Red Rocks amphitheater is a place of magic. Infused in every show is the Colorado mountain majesty that creates a sensory musical experience unlike any other. Red Rocks was packed elbow to elbow for Sunday’s show as Ingrid Michaelson and Ben Folds performed with the Colorado Symphony and Folds Choir that featured students and alumni of the University of Northern Colorado.
Ingrid Michaelson commanded her set with a presence of grace and power that flourished as the Colorado Symphony echoed her enchanting sound. There is youthful buoyancy in her sound that feels fresh and fitting for an outdoor amphitheater. Originally from Staten Island, Ingrid’s music career took off in 2006, and has been climbing ever since. Last year Michaelson released her album Lights Out, and with it came a beautiful anthem about the unique and comforting feeling of knowing where home is. The song “Home” is a powerful blend of finding even the smallest recognition of fitting in and as the lyrics build the crescendo of musical play was epically brought to life by the Colorado Symphony. As a Colorado native, hearing her words empowered a feeling of unity as the positivity and love towards our home spread like roots among the crowd and spawning from Ingrid Michaelson.
Then in a powerful furry Ben Folds took the stage and lifted the crowd as the dusk set around Red Rocks. A truly original talent, Ben Folds is an artist who has made a niche in “nerd rock” as he fuses a modern rock style with all of the majestic and timeless elements of a symphony orchestra. Together with The Colorado Symphony, the Fold’s Choir lead by Kerry Marsh, and guest solo by his wife Julia Dollison of UNC, Ben Folds simply brought a show to the stage that held the audience on the edge of their seats. At the end of the show he proudly improvised a song with both the audience and Colorado Symphony that truly showcased Ben Fold’s playful and fearlessly creative talent. Hands down, Ingrid and Ben Folds were a wonderful compliment to one another on Red Rock’s stage, and definitely won’t be a show we will soon forget.
Photos by Dylan Adams