303 Music

Gary Clark Jr. with Allen Stone at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO on 05/13/23 – Show Review and Photos

Gary Clark Jr. and Allen Stone

Armed with heavy duty rain gear, we endured a down pour while ascending into the world-famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Waiting at the security checkpoint, we noticed ill-prepared music fans using a Minnesota Viking blanket to fend off the rain (we could almost see the hypothermia starting). Once inside, we grabbed some over-priced soggy cold french fries, adult beverages, and found our seats just in time for the music to start.

Gary Clark Jr. swaggered out of the darkness dressed in an ensemble adorned with painted faces, a knit cap, and sunglasses. A few songs into the setlist, the band performed The Healing“I got something in motion/Something you can’t see/It requires devotion/From those who truly believe/This is something you can’t touch/This is something you feel, yeah/For some people it’s too much/For some people it heals/This music is my healing.” Throughout the night, his music touched everyone listening and seemed to keep the weather at bay.

Clark started to play guitar at an early age in Austin, Texas. The local music community and his talents propelled his career quickly. Clark has worked with everyone from Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Foo Fighters, Childish Gambino, and John Legend.

The guitar slinger remarked how the audience braved the elements, “Red Rocks. Nothing stops you from showing up.” Clark also shared his band members talents. Bass player Elijah Ford sang his own original song Our Kind that made the crowd nod along while Clark provided an amazing solo. Later in the evening, rhythm guitar player Eric Zapata also took an impressive solo while Clark stood in the back letting him take the spotlight.

Rhythm and Blues/Soul singer Allen Stone joined the band for the funky tune Feed the Babies. Stone channeled Stevie Wonder on the vocals while Clark channeled Stevie Ray Vaughn (that’s a lot of Stevies). The duet inspired the rain soaked crowd to dance along.

The rain continued forcing droves of water-soaked concert goers to flee. They missed an amazing encore. Clark came back on-stage smoking something that didn’t look like a cigarette. He dedicated the song Pearl Cadillac to all the mothers (Mother’s Day was the following day). Clark especially wanted to thank his wife, “She takes care of things at home while I do this rock and roll thing.” There were major Prince vibes with Clark’s falsetto and guitar wizardry. As the music was fading away, he strutted off the stage.

Allen Stone

Allen Stone repeated how Clark asked him to open up the show, “They might get some weather and it might get cold. But could you warm them up?” Dressed in a black suit with stylish boots, Stone’s performance made everyone take notice. The preacher’s son from Chewelah, WA has been making a name for himself lately as a mentor during the current season of American Idol hanging out with Lionel Richie, Katie Perry, and Luke Bryan.

Stone picked the perfect song for the occasion entitled Give You Blue – “I can’t stop the rain/But I will wipe your tears/Well, I wish I could take what hurts you/And just make it disappear/But I can’t work no miracles/But I’ll do what I can do/‘Cause when your sky is gray/Baby, I’ll give you blue.” Stone should arrange a rainstorm every time he sings it.

After falling over a cord, Stone jumped up and didn’t miss a beat. Breaking away from his touching love songs, Stone got the crowd on their feet with the up-tempo tune Back To the Swing that included a rap breakdown. After the musicians exited the stage, I overheard the astonished audience members asking, “Who was that guy?”

See you at the next show. I’ll be the one advising you not to use a blanket (Minnesota Vikings or otherwise) as an umbrella.

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