Thursday, June 05, 2008

you hadda be there

Trying to choose just one phrase from this fantastic R.E.M. concert review was so difficult. My mom should go to more shows and write more reviews, I think. Don't you?


Last night we attended the REM concert at Red Rocks, and it was quite a memorable experience on many levels. First of all, I insisted that with GA tickets we needed to get there fairly early to get good seats, because it's first come, first pick of seats. So with the gates opening at 5:00 for a 6:30 concert I didn't feel it was unreasonable to get there around 4:00. Arriving at 4:15 at the parking lot at the "top," we only had a 45 minute wait in beautiful sunny weather till we could enter the gate from somewhere near the middle of a long line. But before we could enter, all our drinks had to be de-capped....yes, apparently they're afraid we'll toss our bottles of water and pop at the performers if they have caps on them. Fortunately, I had put the drinks into a plastic lunch bag so they didn't get all over the place as we carefully avoided getting knocked over as people tore past us to get the best seats! I made no mention of the two frozen bottles of water that were keeping our sandwiches cold, but Bud probably would have had he known. Think what good missiles they would make!!

Even though we parked at the top lot, we decided to go on down to the front section and were able to get seats in row 20. We proceeded to enjoy our ham and cheese on rye sandwiches and a couple of $7.00 beers (while our opened drinks went flat). The first two bands were not our favorites, but they did have their following of adoring kids. "The National" was tolerable, but in retrospect, not loved too much because people actually sat in their seats for most of the performance. A group of old hippies/bikers? in front of us started passing joints early in the show. So I didn`t feel too bad about my hidden frozen capped waters. I guess the no smoking rule doesn't apply to anything but tobacco! Ha, ha! Anyway, no one seemed to mind about the smoke. I think they were all jealous that they didn't have any.

After enduring the loud grueling throb of "Modest Mouse" or, as one of our fellow folks in line called them, "shy rodents" we were starting to wonder if we'd made a mistake in spending $150 for this lovely evening. Bud kept trying to determine if he was the oldest person there when a REALLY old hippie with a long white beard and wild white hair with little braids here and there came around selling hemp ice cream. Tourists were getting their pictures taken with the hemp ice cream sellers. Anyway, we decided that Bud was indeed older. After all, we are older than the hippie generation. We passed on the ice cream.

After an intermission, during which time they set up for the Main Event, we were all poised for a fabulous show. Needless to say, it was beyond any expectations I had. By then it was dark, the rocks around us were lit so they jumped out like a surreal Parrish print. When the music and the accompanying light show commenced, we were bowled over! When they played the second song, "What's the Frequency, Kenneth? " from my favorite Monster album, I was totally hooked. It was incredible. The light show, which included a grid of moving faces of the band members and colors and shapes and words to appropriately accompany each song,
only enhanced our nearly overloaded senses. I thought it was amusing when they played "Losing My Religion" that they focused the lights and cameras on the audience as they sang, "that's me in the spotlight losing my religion." And then the audience was on the screen. Well, you can read the reviews, but you hadda be there.

Well, a good time was had by all. And those great seats? No one sits during these concerts--the whole time!! But I didn't mind standing during the REM segment as we'd been sitting for 3 hours before that! I was able to navigate the stairs with frequent "rests," but I noticed a lot of young people resting too! I am experiencing considerable soreness in my calf muscles, but that's fine. I don't want to wait too long before we go again.

I hope you've enjoyed my "review."
Love you,

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