Since Red Rocks Amphitheatre first opened as a concert venue, more than 2,000 performances have taken place on its stage by musicians in every genre imaginable.
Which meant when the City of Denver started working on compiling an album of some of its best performances, there was no way all highlights could be included.
“We knew we weren’t going to get close to providing a good look at the breadth of artists and performances we’ve had over the years,” said Brian Kitts, Red Rocks spokesperson. “What we tried to do was provide a taste of the many styles we’ve had here.”
The end result is “Red Rocks Live,” a compilation three years in the making that features performances from 1978 to 2016. The three-LP limited edition vinyl collection is available at Red Rocks Trading Post and Visitor Center while supplies last. The album can also can be ordered on the Red Rocks website and is available in a digital format on iTunes, Amazon and other online outlets.
As Kitts explained, staff had to consider factors like copyright and recording quality when considering songs to select. A big get, he said, was U2’s 1983 performance of “New Year’s Day” from its famous “Under a Blood Red Sky” performance. Other highlights include a 1978 performance of “Ship of Fools” by The Grateful Dead and a 2015 performance of “Grapevine Fires” by Death Cab for Cutie.
“We also wanted to include local artists that have become Red Rocks favorites,” he added. “We made sure to include The Lumineers and The Fray in the track list because they’re so popular here.”
Since there was no way to get everything into the album, Kitts said he hopes it serves more as a kind of sonic memory capsule than a historical record.
“When people listen to the album, they might remember being at the show or have memories about seeing the artist perform,” he said.
“Seeing a show at Red Rocks is always magic, and every show here is special.”
To order the album online, visit www.RedRocksOnline.com.
African Children’s Choir tours metro area
The sounds of Africa will ring out throughout the metro area in August, courtesy of the beautiful voices of the African Children’s Choir.
A nonprofit humanitarian and relief organization dedicated to helping the continent’s most vulnerable children, the choir has performed before presidents and even the queen of England, as well as alongside Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Paul McCartney.
Now The African Children’s Choir will be bringing children’s songs, traditional spirituals and gospel favorites — as well as a few dance moves — to a variety of venues. They will be at the Augustana Lutheran Church, 5000 E. Alameda Ave. in Denver, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 2; the Church of God Seventh Day, 9375 Gaylor St. in Thornton, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3; and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 11385 Grant Drive in Northglenn, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8.
No tickets are required, but donations are appreciated. Visit www.africanchildrenschoir.com for more information.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Leon Bridges at Red Rocks
When Leon Bridges first appeared on the pop scene in early 2015, his retro soul sounds conjured up a latter-day Sam Cooke, albeit with a little less gospel and a bit more sly sexiness. His eagerly awaited sophomore album “Good Thing,” dropped in May and proved Bridges is not one hit wonder.
I’ve seen Bridges rip a stage to shreds, and that’s why I know that you do not want to miss him storm Red Rocks, 18300 W Alameda Parkway, with Khruangbin and Masego at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9.
The line-up for the concert is bullet-proof from start to finish. Jamaican-born songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Masego is a master of blending jazz, funk and electronic music together, and Texas-based trio Khruangbin wrote one of the best songs of the year with “Friday Morning.”
Go to www.redrocksonline.com/events/detail/leon-bridges for tickets.
Busk with the best at Union Station
As anyone who has spent time in downtowns the world over can attest, street musicians and buskers are often incredibly talented musicians and fun performers to watch. So, a whole group of them in one place promises to be a good time.
That’s just what attendees to the third annual International Buskerfest at Union Station from Aug. 10-12 can expect. Multiple shows will be presented by buskers each day beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 10, 10 a.m. on Aug. 11 and 11 a.m. on Aug. 12.
Attendees are invited to dress up in costume and meet internationally recognized buskers. There will also be face painters, crafts and more.
Proceeds benefit Arts Street, a nonprofit organization that works with Colorado children, offering real-world experiences to help students, primarily inner-city youth and young people who struggle in traditional schools, move toward careers in the creative industries.
For a full lineup, visit www.unionstationbuskerfest.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. A community editor with Colorado Community Media, he can be reached email@example.com.
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