As a kid, I can remember it very clearly. My brother and I spent quite a bit of time staying with our grandparents, who lived only a few miles away from my parent’s house. We’d hang out in the attic apartment in the house, where there were two beds, a bathroom, and a wall that we were allowed to draw on. My brother had a boom box and we’d listen to all of his tapes, over and over. One in particular always caught my ear. It was U2’s (now legendary) concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater. At the time, I’d never been to Red Rocks, or even Colorado for that matter. That didn’t matter. You could hear how special the place was – even if you were listening to a cassette of a concert recorded there from an attic in Tennessee, more than 2,000 miles away. Twenty years later, on a road trip to Colorado (before I moved here permanently) I would finally behold the beauty of Red Rocks. We drove to the park on an off day in the spring. There was melting snow on the ground, and it was a bluebird day. I remember peering over the top rail, down into the amphitheater and all of my daydreaming was confirmed. It was no doubt a magical place. I ran down the steps to the bottom, stood on the stage, and yelled “This is Red Rocks…This is The Edge!!!!” – A reference almost anyone in my age group would immediately recognize.
Red Rocks has become a right of passage for aspiring artists around the globe. When you finally reach that stage, it signifies something massive. We’ve done several eTown tapings at Red Rocks over the years, and it is always an amazing experience. I’m pretty sure that for any musician that gets to play on that stage, it is a dream come true. This week, we are bringing you yet another very special episode that was recorded (mostly) at this legendary venue. Denver-based band, The Lumineers, share the Red Rocks stage with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra – adding a gigantic sound to a band that skyrocketed to success in a very short time, on account of their hit song “Ho Hey.” The Colorado Symphony Orchestra has been taking on projects like this quite a lot over the last few years. They’ve collaborated with other local groups like DeVotchKa as well, and the result is always pretty amazing. When you listen to this week’s episode, close your eyes and imagine the most beautiful place you could ever see a concert. Are you with us?? This is Red Rocks…and this week, this is eTown!
Also with us in the other half of the show is the incredibly talented cello player and composer Zoë Keating. Born in Canada, and now residing in San Francisco, Zoë stops in our solar-powered musical performance hall and production facility to share some of her mind blowing solo compositions on the cello. Zoë mixes in modern technology such as a laptop, and loop pedals to create incredibly beautiful soundscapes in her musical explorations. The result is stunning, and we know you are going to love what you hear!
For our eChievement Award story this week, we check in with the folks at Conscious Alliance. They are a great organization based right here in Colorado, that is finding a way to feed the hungry by partnering with musicians, artists and athletes at large scale concerts and sporting events.
It’s eTown ‘On The Road’ and at home at eTown Hall – all in this week’s episode. Be sure to tune in or podcast! It’s a good one!