Bastille and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness at Red Rocks

Friday, Oct. 7 saw two incredible performances at Red Rocks Amphitheatre for the annual Jeep on the Rocks concert.

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness opened for Bastille with one of the most enthusiastic performances of an artist playing the piano and dancing at the same time.

All of Andrew McMahon’s songs were incredibly upbeat and very easy to dance along to. In fact, they were so easy to dance along to that Andrew McMahon could not stop himself from joining in even though he was attempting to play the piano at the same time.

Dancing and playing the piano simultaneously led to some very interesting half sitting and half standing multitasking. Luckily for Andrew McMahon, his incredible music more than made up for his slightly awkward dancing.

Andrew McMahon played familiar songs from the radio such as “Cecilia and the Satellite” and “High Dive” but he also performed some of this newest songs like “Fire Escape” which was released just this year. In addition to his most popular songs and some brand new songs, Andrew McMahon also performed some of his very old songs. He even invited a drummer he used to perform with, who lives in Boulder now, to come and perform one of their old songs.

Overall, Andrew McMahon gave an excellent performance that made the audience believe that they had come just to see him, it bodes well for Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness performing again at Red Rocks but perhaps next time as the headlining band with a opener of their own.

The most anticipated portion of the night was Bastille, who did not disappoint. Performing an eclectic assortment of new and old songs the audience was enthralled, not just by the incredible music but also by the band themselves.

Bastille came across as possibly the most polite band most people have ever seen, between every song they were sure to thank the audience for their applause and for attending the concert. There were also many exclamations of, “We are so excited/grateful to be here!”.

In between the songs there were witty anecdotes and comments such as the lead singer, Dan Smith, remarking that last time they were in Denver they went out to Red Rocks to look around because there was no chance they would ever get to perform there and that they were just so excited to perform now. They also joked at one point about playing their ‘old’ songs, songs that they wrote only three years ago making them still quite new. Little comments like these were extremely endearing and generally just made the band seem even cooler.

All of the songs were performed extremely well, even “Flaws” which Dan Smith decided to sing while trying to get to the back of the Red Rocks Amphitheatre at the same time. This decision seemed to be made based on the fact that his ‘sound guy’ seemed skeptical that he could do it. In order to prove him wrong, Dan Smith belted out the lyrics while running up the stairs and greeting audience members. Unfortunately he only made it about halfway up the stadium, meaning he was both proved wrong and half of the audience did not get to see him.

As the night drew on, the temperatures dropped but the upbeat music just encouraged the audience to keep dancing and moving which helped to keep everyone warmer. The copious amounts of pot smoke might have also warmed it up a little bit, despite the fact that smoking pot at Red Rocks is strictly prohibited.

Almost all of Bastille’s songs were accompanied by videos behind them that were sometimes relevant to the lyrics and other times seemed like subtle or not so subtle attempts to hypnotise or brainwash the audience. While a little distracting, some of the videos were pretty cool such as one of Bastille’s new songs, “Fake It”, that was accompanied by a video of a man singing the same song. The video and actual singing matched up almost perfectly, which was very impressive.

To finish out the night, Bastille performed their biggest hit, “Pompeii,” which caused almost everyone in the audience to sing along so loudly that when Dan Smith stopped singing for a second and held out the microphone to the audience, there was almost no difference from when he had been singing.

Everyone was left in such good spirits by all of the performances that it was all anyone could talk about as the entire audience all tried to pile out of Red Rocks at the same time. People were in such a good mood that there was not even any real grumbling about the cold or the wait to exit.

So if you ever get the chance to see Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness or Bastille perform, do not hesitate because they are both incredible groups and their performances are worth every penny. If you can see them perform at Red Rocks Amphitheatre that is even better but either way they are amazing. In general, Red Rocks Amphitheatre it an exceptional venue so any artist that you can see there is great.

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