Ray, Gray, and Red Rocks Aug 30, 2010
It’s difficult to write a review and not come off as a superfanclubpresident. But there are a few telltale signs that I might be biased.
- I JUST saw Ray LaMontagne and David Gray one week before in Atlanta (with the rest of the Fab4 girls: AudreyAmandaJillian)
- Fifth time seeing Ray live (in 3 different cities)
- Aaaaaand traveled all the way from Atlanta to Morrison, CO to see Ray at acoustically perfect Red Rocks Amphitheater
Here are some wild cards about the night:
- I don’t really like David Gray’s music (have seen him 3x in 3 different cities – don’t ask)
- After seeing both artists a bunch of times, will this one really be any different or have a diminishing return?
- Ray LaMontagne cut his show short a week ago. Will his moodiness strike again?
As we walked into the amphitheater, our jaws were proverbially dropped by the dramatic views of the majestic venue that only Mother Nature could create. The air feels different. Clearer, fresher, and more alive. The temperature was 85 degrees with a breeze that seemed fitting for what we anticipated would be a perfect night to see some good music. And our seats were seventh row. Sweet.
After declaring Atlanta’s open-air concert venue, Chastain Park, complete bullsh*t after seeing this, the show was about to start.
Singer/songwriter, Tift Merritt opened the show a little after 7pm. With a powerful voice and a boring set, her lack of stage presence didn’t engage the scattered crowd that was only starting to fill in. It was obvious she was excited to play at the venue and her set only lasted less than 3o minutes.
Next up, was Ray. You never know what mood Ray is going to be in. He will always perform great. But the audience can always tell if he’s into his show or not. He’s famous for walking off stage, cutting shows short, and is largely fickle depending on if the crowd is paying attention to him. Ironic, for someone who is so painfully shy and admits to hating the spotlight, he sure is sensitive about having his audience fixated on him. I wonder what Ray would be like if he was on Zoloft to manage his mood swings. His shows would probably all suck.
Today was a good day. Onstage at 7:45pm, he opened the show with the driving first cut off of new album “God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise” with his brilliant band The Pariah Dogs. The sold out crowd went wild and you could feel the vibe was just right. It was still daylight and as he went on, night started to fall and Ray played 7 songs from his new album as well as his old favorites. Not usually one to talk with the audience, Ray only thanked the crowd between songs and even did an encore of Neil Young/Pink Floyd covers.
Ray LaMontagne Set List at Red Rocks – 8/30/2010
1. Repo Man
2. New York City’s Killing Me
3. Hold You In My Arms
4. Let it Be Me
5. Old Before Your Time
7. God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise
9. For The Summer
10. You Are The Best Thing
11. Beg Steal Or Borrow
12. Like Rock & Roll and Radio
13. Henry Nearly Killed Me (It’s a Shame)
Medley Neil Young’s “Down By The River” followed by Pink Floyd’s “Speak To Me/Breathe” and closing with “Down By The River”
Closing the show was David Gray who kicked off his set with “Draw the Line” followed by one of the few songs I really love by him, “Fugitive.” David is a great performer that heavily relies on light sequence, mirror balls, and backdrop images during his live shows. Known for his soulful songwriting, I’ve always been more distracted by his wall of sound and his excited bobblehead performance style to pay attention to the lyrics. Tonight, was different. I still can’t understand his lyrics but he sounded amazing. I went all the way up to the top of the amphitheater to experience it from a different angle and for the first time, I didn’t leave his show early. In fact, I didn’t WANT to leave early. You could tell all three performers were in awe of playing at such a historical landmark like Red Rocks. I believe it was a first appearance for all three, too. Everything was hitting just right and me and my girls were about to lose our minds with pure joy. See picture below. 🙂