A trifecta of Train, Maroon 5 and Gavin DeGraw — the bill at Red Rocks Amphitheatre last night was truly transcendent from opening to encore. The on-their-feet fans knew it. The Grammy-winning players, too.
Train’s Patrick Monahan said, at show’s end, “Of all the moving moments in Denver, Boulder, and Colorado, this is better than all of them.” He called Red Rocks, “the most beautiful place on the planet.” Last night, that felt true.
The multi-platinum Train worked up a mighty head of steam, blew a lonesome whistle, opened with “Parachute” and rolled along through hit tracks. Monahan strolled the steps, through the crowd, crooning “Marry Me.” For “She’s On Fire,” he invited a gaggle of girls on stage as the Trainettes. He got the crowd singing “Meet Virginia” and “Hey, Soul Sister.” He had fans flash their cell phones and took a photo on his phone so he could Tweet it later.
“I’ve never seen a more beautiful place filled with more beautiful people,” he said. “I’m moving to Colorado!”
The band broke ranks to perform an exotic medley of Blondie, U2, Lou Reed and Led Zeppelin hits with a world beat blending Flamenco guitar, cello, tribal drums and “Dancing With the Stars” action. Their encore consisted of “Free” and “Drops of Jupiter.” Save me, Pat Monahan.
Maroon 5 is so hot they could’ve headlined. The band blazed and dazzled with their set list and light show. “We know how special this place is,” said smokin’ showman Adam Levine, clearly enjoying the Rocks. He divided and directed the crowd in two parts for “She Will Be Loved.” Sustained, riotous crowd appreciation demanded a Maroon 5 encore.
Opener Gavin DeGraw sparkplugged the gig. A cocksure, stage savvy hambone, he racked up style points, seemingly channeling an amalgamation of Jerry Lee Lewis and Justin Timberlake, Van Morrison and Elvis Presley. On “I Don’t Want To Be,” DeGraw lit up Red Rocks even during broad daylight. And, beware Adam Levine, DeGraw’s also got “moves like Jagger.”
Colleen Smith is the author of “Glass Halo”–a novel selected as a finalist for the Santa Fe Literary Prize — available at Denver bookstores and on Amazon.com.
Daniel Petty is a Denver-based photographer and social media editor at The Denver Post.