What: Icelantic Winter on the Rocks with Common and Atmosphere
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 West Alameda Parkway Morrison, 720-865-2494
Cost: sold out (tickets on StubHub)
Cold weather be damned, Red Rocks is throwing a winter concert.
Friday night, Common and Atmosphere will run the stage of one of the country’s most beautiful amphitheaters, possibly with some light snow coming down. An outdoor show in the middle of a Colorado winter seems kind of crazy, but the powers that be found a few good reasons to do this thing.
One of the largest forces behind the project is Icelantic Events Manager Sam Warren, who came up with the idea years ago, sitting at a bar during SIA Snow Show in Las Vegas. He’d heard the show might move to Denver, and told his friend he would start a concert at Red Rocks if it did. The friend called bullshit – the way these things usually get started.
“At first everybody was kind of like, ‘you’re crazy, you’re young, you wear your hat backwards,’ but sure enough AEG, after some meetings, fell in with the vision… and saw the importance of doing this,” Warren said.
After successful shows at the Ogden Theatre with the SIA Snow Show and Icelantic, the sights were set on Red Rocks. Warren pitched some headliners, including Common and Atmosphere, and AEG VP and Head Talent Buyer Don Strasburg made it happen.
Atmosphere’s Sean Daley, better known as Slug, isn’t worried about the elements. In fact, he’s looking forward to it.
“I’m really impressed that people will come and watch a show outdoors,” he said. “I’ve played outdoors enough times, because I’m an outdoorsy kind of guy, and I like when people come outdoors, because I like what the elements force you to do. If it rains, it doesn’t matter what kind of cars you drive. You’re all fucking wet. All of you. It puts everybody on the same page.”
Atmosphere shows are usually incredibly high-energy, so the crowd should have no problem staying warm while everyone jumps around. But just in case, there will be a little extra heat coming off the stage.
“I was thinking full frontal nudity but it might be kinda cold out,” Daley said. “So I’m thinking maybe juggling. Remember in cartoons when someone would juggle anvils? I’m gonna anvils that are on fire.”
OK, not really. But Brian Kitts, director of marketing and communications for Denver’s Division of Theatres and Arenas, said they’ll be signature hot drinks on hand. He added that the cold does force the venue to make some other changes — they can’t set up large video screens because they’ll crack, and kegs are out of the question because the taps would freeze.
Kitts also said they’re hoping to do more Red Rocks winter shows in the future — good news for Warren and the rest of us.
“The main thing is that we’re just excited to open up the venue for the winter,” Warren said. “Enjoy the most beautiful and iconic venue in the world in the winter.”