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Piano Tuning & Maintenance | Yamaha Disklavier Specialist | Portland, OR + Vancouver, WA

Photo Essay: Peter Gabriel at Red Rocks

Articles & Blog

Photo Essay: Peter Gabriel at Red Rocks


Around the same time I inadvertently went on a blog posting hiatus in September, I had the opportunity to go to Denver, CO, both for work and to visit family. I didn’t plan for extracurriculars beyond said work and family, so it was a pleasant surprise when my co-worker called with the following invite:

Him: Hey, whatcha doing tomorrow night?

Me: Uh. Hanging out with my family? I think? Why?

Him: Well, we have 4 tickets to go see Peter Gabriel at the Red Rocks tomorrow, but there’s only 3 of us. Would you like to come and be our fourth?

(I must be honest here, I am not terribly familiar with Peter Gabriel’s ouevre because his dancing claymation chicken video freaked me out in the ’80s and I never bothered to pay a whole lot of attention to him beyond that. Anyways.)

Me: Uh. How much is the ticket?

Him: Nothing! Peter Gabriel’s a Boesendorfer artist so Yamaha is providing the tickets for free since we work for the Yamaha piano dealer in Denver! 

(For those of you who are unaware —aka non-piano nerds— Yamaha is the parent corporation of the Boesendorfer piano line.)

Needless to say, I love free and relished the opportunity to see a concert at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater. So, the next night, I found myself enjoying the mountain scenery while piled in a Subaru station wagon — quite a popular vehicle in Colorado — as my coworkers navigated their way to the venue.

After arriving on the grounds, we stopped off at will-call to pick up our tickets, and were positively tickled to discover that Yamaha had provided us 8th row seats.

My ticket, which I have kept employed as a bookmark since the concert.

THEN we wound our way to the parking lot and were greeted with this view:

Apparently, this particular full moon was a Harvest Moon. I’m not too proud to admit that I don’t know what that means.

Clearly, we were in for a spectacular evening, given the omens of awesome seats and a full moon. (Yes, I have decided that a full moon is a good omen.)

And we did indeed have a spectacular evening, which of course included sampling a couple microbrews, for which Denver is almost as well-known as Portland.

The view of the stage from our seats, which provided a conveniently prominent view of the Boesendorfer grand piano (blanket-wrapped for protection prior to the concert).

Behind us, the famed Red Rocks loomed large. And hey, the rocks really are red there!

The Boesendorfer revealed!

Swedish artist Jennie Abrahamson got first crack at the beautiful piano as the opening act. Apparently, this was her first U.S. performance ever. What a place to debut! (Also, I hope that the rest of America and its musical venues don’t disappoint her.)

The harvest moon made a dramatic appearance from behind the stage after Jennie’s lovely opening performance.

Peter Gabriel opened his set with an acoustic performance of an as-yet-to-be-titled song-in-progress.

Peter Gabriel is quite the showman and employs choreographed dances with his band members as part of his performance.

Yeah….no. I don’t want this job. I am clumsy and it looks dangerous.

Peter Gabriel performed the entirety of the album So as part of this show, closing with a majestic rendition of the song “In Your Eyes,” known in my world as the Lloyd Dobbler song.

As part of his encore theatrics, Peter Gabriel had the Red Rock stagehands deploy this illuminated cylindrical sheet-thing.

After his final encore, a haunting tribute to Steven Biko amidst the falling rain, Peter Gabriel had me fully convinced that I was a fool for not paying attention to his music earlier.

So (heh), which album should I buy first?