Monday, July 10, 2017

Pink Martini with The Colorado Symphony and Rufus Wainwright at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO on 07/06/17

Pink Martini with The Colorado Symphony
There was a joyful atmosphere at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Thursday night. The mature crowd was in a carefree mood. The security guards were pleased to be working at a tranquil event (the opposite of the electric dance music from the previous night). Assistant conductor Christopher Dragon grinned as he led the Colorado Symphony through a spirited night of music spanning across the globe.

Rufus Wainwright and his tiger pants
A bearded Rufus Wainwright wearing a western shirt, pants covered with tiger images, and sandals opened with Oh What A World. The biographical song states, "Why am I always on a plane or a fast train/Oh what a world my parents gave me/Always .... traveling." Wainwright is the son of folk music legends Loudon Wainwright III and Kate MaGarrigle. He has been a traveling musician since the age of 13. The symphony's string section backed his lofty cabaret voice perfectly during Vibrate (a song about a relationship through cellphone calls). In contrast, Wainwright covered The Beatles' Across the Universe and Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.  When lighting flashed, Wainwright smiled and informed the audience, "It was Leonard."


Thomas Lauderdale and China Forbes
Pink Martini's Bandleader/pianist Thomas Lauderdale met lead vocalist China Forbes while attending Harvard. They bonded over Puccini and Verdi (also socializing and not studying). A few years after graduating, they formed Pink Martini in Lauderdale's hometown of Portland, Oregon. The first song they wrote Je ne vex pas travailler (Sympathique) made them a sensation in France and they have been touring the world ever since. Pink Martini describes them selves as The United Nations house band of 1962 meets Lawrence Welk on acid. The music of the evening covered several different languages (thankfully English was one of them).


China Forbes and Conductor Christopher
Dragon of the Colorado Symphony
China Forbes, the self proclaimed Diva Next Door, requested all the Turks in the audience join her on stage while she sang the Turkish Akim Bahardi from their new album Je Dis Oui. Featured singer Timothy Nishimoto shared a story about his Japanese uncle limited English language skills as the introduction to Zundoko Bushi (Nishimoto inserts the phrase "Big One" as a tribute to his uncle during the song). The Armenian love song Ov Sirun Sirun was performed as a duet between Timothy Nishimoto and English horn player Kyle Mustain.  Pink Martini performed the Spanish Yo Te Quiero Siempre, German Ich Dich Liebe, French Joli Garcon, and Croatian U Plavu Zoru. Turning the music back to the English language, Forbes dedicated Song of the Moon to the love of her life whom she meet on the dating app Bumble (an endorsement for online dating).  Fan favorite Eugene got the audience on their feet to the tale of China Forbes drunken encounter with a young man at a party.




Pink Martini - all photos taken by the Rock and Roll Princess
Rufus Wainwright came back to recreate the famous Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand duet Get Happy /Happy Days Are Here Again (Wainwright was Judy and Forbes was Babs). The night ended with their signature song Brasil complete with shakers, horn solos, and a whistle.  "Then tomorrow was another day/The morning found us miles away/With still a million things to say."




See you at the next show.  I'll be the one in the tiger pants singing in Croatian.






Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Denver Broncos Block Party featuring Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and Edison at Sports Authority Field Mile High on 7/2/17

Bronco Block Party at the South Lawn at
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
It's not everyday that you enter a concert and get high-fived by Miles the Denver Broncos Mascot. This was the first Denver Broncos Block Party (the next one will be in September). The crowd was made up of a mixture of Denver Broncos fans thrilled to get a chance to gaze upon all three Denver Bronco Lombardi Trophies and Andrew McMahon fans thrilled to get a chance to gaze upon the man himself.

Andrew McManhon started playing piano by ear at the age of nine. His band Something Corporate were signed to a recording contract two years after McMahon graduated from high school.  He later fronted Jack's Mannequin a more mainstream piano rock band until 2014. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness is his latest musical venture that has produced two albums and one major hit.


Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
Smoke started billowing out from the stage signaling the start of the show. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness got the crowd dancing right away by playing Fire Escape (about being up till dawn) from their latest album Zombies on Broadway. McMahon told the crowd, "If you have something to do tomorrow, cancel it." This was his introduction to Dead Man's Dollar about a musician's sacrifice to earn a living making music.

After playing a large portion of new material, McMahon played songs from his Jack's Mannequin period.  Dark Blue, a song about isolation, had the crowd singing-a-long passionately and loudly to every lyric. Swim, a ballad written about his fight against leukemia, gave McMahon an opportunity to promote his charity Dear Jack Foundation that raises money for cancer research.

Andrew McMahon and a patriotic pool toy
A rainbow parachute (like children use in gym class) was given to the audience to wave along to the disco inspired Synesthesia.  McMahon pleaded for politics not to divide us, but have music unite us (it might be a good idea to send rainbow parachutes to Washington). Fulfilling his patriotic duty, McMahon crowd surfed on an inflatable eagle asking the crowd not to let him fall on someone (safety first). Cecilia and the Satellite, his biggest hit, closed the show to the crowd once again singing-a-long.  The eagle pool toy sadly did not make another appearance during the encore.


Edison
Denver's own Edison got the Denver Bronco Block Party started. Singer Sarah Slaton, wearing her signature back fedora, led the band through a set of indie-folk rock melodies about traveling, astrological signs, and raging. The band recently moved out of their apartments and put everything in storage to hit the road in their van named Van Morrison dragged by their trailer named Trailer Swift (awe ... road humor). They shared their love for traveling while performing Open Road that has lately received radio airplay. The Denver Bronco Block Party was silenced during Slaton's battle cry during Civil War, "My head/My Heart/Are raging a civil war." It sounds like she might need an inflatable pool toy to cheer her up.

See you at the next show.  I'll be the one riding an eagle floatation device high-fiving a mascot.