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.