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Friday, August 12

A Perspective of Warren Haynes Symphonic Celebration at Red Rocks.

A Perspective of Warren Haynes Symphonic Celebration at Red Rocks. 
By Kevin Long

It was Jerry Garcia's Birthday and I wanted to surrender to the flow instead of covering the event for the website. So I asked a buddy to pick me up an extra. Unbeknownst to me, it would prove more valuable than a golden ticket in a Willy Wonka Chocolate Bar. It shined brighter than any gold my eyes dared to see. The night was as priceless as it was perfect and I feel compelled to try and express the magnitude of the gift bestowed upon Red Rocks on our music’s holiest of days. 
     I have never written a concert review for a show I paid for in over ten years. Thanks to my brother Bump, I will not have to, as he whispered, “I got this”. As my ticket was accompanied with a needed hug. It was not the normal pre-show vibe as the colorful crowd shuffled in to witness Warren Haynes’  Symphonic Celebration at the splendid sanctuary of music that is Red Rocks. The masses were somber, not sober, mind you, but the vibe was more melancholy than "Freebird!". 

       I don't think anybody was prepared for the immaculate evening that was mere minutes away as the orchestra was getting situated. Warren and the band took their positions in front of the impressive display of instruments. Then it happened! My ears heard “Tiger” lead an orchestra into “Dark Star” and tears just rolled down my face. I was frozen still at the sheer beauty of it all. 

    The next two sets were the most emotional hours of music I ever had the pleasure of hearing. When Warren led them through coveted tunes such as  ”Black Peter”,”Crazy Fingers”,"Morning Dew" and “Terrapin Station” I honestly felt like I was in the past listening to Beethoven and the sheer power of the music overwhelmed all my senses. I cried as much as I danced hearing the best songs ever written  being played from a true symphony. They encored with “Patchwork Quilt” and “Ripple” it was the closest I felt to Jerry in 21 years and there just is not an adjective that can do it justice. Jubilation comes close. This is why I am adding almost the whole show in youtube clips. 
Then there was the third set that I have been waiting to witness for years. A J.G.B set with superior musicians. Warren Haynes, Melvin Seals, Jeff Sipe and a host of others, including members of Greensky Bluegrass certainly fulfilled that wish. The entire third set was even filthier than I had dreamed. I got to dance my tears dry, as rare J.G.B. covers like “Tough Mama” and “Don’t let go” were astounding. My highlight of the third set was when the band played “Loser” and Warren seduced “Tiger” and for the briefest of moments I was 18 again and that, deadheads, is worth every penny I have ever spent or owned. That evening was easily the  most beautiful musical experience I have ever witnessed. 
edited by: Greg Heffelfinger