Red Rocks Park sits just west of the city, nestled in among the foothills, resplendent and unique for it's jutting conglomerate and sandstone ridges, as if Mother Earth has thrust her fingers up through the dust and clay of the world towards the sky.
Formed 300 million years ago when the Rocky Mountains were escaping their terrestrial bonds, the brick-colored slabs in the foothills are home to one of the grandest outdoor amphitheaters in the world.
Framed by Creation Rock on one side, and Ship Rock on the other, the stage lays at the foot of Stage Rock overlooking the eastern plains.
The tiered seating for 9,000 and the small stone buildings for back stage were built by the Civilian Conservation Corp* in 1941.
However, America's focus was redirected due to the United State's entrance into WWII in December of that year, and the amphitheater's official opening to concerts was postponed until 1947.
Since then, thousands of music lovers have enjoyed the joyous sounds of voices and instruments bounce about them in perfect acoustic synergy.
I think one of my favorite concerts was when Robert Plant was touring with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on the Non Stop Go Tour. I remember sitting in the cool summer evening of July 4th, and listening to the wonderful wailing of Mr. Plant as I watched in rapt attention as countless fireworks exploded in the sky below me, above the twinkling city lights disappearing into the dark horizon.
Another exceptional experience one can encounter is the Easter Sunrise Service. Held, rain or shine (or snow) every Easter, participants can watch in awe as the sun slips past the eastern horizon while they listen to the spiritual words of the non-denominational minister on the stage. Celtic talent, Moya Brennan, shared her angelic voice with several thousand worshippers as this year's music guest on the crisp morning of April 24.
Still, no matter who you are, be it star or stock, while standing center stage one can't help but wonder just how many soft gasps have escaped the parted lips of such acts as Jethro Tull, Rush, Barry Manilow, the Grateful Dead, U2, and the Beatles (on their first tour of the U.S. in 1964). The view is that impressive.
And one can certainly imagine the magic experienced by all in the fan-shaped amphitheater, looking out on the sweeping plains to the east, nestled in the brown palm of Mother Earth.
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