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Katie Carroll: Red Rocks opening weekend

Katie Carroll
EXP_MUSICWRITER

— It’s officially spring break in Steamboat, and everywhere from E3 to MountainBrew is closing down for a brief hiatus. Why stick around town? There’s no good reason, especially as it is opening weekend at Red Rocks! Head to the famous red park and amphitheater this weekend to beat the onset of mud season blues. Nothing says summer like a concert at Red Rocks, and if this week’s weather in Steamboat is any indication, we are all in need of a little sunshine and red.

On Friday, Bisco Inferno lights up the night. The Disco Biscuits opens the summer with a three-set performance with Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann of The Grateful Dead to celebrate the Dead’s 50th anniversary. The band is holding a mini-residency this week and playing solo shows at the Ogden Theatre tonight, tomorrow and Saturday night, so if you’re a big fan, you might as well head down now. Their Friday night show is in Morrison for the big shebang.

If there’s anything you can expect from a Disco Biscuits show, it’s big lights and a huge amount of energy. These guys must carbo-load for days before a show, because their trailblazing, trance fusion can turn an entire amphitheater into a marathon dance party in just minutes — and they keep up. Their lighting designer Johnny Goode just gave an interview to Listen Up Denver!, where he self-professed getting “hooked” on the jamtronica band — it just seeps into your system. He jams in the light booth just as much as the guys improvise on stage. He will also have new lights and designs at Red Rocks. Sounds like everyone is ready to step up the game.



The Disco Biscuits are Allen Aucoin – Drums, Marc Brownstein – Bass, Vocals, Jon Gutwillig – Guitar, Vocals, and Aron Magner – Keyboards, Vocals. And you better know who Mickey and Bill are, folks. Tickets start at $44.75, all ages show, doors at 5 p.m.

Saturday night, Red Rocks welcomes SOJA and Nas with DJ Westafa and J Boog opening. It is the weekend of marathon carousing, people — a perfect destination for some atrophying ski muscles. SOJA blends reggae, go-go, hardcore, Latin, rock and hip-hop. If they escape genre, then that only means there is music for people of all tastes during their show. Their wide ranging sound probably comes from their band philosophy, to speak up for all humans through their music and lyrics. Their latest record, “Amid the Noise and Haste,” carries that mission especially in its song “Shadow,” which is a partner production with UNICEF’s Out-of-School Children Initiative. The album also encourages that with the guest artists they engaged on different tracks, including J Boog, who is opening on Saturday night. They’re not only explosively energetic, they’re also positive. What a breath of fresh air.



American rapper Nas takes the stage with SOJA, and complements the positive and forward vibe of the night. His well-publicized feuds with Jay-Z and Bill O’Reily distract from his honest lyrics and social analysis. Nas partners with PTones Records, a non-profit after school music program for urban youth and his musical work is honored with Harvard University’s Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship. Extraordinary musicians with big hearts at Red Rocks? You might as well light a stick of dynamite. Tickets start at $45, all ages show, doors at 6:30 p.m.

Music contributor: Katie Carroll is a writer with a love for music and adventure. She hails from New Jersey, just 8 miles from New York City and 57 miles from the legendary Stone Pony. After spending years music hopping in the city and working for performing arts venues, she is excited to bring her passion for music to Explore Steamboat and the Steamboat Pilot & Today. Despite the Jersey upbringing, don’t worry; there won’t be any Springsteen overload (unless he is the surprise concert at the mountain, of course).


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