A lifetime ago (I believe it was June) I bought tickets to see Troyboi at Redrocks. At the time I was breathless with anticipation, not knowing how I would manage to distract myself for FOUR WHOLE MONTHS until October 18th came.
Well, the whole killing of time thing took care of itself and I found myself feeling ambivalent about the show, my mind being too preoccupied with work/family/house/life/what-the-fuck-am-I-doing to even think about it, much less imagine what it would be like to have fun and feel good again.
I’ll skip the whole who is Troyboi thing (you can read about him here) and I’ll cut to the highlights.
We opted to catch a concert bus to the show which was a little on the intense side. Of course the chaos started with a 17 person group chat that went completely off the rails. Micah looked over my shoulder as I was texting and said, “Seventeen people on a group chat? That’s my worst nightmare.” Out of the mouth of babes.
There was a large speaker on the bus and raved up teenagers were going crazy with anticipation. Our crew of nine clustered in the back and made disapproving faces at the loud music.
The bus was janky as fuck with the window next to my head blowing open and rattling disconcertingly. Kristanna kept trying to latch it by pulling on the red handle that’s supposed to make the window fall out entirely and I kept screaming at her to not touch it. I had no choice but to hold it shut with my claw-like fingers. For an hour.
I got to have a long catch-up session with Kristanna, made easier by the fact that she reads my blog (thank you, sister) and I felt seen and held by her. We needed a chance to get current.
It took forever for us to get from the bus to the ampitheater in part because Kristanna got into a strange argument with one of the security guards/petty tyrant. She wanted to know why we were being stopped half way up the path and got us all put into a “time out” because she was “rushing the barricade.”
I, being a rule follower, would have waited until Tyrant decided we had learned our lesson but Redacted was like, “That is not happening. Just go,” and we went with the herd while Tyrant called for backup.
Once posted up in row 13 we (that would be me and Redacted) spent the next hour protecting our spot from dozens of people trying to get close to the stage. Redacted almost had a stroke from the stress and from trying to locate all of our people (17) and keep them together. He was definitely a herding dog in a past life, or maybe a future one.
G Jones came on (who I do not like but he was the opener so what are you gonna do) and I kept reassuring the women in the group that he was worth sitting through. Redacted is going to end our friendship saying this, but he knows how I feel. G Jones music is really challenging.
Sometimes it starts out so pretty and almost danceable and then it turns into machines tearing each other apart. For hours.
However, he is doing something really interesting and intentional. The visuals and the words he puts on the screen are fascinating contrasted with his music of aggression and anger. The words are about love. The visuals are about … well, I don’t know. The entire package is interesting, but not in a dismissive way. He is doing something, it’s just super confrontational and difficult for me to deal with, but I can appreciate it on a certain level.
At one point I turned to Redacted and said, “Does G Jones realize that a lot of people here are tripping balls on psychedelics? These visuals are going to fuck people up.”
The last thing I wanted was for my friends to endure the epic journey that Redrocks is, only to bail after an hour of machine warfare. You must hang in there babies, it will be worth it.
My favorite part was at a break in the show a young woman turned to me and said “You guys are just the cutest! I love watching you dance and have a good time. For how many of you is this your first Redrocks experience?”
Oh, I get it.
She thinks she knows something about having a good time that we don’t, that we caught the short bus from the old-folks’ home for an excursion or someshit. I appreciate her wanting to validate us for our willingness to try new things but … excuse me while I set her straight.
Me: Yeah, we’ve all being going to Redrocks forever. This is a first time for none of us.
Her: (visibly surprised) Oh. You guys go to music?
Me: During high season sometimes twice a week. This is my third time seeing Troyboi and second time seeing G Jones.
Her: Did you just come back from a hike or something (making a shitty reference to my down jacket, hat and fleece pants).
Me: Noooo. I’m dressed this way because it’s October and this is an outdoor concert and I’m not a maniac … like you, you are going to freeze to death in that super fashion forward oversized, tie-dyed t-shirt.
I didn’t say that last part.
Her: Oh, I’m not cold. I’m going to dance so hard that I’ll stay warm.
Okay hon. That’s what my teenager says, too, when he leaves the house in a t-shirt.
Me: I know how to dress for shows. I can rock the lingerie and chain mail at a summer Bassnectar gathering, but this is not the summer my friend.
Then Troyboi came on and we proceeded to tear it up.
This is my third time seeing Troyboi and he keeps growing musically. His music has gotten both more yin and yang. Some of his pretty music is downright etherial.
His stagecraft and performers gave me all the feels…
But I gotta say, what I love the most is all the cross-cultural influences in his music. He makes it work. It is aided by the fact that he is Indian, Chinese, Portuguese and Nigerian.
This song is for Sideboob who couldn’t be there.
I remember when After Hours was Troyboi’s hardest driving song. It’s still lit with the funkiest drop but man, he has taken his music to the next level.
I’m pretty sure a couple years ago I could not have rolled with this music, but now I like to go crazy with the crowd and let the music throb through me. Yeah boi.
We were easily the oldest people at the entire show but honestly, if people gave this kind of experience a chance, they would have to see the value in it. You leave so freaking pumped having been a part of something with an enormous crowd of people.
Or you could go to church.
On the way home we were the crazy ones. We walked onto a completely silent and dark bus, the kids had worn themselves out (or were hypothermic from wearing party gear in 40 degree weather) and appeared to be napping.
We were stoked from the show and full of things we wanted to talk about, not to mention it was time to laugh uncontrollably at something completely inscrutable and soon forgotten, even as we are still totally out of control and gasping for breath.
The kids were all shhhh, we are sleepy.
We got dropped off on the Hill in front of Cheba Hut (naturally) and caught a Lyft home and the next thing I know I was in bed with Chief and Scheissehund. Well, after picking the dogs up at the Bachelor Colony where I left them at 3:30 in the afternoon when this epic evening started. Which is why I don’t go to many shows at Redrocks.
My bed is bliss. It is the most sensual and female space imaginable. I am profoundly happy in it.
I slept in until 7:30 and called Micah to see if he wanted to hike. I promised toast with brie and a café au lait if he came over.
A nature bath is the perfect counterpoint to a night of EDM. My musical experiences are critical to my well-being. I am with friends, among nice strangers (even if they are judging me for being old but I think she gained a healthy respect for us by the time the night was over) and I allow the music and dance to force everything painful and negative out of me and replace it with connection and sound that moves me.
Release and respite is part of healing, be it from a difficult time in life or just a long week.