The inaugural Mile High Music Festival brought massive-scale concert enjoyment to Colorado this weekend. An estimated 80,000 festival attendees from all over the nation and beyond (Canada?) descended on the endlessly stretching, sun-baked green of the fields at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on the eastern outskirts of Denver.
My hundred-degree Saturday started a bit belatedly (pitchers of cider called to me on a shady patio and I missed a few early day bands) with my favorite performance. The astoundingly rich Josh Ritter exploded through the more “rocking” of his folk songs (this meant no Thin Blue Flame, no Temptation of Adam sadly) and wowed the crowd with his incisive lyricism and ebullient joy in performance.
Andrew Bird was next up, with his elegant orchestral pop songs that swirl around the otherworldly sound of his trademark whistling. My friend perceptively noted that this “instrument” of Bird’s whistle actually sounds a lot like a theremin, something I’d not previously realized but is absolutely true. Under the shade of the Bison Tent stage, Bird kicked off his blue shoes and strutted his tiny wiry frame around in multicolored striped socks. The silver double-head phonograph spun, dizzily. The crowd shouted their approval.
Spoon photo by the awesome Julio
Lupe Fiasco knows what’s up.
And finally Tom Petty swooped in with his embroidered jacket and dozens of songs you forgot you knew every word to by heart. He finished off night one in grand style.