Wednesday, July 17, 2013

7/17/13 Mayer on the Rocks tonight

John Mayer at Red Rocks, tonight!

His Born and Raised tour, long postponed for the granuloma recovery, is coming through about a month before the release of his next album, but no matter. 

The show is the second of two sold outs and the tickets are general admission, so Amber and I are diving into the  fray and getting there earlier than the parking lot opens to see how close, row-wise, we can snag a couple of seats. 

God bless Red Rocks for letting the first 20 rows go to the people willing to get there early, rather than pay through the nose. 

There's a number of songs I really enjoy off of the album, but this one remains at the top of the list.

Sorry, youtube is restricting it so you'll have to click through, but it's worth it. Someone did a lovely job with the fan video here.

Walt Grace, desperately hating his whole place,
Dreamed to discover a new space,
And buried himself alive,
Inside his basement, tongue on the side of his face when,
He's working away on displacement,
And what it would take to survive.

'Cause when you're done with this world,
You know the next is up to you.
And his wife told his kids he was crazy,
And his friends said he'd fail if he tried,
But with a will to work hard,
And a library card,
He took a homemade, fan-blade, one-man submarine ride.

That morning, the sea was mad and I mean it,
Waves as big as he'd seen it,
Deep in his dreams at home.
From dry land,
He rolled it over to wet sand,
Closed the hatch up with one hand,
And peddled off alone.

'Cause when you're done with this world,
You know the next is up to you.
And for once in his life it was quiet,
As he learned how to turn in the tide,
And the sky was a flare,
When he came up for air,
In his homemade, fan-blade, one-man submarine ride.

One evening,
When weeks had passed since his leaving,
The call she'd planned on receiving,
Finally made it home.
She accepted,
The news she'd never expected,
The operator connected,
A call from Tokyo.

'Cause when you're done with this world,
You know the next is up to you.
Now his friends,
Bring him up when they're drinking,
At the bar with his name on the side,
And they smile when they can,
As they speak of a man,
Who took a homemade,
Fan-blade, one-man submarine ride.

Edited to update:

Concert was great, but the best part was getting to share it with Amber who'd never been to Red Rocks before. 

We arrived at 5:00 and they were already letting people into the parking lots, despite the website saying it would be 5:30 before parking opened. There was already a good line of people stretched out from the gate waiting for it to open, supposedly at 6:00, but actually 5:45.

Tip for Red Rocks Concert goers who are holding general admission tickets in cases where the seating is open free-for-all between rows 4 to 20 is get to the Rocks Upper North Lot no later than 4:30 assuming a 7:30 show. 

You can bring in food in small coolers but all plastic bottles must still be factory sealed or you have to empty them out at security. They will search both you and your bags. 

Bring ponchos in case of rain, not umbrellas. If your umbrellas have the typical metal points on the end, they are not allowed in. If they are large golf-sized, not going in.

The Upper North gate will give you the best access to the front of the venue upon entry. If you're racing for front rows, this is the spot. Don't go up to the top or you have to get down 70 rows once they let you in. From the South side, you're walking in around row 35 and have to climb down. 

We weren't hard charging enough to squeeze in by the time we got through and made the mistake of not really scouting spots where sight lines would be better. Early on, you will be fooled into thinking a spot looks great, until it's packed with people standing up in front of you the entire show. Best take away from last night: if it's possible, get on the row directly behind the sound booth, row 16.

Phillip Phillips opened the show at 7:30 and played a set of 6 or 7 songs. He was very good. He sang the couple of radio hits you know, the better stuff was new to me. 

At 8:15 as he was wrapping up with Home, Amber and I hiked to the top of the amphitheater to check out the pale sunset and watch the lights come up. We ogled the very cool zip-up John Mayer hoodie and choked on the price. $85?!?

The set up for John's show included half a dozen giant southwestern rugs, which I'm sure does something good acoustically, but also looks really cool.

Anyway, 18 rows back standing the whole time in flip flops wasn't the greatest on the feet, or the lungs thanks to pot central, but he sang a number of songs off both his upcoming album, Paradise Valley, as well as Born and Raised. He did an acoustic set of old stuff including 3x5, which I've never heard him do live before, and a trio of stuff from Continuum, but only one from Battle Studies (Who Says, which played really well to the Colorado crowd).

Not much came out stage-wise with the phone, but here's what I got:

The deceptively "good angle" when you don't have tall people mashing in the rows ahead of you.

Looking back to the top

Looking down from the top


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