The Mind of Matt: Red Rocks | Rock Candy

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Mind of Matt: Red Rocks

Posted on Thu, Aug 17, 2006 at 5:26 PM

If I can't be at Red Rocks in Colorado (dammit), at least "The Mind of Matt" blogger Matt Smith is. Even if you have to see Journey, Red Rocks would be one place I'd want to see a concert. At least Matt got to see Def Leppard with them.

Here's Matt's report:

I have been to hundreds of concerts. I am probably hitting the 1,000-show mark by now, or at least getting real close. I’m not talking about local acts. I am only counting tours. When considering tour venues – clubs, amphitheaters, arenas, stadiums, and festivals – Red Rocks is one of the best. It has got to be the best nature made amphitheater on the planet. There are about a billion out door venues across America. I have really sweated out some shows at those in the summer months, but nothing like this. This venue ranks right up there with seeing Pink Floyd in Germany, Bob Dylan in Italy, and U2 in Greece. The views of Denver and the mountain range on the horizon, the look of the rocks as the sun sets – Kodak moments, one and all!

click to enlarge unknown.jpg

They have a nice grill at the visitor’s center, and a hall of fame. The hall contains memorabilia from the bands that have played and a list of every concert at this historic venue. What a site! Check out the amphitheater at

So, on with the show:


We get in early, about 5 p.m. There is a party area for everyone with a backstage pass. Food, Drinks, a private spot to pick up T-shirts and other merchandise. Everyone is taking photos, drinking, just having a good time. Some members of JOURNEY show up. The old women in the crowd – these people are older than my mom– totally and completely lose their minds! It just freaked me out! I have seen a lot of crazy things, but dude! The site of these Grannies and other senior citizen types getting buck wild!? Man, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. The AARP members just pretty much bum rush Journey. Autographs, photos with the band, kissing them, it was ruff. No! I do not have pictures of the massacre! Poor, Journey.

The Journey concert was just there really. I can’t say much. I am not a fan. I think the venue helped. I wouldn’t have watched the set if they were playing elsewhere. They benefited from being at Red Rocks. The sound, the atmosphere and the crowd helped. I don’t buy their music. They had 3 of the original members. No, Steve Perry is not with them. They have a youngster – by Journey standards – as the front man. He has LSD – Lead Singer Disease- but for the life of me, I don’t see why. He is not very good. They limped thru all of the hits form the 70’s and early '80s. You know the songs; they were played on the radio until grooves were worn into the records. Pop music with synthesizers is a horrible thing. They played the first six tunes with the drum tech/roadie on the kit. Deen the drummer was sick. He finally got behind the drums at song number 7. The show got a little better at that point. Not much, but a little. Well, if you want to check them out – I wouldn’t know why – here it is


Awesome as always! They opened with “Lets Get Rocked.” The last song was “Photograph” The encore consisted of “Love Bites” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” They have had 3 tours in the last three years. All of the shows have been massive. The new album "YEAH" is a collection of covers. They have put the Leppard spin on songs they grew up loving. The set had all of the top hits for them in the USA and just two songs from "YEAH." Phil Collen is in amazing shape for 50 years old. He can still work the axe. Vivian Campbell is still a guitar god! He is better now than in his Ronnie James Dio days. Joe Elliot still has the pipes! The crowd had mad love for Rick Allen. There is much respect for that drummer. I must say Rick Savage has slipped a little on Bass, or maybe he was having an off night.

They really didn’t have stand-alone drum or guitar solos. It was cool how they worked little mini solos into extended versions of songs. “Rocket Man” became a real long jam session with Joe taking a break and the band members showing off skills. It was sweet! I saw these boys on tour in ’83, '88, '93, '04, '05, and this year. They will be back, and so will I! They still rock, check ‘em out at

“It’s Better To Burn Out, Than Fade Away” -- Matt Smith

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