Tuesday, August 9, 2011

8-8-11 Film on the Rocks

In June I saw a listing that Marc Broussard was going to be at Red Rocks in August. This thrilled me, since the last time I saw him was in '08 at Aspen's Blues, Brews, and BBQ festival.

I didn't think he'd really gotten famous enough to fill a venue as big as Red Rocks, but went in search of information. As it turns out, he was an opening act to one of the series in the Film on the Rocks, an arm (and very prosperous one) of the Denver Film Society. And on Marc's night they were showing Jurassic Park.

I debated then whether or not to do the Trading Post VIP package. What finally swayed me was the reserved seating down front and the knowledge that on a Monday night I could not show up in the early afternoon to guarantee good seats like the die-hard FotR people do. It sounded like a good deal -- dinner beforehand on the lawn included.

Since the pre-party didn't open until 6:00 and the film was set to vaguely start at "dusk" -- which I was guessing to be around 8:00, we headed for Morrison at 5:30. The parking wasn't too bad -- probably 200 yards from the Trading Post. We got our wristbands and our first look at what "free dinner" meant.  Two slices of pizza limit, a plastic cup of soda/water/beer/or wine, a mini-cupcake or two, a bag of chips, and a health bar, each at their own table of sponsored freebies. My black olive slice of pizza had ONE black olive on it. We brought a blanket, sat on the ground, people watched while we ate, and told ourselves, it's all about the reserved seating.

woo-hoo for the chocolate peanut butter mini-cupcake!

this is Bob's "not impressed so far" face

 I just liked the sky :)

 The View

So at 6:30 we head for the amphitheater. The line to get in stretched from the top (and its a very long climb to the top) all the way down to the south parking lot. I turned around and asked the wristband ladies where we were supposed to go to get to the reserved seating. "Oh, you have to get in line with everyone else."

 On the hike to the line

The Jurassic Park jeep makes the rounds

There are TWO people doing bag check at the top of this line for a sold-out crowd (that's 9000+ people) carrying armloads of blankets, stadium chairs,  coolers of food, and trying to secure a place among the unreserved rows of space. We finally get all the way to the top and the woman tells me, you can't bring that camera in. Now, mind you, this is not a professional camera by any stretch of the imagination. But it does have a detachable lens. And, you know, I could make bank taking grainy night pictures of the film screen of a movie that's been out since 1993 and selling them if they let me in with this camera with a detachable lens. Geez. And no, you can't come in until you walk it the back down the stadium, past the trading post (further down) and down to the car and back. Bob did the grunt work, poor guy, while I went on in and got seats. Then, without ANY bags at all, the security woman told him he had to get back at the end of the line (the mile long one) which was . . .  FOR BAG CHECK. Ridiculous.

The VIP section was the saving grace -- since we'd left the "party" after only half an hour to get in this monster line, most of the other people who would be sitting in this section were still down at the Trading Post eating their one black olive.

The cordoned section started about row 5, near center and I was able to set up the stadium seats on row 6 just left of the stage without any problem. There appeared just enough space between us and the mom and her son nearby to ensure we weren't setting up camp next to crazy people. (That was foreshadowing.) And, yes, of course I had another camera in my bag. My backup camera, however, is on its last leg, so apologies for the terrible lens scratches and shadows.

Marc's set started AS I was setting up the chairs, so I least I didn't miss exactly what I'd come for. His set was about 45 minutes, mixture of old and new, and I think he might have won over some new fans. His table stayed pretty busy after the set. If memory serves, he opened "Come Around" and followed with "Hard Knocks," "The Wanderer," "Try Me", and from the new album "Lucky", "Yes Man", and "Eye on the Prize."

Bob got back about three songs in, sweating, irritated, and who could blame him? Deana texted while he was heading back to the car and she and Olivia found us not long after Bob arrived. They couldn't get into the roped off area, but I'd spotted the unwritten rule of a filling stadium -- go down to the very front when it appears to be filling up. The way the amphitheater is set up, you enter sort of midway to the side of the seats. And since the rows at the very top stay empty, most people, seeing crowds down front, start the hike up. That leaves lots of holes in the first 15 rows if you're willing to climb over some folks. So they found us and grabbed some seats two rows in front and a bit more to the left of stage. Marc still closes out with "Home" and I wonder if he'll ever have a bigger hit. Hopefully his new label will give him the marketing push he deserves.



End of the set with a full amphitheater behind them.  
I've emailed the photographer for permission to post his angle of this shot -- will add if I hear back.

 After the set ends at 8:00, I head for the Marc-Stuff table and score a concert tee, visit with Deana and Olivia for a bit while they clear the stage, and think, ok, it's dusk, let's get this movie started.

No such luck.

We endure another hour, part of which was filled by a pretty dreadful stand-up comic, announcements (film geeks! text dfs to 50555 to vote for the denver film society to win a $10K grant!) and fluff.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned quiet looking mom and son have been joined by Drunk Dad. Drunk Dad is feeling no pain and is completely unaware of personal space. And he's now sitting right next to Bob, repeatedly making slurred comments that end with "sorry, don't hit me." Charming.

It's 9:00 when they FINALLY start the film. I guess this was to give the hoards time to get past the TWO bag check people and find a spot to sit.

But wait, the film isn't actually starting.

We have FIFTEEN minutes of commercials to sit through first.

And then?

A Looney Tunes featuring Daffy Duck, which might have been fun, except they decided they should choose an un-funny very early Daffy cartoon because it had a dinosaur in it, so it would fit the theme.

It's no longer dusk but absolute darkness of night when Jurassic Park finally begins. By this time, the Party Bus people have staggered into the seating area, drunk, high, and ready to PARTY WITH THE DINOSAURS!! WOOOOOO!  Honestly, the group in front of us who lit up probably half a dozen joints in the first hour were actually the best neighbors. They were mellow, except for the getting up and down to find some munchies. The drunks, however, felt the need to holler the lines, whoop at almost everything else, and yell additional comments in between.

Now, I wasn't expecting a quiet gathering of film buffs offering reverential and solemn quietness, but I also wasn't expecting the vibe of a mosh pit about to break out in celebration of the T-Rex's appearance, either.

Since Nick is house-sitting until Wed., Sammi was home alone. And, as it turns out, not all that thrilled about it. Since I'd estimated the film starting around 8:00, I was guessing we'd be home by 10:30. So at 10:30 she texts us, asking if we were on our way.

On screen, John Hammond is eating ice cream and talking about the flea circus. We're only a little past halfway through. And as I read the text over Bob's shoulder, we look at each other and say, "Let's go."

taken from the car -- with the banned detachable lens ;)

So we missed the last half of the movie, which I can watch at home and quote along with to my heart's content in my living room any time, as well as the inevitable traffic jam of  drunks and 9000+ people leaving at the same time, and got in before 11:00.

Deana and Olivia toughed the whole movie out as well as the traffic and got here a little after midnight to crash at our place instead of having to make the drive back to the Springs.

All in all
Marc's set: A
VIP seating: A
VIP Pre-Party: D
Movie Experience: D

There's, another example. See, here I'm now sitting by myself, uh, er, talking to myself. That's, that's chaos.


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