The Dirty Heads bring uplifting reggae show to Red Rocks

The seemingly never-ending thunderstorm drove out many attendees of the Red Rocks show on Tuesday, August 18. Despite the low attendance and the uncomfortable weather, the music lived up to expectations.

Katastro, an indie-reggae band from Phoenix, opened the night. After their set, Red Rocks staff members told concertgoers to return to their cars due to the heavy lightning. Those brave enough to stand in line witnessed a terrifying, yet beautiful lightning show.


After the hour-long rain delay, The Expendables took the stage. They played a crowd-friendly set including their popular song, “Bowl for Two,” which had the whole crowd singing along. As the band played, the rain poured down on the crowd. Lead singer and guitarist Geoff Weers had fun dancing and jumping in the puddles accumulating on center stage.

The Kongos, with an eclectic, alternative rock sound, were different from the typical opening bands chosen by the Dirty Heads. Typical openers for the band include reggae and hip-hop groups.

The Kongos got the crowd dancing to their catchy, mysterious sound. The rowdy accordion was an interesting addition to the set. The Kongos played songs from their debut album “Lunatic” and from their new album “Egomaniac,” which came out this year. During the set, the Kongos brought on their manager who rapped to a remixed version of “Come Together” by The Beatles.

Cold and drenched, concertgoers were anxious for The Dirty Heads to come out. Almost on cue, the rain stopped right as the band took the stage. The show started out with a bang as the band played an amped up version of “Burn Slow.”

The Dirty Heads seamlessly hopped between genres to deliver an exciting show that seemed to appeal to all members of the crowd. Switching from their hip-hop to reggae to electronic styles of music, they displayed a wide repertoire of skill and mastery in different genres. The band played songs from all five of their released albums, and added twists to familiar songs.

Band members Jon Olazabal and Matt Ochoa were the driving force behind the up-beat music. “Duddy B,” Dustin Bushnell and “Dirty J” and Jared Watson blew the crowd away with their rapping skills and their melodic solos and harmonies.

The Dirty Heads played songs from their new self-titled album, which came out in July 2016. The concert ended with “That’s All I Need,” a catchy song that was ranked 17 on the U.S. alternative rock charts for 2016.

For concertgoers that decided to wait through the rain, the concert was well worth it. The Expendables and The Kongos lifted the crowd’s spirit, in spite of the inclement weather. The Dirty Heads gave the crowd a night of truly good music with an uplifting and upbeat message that left the crowd happy they stuck around.

Collegian Arts and Culture Assistant Editor Zoe Jennings can be reached at