I love live music. I love not-live music. I love Beethoven and Black Sabbath and everything in between. I love watching one person create numerous sounds on a synthesizer or a marching band creating a melody with a plethora of instruments. I am that person who taps their fingers, pens, or whatever else is lying around on my desk. Each tap has a different sound I use to create a song in my head. Meanwhile it is taking every ounce of my coworkers strength not to break my hands. Music hits my soul and makes me dance, makes me sing, takes me back to where I was when I heard the song and imagine how I will use that song to narrate a part of my future. Yes I have a wedding playlist, and no I don’t have an engagement ring on my finger. I have a driving playlist, and yes I pretend to shift gears in my automatic as I drive for extra effect.
I am sure this passion for music has been with me since I was in the womb. My dad told me that I would kick and move a lot when music was playing, specifically Fleetwood Mac. And here I am with the name Sarah Rhiannon as a result. Yes the song is called “Sara,” but you get the point. When I began the fourth grade I decided I really wanted to play the trumpet. My dad took me to Milano Music Center, and there I saw the beautiful brass I knew I wanted. However, the store owner suggested I try a group of instruments to see which one I liked the most. I was up for it and my fingers moved in excitement ready to give them all a shot. I picked the trumpet first of course, but it hurt my mouth when I tried to play it. I felt my world starting to fall apart. It couldn’t be! The store clerk then handed me a clarinet. He instructed me to suck on a reed first, and at that point I knew this wasn’t for me, but I still gave it a shot. I couldn’t get a single sound out of the damn thing. I remember looking at my dad and he could tell I was getting frustrated and he assured me we would find something. I then was handed a flute. It was beautiful and I instantly loved it. He gave me some tips of how to structure my embouchure and then told me to go for it. It made a sound! And not just any weird sound like the other two instruments had, it made a beautiful sound. I could make this beautiful sound?!? I fell instantly in love and we walked out of the store with a new Emerson flute and some Disney sheet music (an essential for any elementary band kid).
When thinking about my next solo road trip, I decided I would go to Denver. The first and last time I was in Denver it was actually to watch a high school friend compete in the International Drum and Bugle Corps as a member of The Colts. It was at Mile High Stadium, and was amazing. Well true to form, when planning the trip I decided the most important thing was to go to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. I looked at what dates had a good group of shows that I would enjoy and then sent a message to my concert guru, Kaitlin, to ask which one she thought would be the best to see in that venue. Oddly enough, an hour earlier a friend of hers had asked if she knew anyone who would want to buy tickets to Rufus Du Sol, one of the bands I had asked her about. The stars had aligned and it was definitely meant to be. I snagged a ticket from her friend and then began to plan where I would stay.
One thing I would suggest if you are heading to a show at this venue, buy the shuttle pass. Kaitlin had suggested it, and it was the simplest and most stress free way I can imagine getting to and from a show in this type of venue. I have had terrible experiences in the past getting home from shows using ride share, and I was a bit worried about parking and driving home if I were to take my car. The shuttle tickets you buy online (do it well in advance as they do sell out), and then you arrive at whatever bar/restaurant they pick up and chill until the bus comes. I ended up a great local dive called Illegal Pete’s and had some food and drinks and read while I waited. The shuttles play music and let you have drinks on them which is also great fun. I met some interesting people on the shuttles and they had invited me to join them during the show, but I was actually really excited to get into natures stadium seats solo and connect with myself, the beautiful skyline, and the incredible musicians I knew I was about to see.
As the shuttle arrived, I didn’t even feel the blast of October Denver air that hit me as I walked in my sandals up the rocky steps, socks in hand that I had bought at Walgreen’s across the street from Illegal Pete’s as I realized sandals were not the wisest choice. I tell ya though, Walgreen’s carries some damn soft socks. I felt this beating in my chest that I knew I was finally doing something I had always wanted to do. That’s when everything leading up to this moment hit me. In a matter of twenty minutes I had decided who I wanted to see, purchased the ticket, purchased the shuttle pass, and had my AirBnb booked. Ready to cross an item off of my bucket list. I held my breath in anticipation as I rounded the corner that led to the ampitheatre, wine and newly bought blanket in hand, and I was blown away. So blown away in fact I did not get any good pictures of the area. As I write this I am kicking myself, but I also realize that I was living in the moment and I am alright with that.
As the music started I felt so at peace looking at the beautiful Colorado skyline past the beautiful red rocks all around me. I stayed seated during most of the beginning of the show with my eyes closed just feeling everything around me. Soon though I found myself getting up and dancing like no one was watching. My blanket my fun dancing cape. My toes tapping inside my soft socks. The laser lights lighting up the sky while the fog trickled through it and made it seem like we were all in the clouds. I was listening to the beautiful music of Bob Moses and Rufus Du Sol. At first I was embarrassed that I didn’t know the lyrics to most of the songs, but then I realized my body knew the beat. The girl who has always had music playing in her soul took over. I felt like Stevie Nicks twirling in circles, feeling free, and choosing to let the music take over.
For anyone who is a music lover, I would highly recommend making the trip to see a show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The music sounds amazing echoing through the mountains and the views are beautiful. It is truly a magical place that I cannot wait to experience again.
Happy Concert Going!