big new experience. I was pretty excited ! We arrived around 4.45pm and it was very hot. Even though we had dinner reservations at the Ship Rock Grille at 6.15pm we had to hang out in the stifling heat for over an hour before we could pass through the main gate at 6.10pm. Normal admission time was 7pm and the concert was due to start at 8pm. After dinner we had a quick look inside the Hall of Fame downstairs and a general look at the merchandise kiosks on the top level. Then we made our way down a lot of stairs to our seats in the 23rd row slightly right of center stage. PRETTY GOOD SEATS and not cheap !
WOW . . my first impressions of Red Rocks Amphitheatre after seeing the stage down below will stay with me the rest of my life . . even better than the Hollywood Bowl. We hooked up with our friends Russ and Sara who were sitting in row 22 dead center. JD McPherson and his band came on first and played a fabulous 30 minute set. I’m not sure if many in the 10,000 crowd knew his stuff but he was great.
SO GREAT that Robert Plant & Alison Krauss had enlisted JD to play lead guitar in their band for their entire show. WHAT A CONCERT ! Being a lifelong Led Zeppelin fan . . sadly I never saw Led Zeppelin or Robert Plant / Jimmy Page in action back in the day so it was a huge thrill to see Robert Plant on the stage. A GENUINE SUPERSTAR ! We were not real familiar with the bluegrass / country singer / violinist Alison Krauss but she held her own and then some. They made a pretty impressive duo !
In fact when Robert Plant first came on stage he said they would play some songs from their newly released album and a few from the murky past . . meaning a bit of Led Zeppelin. JD McPherson played some incredible riffs during the night. After the concert ended around 10.30pm we headed back upstairs and bought a couple of cool t-shirts related to the artists. We eventually made it back to our car down below and waited about an hour for things to calm down before we left. WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE !