In Ohio there is a well-known regionalism: when you meet someone knew, you ask them which high school they attended. That doesn’t happen out here in Colorado, probably because almost no one is originally from here. Instead, it seems that every other day I am asked, whether by friends or by strangers, “Have you seen a concert at Red Rocks?”
Red Rocks is an amphitheater outside of Denver, known for its phenomenal natural acoustics and for hosting some of the most legendary musicians and performers in the world. And no, Dan and I had never attended a show there. I kept waiting for the right opportunity to change that.
Sometimes the universe whispers, and sometimes it slaps you across the face. The latter was the case when I read the announcement that “Weird Al” Yankovic would be performing at Red Rocks… days before my birthday… alongside the Colorado Symphony.
I’m shocked I have written hundreds of posts on this blog before mentioning Weird Al (to my recollection). Suffice to say the man has been my idol since my friend Amber turned me onto “Amish Paradise” in middle school.
I should clarify that while this was my first concert at Red Rocks, it was by no means my first Weird Al experience. I have already attended roughly a dozen of his concerts, met him at a book signing and stalked him at a chicken dance. (You can ask me about that last one the next time you see me.)
The concert did not disappoint. Red Rocks is as awe-inspiring as it is a pain to get to. Weird Al performed his standards (“White and Nerdy,” “The Saga Begins,” “Dare to Be Stupid”) along with some cult favorites (“The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota,” “Harvey the Wonder Hamster,” “You Don’t Love Me Anymore”). The audience was eating it up, I knew every lyric to every song, and after some initial light rain the weather became spectacular. The orchestra was… overshadowed, but that’s how these things go. The audience was at least rewarded with a bassoon solo.
P.S. The next day, my friend Stef gifted me the birthday card below. I’m not sure if it was meant to be a Weird Al reference, but I took it as one. (The inside says: “…celebrate ACCORDION-ly” and when you press the button, the chicken plays the instrument.)
P.P.S. To make our trek to Red Rocks work, Dan and I both worked remotely from Denver for the day. This gave me an opportunity to pop into the Denver Art Museum for two beautiful exhibits: The Light Show and Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America. No time for a full post on these as I only cruised through during lunch, but I am including a photo from each for fun.