Last week, we talked about a few of the big differences between Los Angeles and Denver. For this edition of Fresh Place Friday, we’d like to focus in on a feature both have in common: world-renowned outdoor amphitheaters.
If you are considering moving to Los Angeles or moving to Denver, you are in for some world class entertainment and rich musical offerings in each location. The Hollywood Bowl brings to mind the glamour and spectacle of Hollywood legend. It is a perfect reminder that underneath the surface fads and trends, there is artistic achievement that can inspire awe. Red Rocks showcases the stark natural beauty of Colorado and the vibrant relief of the Denver skyline. It is as though a stage naturally formed through geologic events. When people come to a concert, they are simultaneously visiting nature and enjoying the showcased talents of advanced society.
Until recently, the natural acoustics of the Hollywood Bowl had been diminished by its massive and iconic shell rather than amplified. It has undergone several changes in structure and materials throughout the years, although the dome shape has remained for the last seventy years. The Bowl, as the locals call it, is probably the only building that has been worked on by both Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry, two of the most influential architects of the last century.
Red Rocks is a park and amphitheater 15 miles outside of Denver and has been hosting events as far back as 1906. It was purchased by the city of Denver in the thirties to showcase the city and its culture, but the main attraction has always been the huge fountain formation of rocks that encase a nearly perfect storm of sound and sight. Huge and angled red rocks jut out from stage right, and provide a natural amplifier that hones the music for the 10 thousand seats in between it all. The unassuming disc shaped stage was designed by a Denver architect and built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, but the point has always been the discovery of an ideal place to listen. And in the case of Red Rocks, nature took care of the details.
Both venues are great to take in the sunset and exist as constantly memorable summer venues, although Red Rocks is the only one that remains open year-round. Both venues have hosted legendary concerts and have subtly made their mark on popular culture. Even acts such as the Beatles, who performed at each, could not overshadow the stage they were on. Red Rocks helped to popularize U2 in the eighties and remained the favorite stopping place of the Grateful Dead. The Hollywood Bowl has drawn opera and symphony performers from the peaks in Paris and Italy since the twenties.
If you move to Denver or move to Los Angeles, you would be remiss to neglect spending an evening at a live outdoor music venue. Whatever your tastes, the diverse line-up of world class acts will give you an opportunity for an experience you will never forget.