Denver Vacation (Part 3)

— Aaron

OK. This is probably the most “exciting” blog I’ll write about my vacation. On our way to the camp for the first time our guide, (a friend who lived in the area) suggested we visit the Red Rocks park and amphitheater. It was only a few minutes out of our way, so we decided we would. We explored some of the natural beauty of the park, and we worked our way to the amphitheater only to find it blocked. This was a little disappointing, as it’s supposed to be one of the prettiest parts of the park. But as we got somewhat close, and we were idly chatting about concerts we would still like to see. My wife Dana had mentioned that she would really love to see Dave Matthews there at Red Rocks. And I agreed that that would be quite an experience and one we wouldn’t want to miss.

We heard someone playing down on the stage, like a sound check. We didn’t recognize them, but we were curious. So when a semi-official-looking person chanced by, we asked who it was that we heard. He said, “Probably Sheryl Crow. She’s playing tonight, and so is Dave Matthews.” Dana, in excitement, asked him if he was serious. (He was.)

This got us all excited. Questions were going through our minds and from our mouths: When were we going to be in Denver again? (Probably not soon.) And will we ever have the money to go to Denver just for a concert? (No.) And now that we’re going to have a kid, will it ever be easier to get here? (Not until we’re empty-nesters.) So all signs pointed to: “We should get tickets for tonight if we ever want this to happen.”

As we were driving out of the park, we actually saw Dave Matthews a little ways away from the road with his entourage!

So when we got to camp, we checked out Dave Matthews’, Red Rocks’ and Ticketmaster’s websites. No one mentioned it. Not a peep. This was confusing, and a little off-putting. We looked on Craig’s list and found someone selling tickets. This was a private concert for the Democratic delegates – and their friends, we assume (The Democratic National Convention was going on that week in Denver). We phoned the guy selling the tickets and he didn’t want to hold them for us, but he did have a number available. So we agreed on a price with him and went to go get cash (scalper’s don’t often have debit card readers or anything).

When we got there, he apparently had no recollection of our call and wanted to charge us WAY more than we agreed on. LAME! But we told him (the truth) we have only four more dollars in cash. And since the concert was starting in ten minutes, he finally took the price we offered originally. (We got the feeling that this was fairly standard practice for scalpers – to forget all calls and haggle on the spot.) We were a little worried about the authenticity of these tickets, but that didn’t turn out to matter – clever fakes would have fooled the ticket taker since he didn’t even really glance at them.

We again were a little worried when the first person to get up on stage was a politician giving a speech. “Did we pay money just to hear people speak, and a couple of songs in between?” But we were not disappointed. Though there were a number of speeches, Sheryl Crow, Sugarland (a country band we had never heard of), and Dave Matthews all played nice, long sets.

I must say we aren’t hard-line Democrats – you could call us moderates – so sometimes we were in agreement with the speeches they were giving and sometimes we weren’t. But now and again, we would be not clapping while EVERY one else was, and we decided it was best to clap because it almost felt like anyone who saw us not clapping might get angry with us.

We had a wonderful time; it was beautiful (the picture below doesn’t even do it justice) and the music was great (Dave Matthews especially). You don’t have this kind of thing happen every day (or even every vacation), especially unplanned.

The view during a concert at Red Rocks
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