OP: My first Red Rocks experience

12 November 2019

Caitlyn Dieckmann

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I have never been the kind of person to do things on a whim. Everything must go according to a plan that I create at least a week before an event, meeting, trip, etc. With that being said, my first Red Rocks experience was, by no means, according to plan.

Imagine waking up early one morning to a phone call from your best friend, and she is crying. You worry immediately. “What is going on, what is happening, explain everything” are all questions that you ask your friend in a mumbled jumble because you are tired, and it is 7 a.m. But then she asks you, “Will you please go with me to a concert? I know you already had plans, but everyone bailed on me.”

Of course, you are a good friend. Right? You are going to a concert with your best friend because you love her and would do anything for her. You even offer to drive the three-hour trip from home and ask your parents to delay their plans.

That was me, abandoning my previous ideology of planning everything, and spontaneously jumping straight into an adventure that I had not prepared myself for. But this adventure required my presence at my first Red Rocks concert where I would see Tech N9ne. Let me reiterate. TECH N9NE.

Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a fan of Tech N9ne, especially when I was 14. However, I was nowhere in the mindset for a simple concert, let alone a Tech N9ne concert. But off I went.

So, we get there about three hours before the gate opens, and already, a line had formed. The weather was cold, as expected for Colorado in October, but my friend and I were smarter than the average concert goer and dressed warm.

The speakers were loud, but sound was the least important sense at this concert. In fact, the mingled smells that quickly gathered were one the most memorable parts about Red Rocks. Imagine a constant smell of weed and alcohol. So much smoking happened that if you looked up at any of the theater lights, you could only see a thick coat of haze.

While I expected to smell nothing but marijuana for hours on end, I had not expected to have one of the greatest experiences of my life.

When Tech N9ne came on stage, the crowd exploded, everyone cheered and chanted, and my inner 14-year-old self-erupted with it.

I had thought that blissful moments like this only happened in the movies, but believe me, when I heard the beginning of “Dysfunctional,” I sang along with every word, not even realizing that I remembered the song so well. Nostalgia literally knocked me off my feet.

I sat on that wooden bench for a minute, remembering my middle school years when all I would listen to was Tech N9ne’s “Sickology 101” album on repeat, escaping a world of bullying.

I guess I never realized how much I fit in with the crowd that Tech N9ne attracted, but I also never thought the crowd would be full of people who survived years of hardships, mental issues and bullying. Yeah, Tech N9ne fits into the rougher side of hip-hop and rap, but a lot of the music means so much more than it is given credit for.

Red Rocks is beautiful, this is true, and I imagine a mass church service or Billie Eilish concert would be a much different scenario, but it was only fitting that the gorgeous scenery would be paired with my nostalgia.

Tech N9ne was the best way to celebrate my first Red Rocks experience and it would have never happened if I had not let go of my compulsive planning. I learned that sometimes, the best experiences come from spontaneity, and maybe, not everything has to go according to plan.