Railroad Earth, Galactic & Greensky Bluegrass 7.12.13

Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Morrison, CO

Words & Photos By J-man
Audio By Gerry Gladu

The line at the Red Rocks box office swelled to a daunting size as folks checked their cell phones for the time with beers in hand. Rain came and went, then returned once again cooling off the lot scene both in regards to temperature and general action. Inside the venue the stage was set for what would be a relatively intimate show with Greensky Bluegrass, considering the circumstances. Folks waited in line for over an hour as security conducted fairly extensive searches of the evening's patrons. Greensky came out on to the stage with a look of awe on their faces as they smiled and laughed. The energy and excitement was palatable as they took up their instruments to begin, only to laugh again at the perceived insanity of the situation and a realized dream. Their set included fantastic renditions of Greensky material, as well as an unreleased song or two from their upcoming album. The band sounded on top of their game as they flowed seamlessly and nailed their cues. As always, members of the band turned towards one and other, almost squaring up in a sense, musically. Greensky welcomed a horn section on "I'd Probably Kill you" that consisted of Corey Henry (Galactic) and Andy Goessling (Railroad Earth). As the set grew late, Red Rocks filled in with fans who were thrilled that they at least caught a portion of Greensky's set. Congratulations to Paul Hoffman, Anders Beck, Dave Bruzza, Mike Bont and Mike Devol on their first Red Rocks play!

Greensky Bluegrass Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on July 12, 2013.

One Set: Jaywalking, Light Up Or Leave Me Alone, Windshield, Wings for Wheels, Leap Year, I'd Probably Kill You, Don't Lie

What followed was a rain/lightning delay that looked like it might turn Greensky Bluegrass' set into the evening headlining/closing set, however as is often the case, the storm passed. Galactic took the stage about ten to twenty minutes late, to the delight of the three quarter filled venue. The New Orleans funk vibe took over with some well executed jams that moved the attentive crowd. Even as it rained down on the band, they played on, welcoming Corey Glover (Living Colour) for a handful of vocally driven compositions. A couple of which pushed the boundaries of his vocal range and tapped into an element of skat that did little to nothing for the music. Through an extended set Galactic performed tightly and with direction leaving the crowd pleased and buzzing from the experience.

Railroad Earth Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on July 12, 2013.

Set One: Black Elk Speaks> The Jupiter and the 119, Happy Song, Saddle of the Sun> Mourning Flies> Lone Croft Farewell, Storms, Head

Set Two: Potter's Field> Old Man and the Land, Colorado, Crossing the Gap, Untitled #12, Warhead Boogie> Black Bear> Stillwater Getaway, The Forecast> River Intro Jam> Mighty River> Peace on Earth, Seven Story Mountain

Encore: Railroad Earth

Following a switch over of gear and a squeegeeing of the stage, Railroad Earth came out to a better than expected showing at Red Rocks, considering the unfortunate weather. They began with "Black Elk Speaks," which ventured into a sort of spacey realm to kick the night off. "Jupiter and The 119" followed, exciting the crowd and encouraging a joyous sing along. The vibe continued with "Happy Song," and a big smile from Todd Sheaffer. Red Rocks let loose in a frenzy of dancing and movement as the band took on "Saddle of The Sun" which transitioned into "Mourning Flies," bringing a sort of somber vibe, before taking another upswing with "Lone Croft Farewell." The movement in the crowd slowed significantly as the music seemed to continue on at a slower pace with "Storm" and finally fan favorite, "Head," to close the first set with one more upbeat song. The get down resumed with Andy's fast paced banjo work as well as Tim Carbone and John Skehan III's exchange of peaking lead work. The set concluded, the house lights came up and folks headed in all directions.

Railroad returned to the stage for the beautiful "Potter's Field" into "Old Man and the Land." The crowd again perked up on "Colorado," for what what was the first peak of the evening. "Crossing The Gap" began with Tim's vocals and an accompanying harmonies. Carey Harmon's drum work took center stage as the band launched into an uplifting "Untitled #12," with his rhythm section counterpart, Andrew Altmen," bringing it on the bass. A meandering fourteen minute "Warhead Bookie" went into "Black Bear," that kept pace before transitioning into the instrumental "Stillwater Getaway," that reflected the bands fast paced chops and pickin' ability, to close the run of songs. The climax of the show came in the form of "The Forecast" into "Mighty River" into "Peace on Earth," and ending the second set with "Seven Story Mountain" that reached almost twenty minutes and involved some of the most in depth jamming of the evening. The beautiful instrumentation helped to boost a setlist that reflected a scattered concept of flow, with the compositions elevating then sinking from song to song not allowing the band to gain much steam. With the evening's conclusion came a sense of satisfaction from the three quarter filled venue. The following evening Railroad would take it to the Boulder Theater for an much more intimate sold out performance.

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