June 10, 2008

Reports From The Road by Bryan Devendorf (Post #11)

A day after reaching his monumental tenth post, Bryan Devendorf returns with his second entry in double figures. What's happened in 24 hours? The National find themselves near Morrison, Colorado, playing the same spot where John Denver made music on TV. Accordingly, the venue's historical significance and the area's rugged geography bring back memories for Bryan, a man always good for an anecdote. This time, it's about 5th grade, U2, and the Reagan era. In addition, you'll learn which band Bryan doesn't particularly care for as well as the name of The National's sound man. Fun facts, for sure. If you care to see our raconteur and his band live (they're quite good), be sure to check the shows page for dates and venues. As always, photographs from the tour are available for your viewing pleasure on Flickr. Thanks for stopping by and take care.

DAY TWELVE (6/3): Red Rocks

Fifth-grade Music. The assignment is to bring in a record from home to share with the class. Something fun. Ronald Reagan is midway through his second term. "Morning in America" has given way to even more bullshit. I resolve to take a stand and turn my classmates on to the music of U2. Specifically, Under a Blood Red Sky. "It's a couple years old now," I explain as I lower the needle onto the blank space before "Sunday Bloody Sunday." This is not Dionne Warwick & Friends. Tumbleweeds.

And so this is Red Rocks; this is the Edge is on my mind when I first set foot in the venue. (By the way, most of that album was recorded in Germany—fucking Germany.) Anyway, below decks you could be anywhere. Anywhere boasting glory shots of bad bands* forever memorialized on foam core. It is a travesty. But the amphitheatre is beautiful, carved into the side of a hill and framed by these impossibly perched slabs of actual red rock, like in the old Road Runner cartoons.

Previous nights have played out like episodes of This is Your Life... Tonight is no exception. Several old faces from Cincinnati are here. Also my college roommate, Paul. A whole decade has gone by since we last met. I am Caesar returned from Gallia.

So the show is pretty good. The sound is great here. The mix position is unusually close to the stage; I can see the whites of Brandon's eyes.

After the show, a hippie with a 4Runner drives us to yet another Marriot. If all goes according to schedule we'll be back on the bus tomorrow afternoon. I miss my bunk; I miss "The Hurricane."

*e.g., Nickelback.


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