But it was right on time

Lightning tried hard to interrupt the Brandi Carlile “These Silent Days” concert at Red Rocks Saturday night, but the force of those glorious, million-year old rocks and the will of 10,000 people kept the storms at bay.

And, instead of the sky, the show opened with thunderous applause for the incomparable Mavis Staples. The 82-year old icon sang, “I’ll Take You There,” which she recorded with The Staple Singers in 1972, with the kind of energy and depth that melted 40 years away. Ms. Staples launched an evening we’d all been waiting for so hard and worried about for so many reasons.

“This is enough,” I thought as I watched the storm clouds hover. “I’m here at Red Rocks with my daughters listening to Mavis Staples and, even if Brandi Carlile doesn’t get to take the stage, this will be enough.”

Then, following Mavis’ set, Brandi bounced on stage with the Hanseroth Twins and they sang “The Eye” with the gorgeous harmony they’ve perfected after two decades together. The jagged streaks behind them formed a perfect backdrop as they belted “You can dance in a hurricane. But only if you’re standing in the eye.”

I thought, “This is enough. If that storm sweeps us all out of this glorious space, it will be ok because I’m here with my two daughters and we’ve heard Brandi Carlile belt her magic across these glorious rocks. So, even if the Colorado Symphony doesn’t get to play, it’s enough that we’re here.”

But, miraculously, the storm we’d watched develop in the distance, skirted around the amphitheatre and left us all unscathed. So, when the symphony did assemble and Brandi launched into her riveting set, my two lovely daughters and I looked at each other and wondered how in the world we got lucky enough to be together in that moment enjoying such a memorable show.

Brandi Carlile offers such a compelling combination of generosity and sincerity when she sings that you can’t help but well up a little when you hear her. It’s hard to say if her voice was made for that setting, or if that Red Rock Amphitheatre was made for her voice, but for sure the two compliment each other perfectly.

I wish you all could have been there for that astonishing performance. I’m including several videos to give you a taste of the glory. I hope you’ll treat yourself to them as I will from time to time.

In between rain drops and distant lightning, the rainbow you can see in the right corner of the sky, formed before Brandi took the stage, which seemed pretty perfect.
Katherine lives in L.A., Molly lives in Minneapolis, and I live in Wisconsin so we were happy enough to get a chance to hang out together in Colorado. As you can see by our faces, we were ecstatic to get to see Brandi Carlile at Red Rocks.
My lovely daughter Molly.
My lovely daughter Katherine.
You can’t see Brandi very well in this shot, but here she is with her band and the Hanseroth twins. You can see the lights of Denver behind the band shell.
The Red Rocks Amphitheatre is an astonishingly beautiful place to attend a concert. Brandi Carlile’s new album “In These Silent Days” comes out Oct. 1.
You can catch a little of the distant lightning as Brandi and Tim and Phil Hanseroth sang “The Eye.”
I love this song and I especially loved hearing it live with the Colorado Symphony. So many things could have derailed our trip to Red Rocks to hear Brandi Carlile that I worried the timing wasn’t right. Turns out, it was right on time.
Brandi is a generous curator of talent. For Crowded Table and a few other songs, she invited Celisse, a very talented musician I’d not heard before, onstage. You can hear her sing the second verse. You can also follow her, as I do now, on Instagram (@celissemusic)
Hearing this song live with a symphony and the lights of Denver in the backround took my breath away.
Here’s a little snippet of Mavis Staples. The woman is 82-years old “But I’m not tired yet!” she said, and then she proved it. Amazing.

2 thoughts on “But it was right on time

  1. What a perfect evening, Laura! Carlile is one of my favorites—and Staples!! Wow! And your lovely daughters. I’ve never been to Red Rocks, but I’m hoping to make it one day. These videos were a good start to my day. I think I’ll practice yoga to some Carlile this morning. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. I’m so glad you liked the videos and I think she would be an excellent choice to accompany morning yoga. I really need to get back into yoga!

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