It was a Thursday night, but from the looks of the Red Rocks Amphitheater parking lot, concertgoers dived into the weekend a little early. Beer pong tables along with bass heavy music surround the lot as everyone began the ascent to the main stage. It’s quite a hike up but worth seeing the exceptional rock structure this venue is nestles in.
The doors opened at 6:30 p.m. for fans to see rapper G-Eazy and R&B singer Kehlani, both hailing from Oakland, California. Some people told me they were there since 2 p.m. waiting for the highly anticipated show. This would be a third time seeing G-Eazy and a second time seeing Kehlani for me, so I had an idea of what kind of fun, high-energy show we were about to witness.
After waiting, climbing and waiting some more, I enter past security to a glowing and buzzing atmosphere. People were everywhere, and it was beautiful chaos. Being a sold out show, this venue was expected to fit at least 9,500 fans ready to get crazy.
The show began with colorful lights and DJ Daghe, also a Bay Area local. G-Eazy is known to travel in a pack of artists and photographers native to California. Wearing a leather jacket and turtleneck sweater, DJ Daghe pumped up the massive crowd with classic hip-hop and club anthems such as “Yeah” by Usher. Everyone was screaming every lyric.
Giant, vertical rocks on either side of me enclosed a sea of fans getting antsy to see Kehlani belt out incredible musical notes and perform intricate choreography with her fierce backup dancers. The R&B singer finally came out in stilettos, a pink top that read “GIRLS” across the front and a leopard hat that brought some serious 90s vibes. She performed an array of songs from her latest Grammy-nominated mix tape “You Should Be Here” as well as her new single “CRZY.”
Between songs, it seemed like Kehlani was in sheer disbelief of where she was performing. She asked the crowd to raise up a light. “This is crazy! All of you are so beautiful. Thank you,” she said before emotionally singing her next song “Tore Up.”
Perhaps the most memorable part of Kehlani’s performance was the moment she brought a man on stage to propose to his girlfriend. The crowd erupted in cheers as the man got on one knee. Kehlani was in the background jumping up and down in excitement.
After a rather long intermission, G-Eazy made his appearance, opening up with the bass heavy “Random,” a track from his latest album “When It’s Dark Out.” He had full control of the crowd, demanding everyone to jump and swing their arms as he skipped and leaped around stage, never losing energy. Girls and guys alike were losing their minds. Thousands of deafening screams surrounded me.
Standing at over 6 foot tall, G-Eazy’s long limbs created a unique silhouette in front of a giant screen showing odd patterns with clips from his music videos. Sparks, smoke and blasts of fire shot from the stage, which was a definite upgrade in stage visuals compared to his older shows.
Then, things got a little political halfway through the set. As G-Eazy’s drummer Blizzy began a catchy beat, the words “F*ck Donald Trump” lit up on the screen and cheers flared up from the crowd. Of course, not everyone was as excited about it as others, but the response was huge, nonetheless.
“How’d he make it this far? How did it begin? A Trump rally sounds like Hitler in Berlin,” G-Eazy rapped. By the end of the song, he had nearly the entire venue chanting “F*ck Donald Trump” over and over again. This showed that G-Eazy knows he has a platform to speak and persuade countless people, and he wasn’t afraid to do it.
G-Eazy switched between playing his newest tracks and old classics that brought back memories of high school. “Loaded,” was one such song that G-Eazy said “was the only thing people recognized from me” when he opened for larger artists.
“I just want to say I can’t believe we got to play at Red Rocks tonight. This is every artist’s dream,” G-Eazy said to the crowd. “Y’all are on the same level as Madison Square Garden over here.”
In that moment, I realized how much both Kehlani and G-Eazy have grown as artists so quickly. In January of 2015, they sold out the small Ogden Theater, a show I was lucky enough to witness, and on Thursday night, they sold out a world famous venue. The two artist’s talents have brought an incredibly unique group of loyal fans together. Their hard work and dedication to their personal style of music has gained them a great deal of success, but Kehlani and G-Eazy remain humble.
A sold out show at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater is truly a thing of beauty. The mixture of laser lights, bass drops and the surrounding nature sets this venue on a whole different level. When you feel the energy of the artists and the people around you, Red Rocks Amphitheater reminds you that music is more than just something you hear. It’s something you feel.