Former Rochester, Minnesota Resident Reviews Chris Stapleton’s Recent Red Rocks Show
When I realized that I would not be able to attend Chris Stapleton’s May 23rd 2017 performance at Red Rocks Amphitheater due to work commitments, I knew that I’d have to find a ‘proxy’ to report back on what I knew would be a jaw-drop amazing show. I found my ‘proxy’!
Meet ‘Drew’ T-I, a former co-worker, Rochester resident, acoustic guitar junkie, and fellow Chris Stapleton fan and Traveller. As mentioned above, when I knew that I would be unable to attend this highly anticipated show myself, I contacted Drew and tipped him off early so that he would have a fighting chance to score some tickets that I knew would be highly coveted. Guess what, it worked! Enjoy his very detailed review, photo’s, and video footage below, and once again, Thank You Drew! #RovingReporter
Steve Richards – Quick Country Weekends – TSM Rochester, MN
Chris Stapleton All-American Roadshow at Red Rocks Amphitheater, May 23rd, 2017
By: Andrew Trogstad-Isaacson
It had been nearly 10 years since I last attended a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO and now that I live in the state, I figured it was time to return to the beautiful venue to experience its wonders once again. With a little luck and some advice from a friend of mine in the music industry, I was able to snag a few tickets to Chris Stapleton’s All-American Roadshow Tour, the first of back-to-back concerts on May 23rd – 24th, 2017. With the sun setting on a beautiful spring day on the Front Range, the stage was set for a spectacular night of soulful country music and more spit-shined cowboy boots than I have ever seen in one place!
After openings from the lovely Lucie Silvas, who is ironically British, and the country newcomers Brothers Osborne, the amphitheater got quiet for about 20 minutes to allow for the obligatory bathroom breaks and beer runs for the sold-out crowd. Then, around 9pm, the lights went down and The Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek” started to play over the loudspeakers to ecstatic applause and cheering. At the time the second chorus came around, Chris Stapleton, his wife Morgane, and the rest of the band filed onto the stage and the cheers went through the metaphorical roof.
After opening with a powerful rendition of “Might as Well Get Stoned,” to which the air filled with the crowd singing along as well as the smell of weed, Chris noted the energy in the amphitheater asking, “Is it Tuesday night? Because I can already tell some of y’all are going to jail tonight!” Stapleton continued to ride the high energy of the crowd with performances of “Nobody to Blame,” a cover from his SteelDriver days of “Midnight Train to Memphis,” a song about having a bad day in “Them Stems,” and the chilling bass-line riff of “Outlaw State of Mind.” At that point, he “fired” his band for a solo rendition of “Death Row,” just him and his guitar, alone on the stage.
The concert commenced with a calmer tone as the band came back to play “Up to No Good Linvin’” and the first song from his recently released new album, From a Room: Volume 1, “Broken Halos.” Then the lights went down, the band disappearing into the darkness as Chris locked eyes with Morgane and played her “Whiskey and You” as though the entire crowd wasn’t even there. It was a moment that brought back memories of Johnny Cash and June Carter; two power couples of country music. Afterwards, Stapleton sang a praise to his father in “Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore.”
The energy in the amphitheater then got a boost as the band came back and they belted out “Parachute,” “When the Stars Come Out,” and “Second One to Know.” The most poignant moment came next when Chris and Morgane sang a purely raw duet cover of Jimmie Davis’ “You Are My Sunshine.” Their electric chemistry was on full display as they again locked eyes, seemingly anchoring each other to the stage and each other, and reduced more than few audience members to tears, myself included.
The energy again picked up as Stapleton fired up the rockin’-country tune “Hard Living” and transitioned into his hit title track “Traveller,” encouraging the crowd to sing along for the chorus on several occasions. The set then went back to the familiar romantic tone as Chris again sang directly to his wife the words of “Fire Away,” as cell phones and lighters lit up the crowd and couples turned to each other in the awkward high school prom slow dance pose and sang to each other as well. He then fired up the soulful wailing of his electric guitar to cover Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Tuesday’s Gone” which he seamlessly blended into his “The Devil Named Music,” poetically highlighting the difficulties that come with being on the road without family.
To finish the concert, Stapleton introduced his band to an underlying bluesy tune for ten minutes as he crooned his very personable and loving accounts of all his bandmates and what they have meant to him throughout the years. He culminated his introductions with a nod to his loving wife, claiming “She is the beauty that tames this beast.” The crowd erupted in applause as he broke into his heartfelt and original sounding cover of David Allen Coe’s “Tennessee Whiskey” and they sang along. Then, is a moment of pure disbelief, as it came time to sing the second chorus, Chris blurted out, “Take it away, Peyton!” and out of the shadows came former Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for a surprisingly good duet! The encore performance consisted of another SteelDrivers cover in “Where Rainbows Never Die” and “Sometimes I Cry.” It was a fitting way to finish a set as Chris showcased his inner Waylon Jennings playing out a solo on his guitar before he said goodnight and took his final bow with the band.
In a time when the line between pop and country music on the radio is blurred more than ever, Chris Stapleton is a refreshingly true country sound rooted in the classics of Willie, Waylon, Johnny, and Kris while providing his own blend with the blues of Otis Redding and B.B. King thrown in. And best of all, he is still a down-to-earth individual who has not let fame get to his head (or ego) as during the concert, he said, “It wasn’t long ago we played a little place in Denver called The Blue Bird. We never dreamed this. We’re so humbled by this so thank you.”
- “Up on Cripple Creek” – The Band (for CS walk-on)
- “Might as Well Get Stoned”
- “Nobody to Blame”
- “Midnight Train to Memphis” – The SteelDrivers cover
- “Them Stems”
- “Outlaw State of Mind”
- “Death Row”
- “Up to No Good Livin’”
- “Broken Halos”
- “Whiskey and You”
- “Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore”
- “When the Stars Come Out”
- “Second One to Know”
- “You Are My Sunshine” – Jimmie Davis cover
- “Hard Living”
- “Fire Away”
- “Tuesday’s Gone” – Lynyrd Skynyrd Cover/”The Devil Named Music”
- 10 minutes crooning introductions for band to the tune of “Tennessee Whiskey”
- “Tennessee Whiskey” – David Allen Coe cover (guest starring former Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning)
- “Where Rainbows Never Die” – The SteelDrivers cover
- “Sometimes I Cry”
Andrew “Drew” Trogstad-Isaacson lives in Vail, Colorado where he works as the Environmental Stewardship Coordinator for the Walking Mountains Science Center, a local science education non-profit teaching high school students about conservation ethics and sustainability. He grew up in Rochester, MN and has always enjoyed lyrically profound music with soothing rhythm guitar and the occasional catchy lick. In his free time he tries to recreate his favorite songs on guitar or spend hours upon hours hiking in the woods.
[DREW’S PHOTO GALLERY]
All Photos by: Andrew Trogstad-Isaacson
VIDEO CAPTURED BY : Andrew Trogstad-Isaacson
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