Greta Van Fleet aren’t the first band to perform a John Denver cover
at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. But the response they elicited might have
been the biggest.
It was a mid-set rendition of the folksy and unassuming “The Music is
You” that would have made for a momentary downturn at any other rock
show. Not Monday night, though. The crowd roared. And while location
certainly had something to do with it (the late Denver played at least
15 shows at the venue), the frenzy might have also had something to do
with the broad demographic of fans. Or the fact that the band is
pretty hot right now. So hot that even a John Denver song causes a stir.
On the heels of a solid opening set from Shannon and the Clams, the
Michigan quintet started the night off bathed in a dim pink light and
fog. As the lights came up, so did the first notes of the punch that
was “The Cold Wind.” From there, the band played through a mix of cuts
from their 2018 release, Anthem of the Peaceful Army, as well as from
the EPs they released the year before. A few highlights from the
evening included “Safari Song,” “Black Flag Exposition” and the
two-fer encore of “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)” and “Highway Tune.”
At 11 songs, the evening’s set list seemed a bit brief. Or perhaps it
was just the right amount. With a second show on deck for the
following night, the band were primed to do it all over again. Much to
the delight of a new crop of excited fans. As well as for those who
would no doubt be returning for another round.
Review and photos by Tina Hagerling