Big Head Todd | 6.07 | Red Rocks

Words by: Brian Heisler | Images by: David Boothroy

Big Head Todd & The Monsters :: 06.07.08 :: Red Rocks Amphitheatre :: Morrison, CO


Big Head Todd and the Monsters :: 06.07 :: Red Rocks
From the start it was sure to be a special night for Big Head Todd & the Monsters' annual hometown gig at Red Rocks. Public notices for filming were scattered throughout the venue, as were cameras, hiding in the trees and towering over the crowd, geared to document the long evening. As the sun went down on a brisk Colorado evening, the band took the stage, with a clean-shaven, shorthaired Todd Park Mohr at the helm.

The set started with blues, strengthened by the great, full-sounding, local accompaniment of the "Big Head Horns" to "I'll Play The Blues For You" and "Gary Indiana Blues." Continuing the theme, "Blue Sky" got the crowd moving. Swaying bodies and smiling faces were abundant, sure to be captured by the swarm of cameras weaving in and out of the stage, behind the band and in the crowd. And it wouldn't have the hometown feel if BHTM didn't have 50 people dancing along the side of the stage and lounging in couches.

"We got a lot of show happening tonight," Mohr prepped the crowd as Jeremy Lawton slid into "Dinner With Ivan" on the lap steel guitar. Mohr really wasn't exaggerating either. "Bittersweet" came early on, much to the delight of the crowd. Then things dimmed just enough to turn on the video screen, and images of Mohr and his gold, hollow body Fender Stratocaster shined across the audience. The crowd sang along and voices echoed on the rocks surrounding us. Screams followed more favorites early in the performance, leading with "Broken Hearted Savior." As the band hit the chorus, Mohr backed away from the microphone and pointed to the audience, who sang, "broken hearted savior" right on cue.

Todd Mohr :: 06.07 :: Red Rocks
"Everything is going my way tonight," Mohr smiled. Someone brought out Mohr's harmonica and the band busted into "Vincent of Jersey." The special treats kept coming as Hazel Miller joined the band with deep, soulful vocals on "Angela Dangerlove." "Please Don't Tell Her," "Conquistador" and an audience-engaging version of "Boom Boom" closed the first set of a rare two-set show.

Raindrops began to fall, but the Red Rocks audience was spared as the dark clouds eventually passed over the hills. Mohr reemerged alone to begin the second set acoustically with "City On Fire," followed by "Monument In Green" with added pedal steel from Lawton. Clearly much planning went into this concert. "This is a silly song, we haven't played it for years," Mohr seemed to reminisce, referencing an old venue in Denver before playing "A Rose for Wanda." As the night drew on, the cool Colorado air set in, dropping to a chilly 45 degrees. Technically, it wasn't summer just quite yet, but any time Big Head Todd & the Monsters takes over Morrison, CO it's impossible not to think of summer. Despite the chill, the crowd trudged forward with the band in rocking fashion through a seemingly endless setlist. "It's Alright" brought back a belting Hazel Miller and "Resignation Superman" zipped off into the skies, quenching many fans screaming in requests for their favorite BHTM hit. "We're gonna leave you with a punk song," Mohr yelled before finishing the second set with a loud, harsh "Beautiful Rain."

Returning for one last moment with their fans, the Monsters posed for a few pictures at the legendary amphitheatre and explained the night could be relived on a future DVD and CD. With the horns and Hazel Miller both back onstage, the band began a four-song encore with the classic "Beautiful World." After enduring nearly four hours of cold mountain air, Mohr yelled, one last time, "Alright, you ready?!" Stomping his black leather boots, Mohr led the crowd as Lawton opened up on lap steel again. A Mohr solo appropriately segued into Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way." It was a perfect way to end the marathon 35-song night that had documented their journey in their homeland of Colorado. A bright evening, a cold night, a red rock landscape and a four-hour hymn as the soundtrack and Todd Park Mohr's smile captured it all.

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[Published on: 6/24/08]

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Comments

PooDolla starstarstarstarstar Tue 6/24/2008 03:13PM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

PooDolla

Big Head Todd & the Monsters is a Denver summertime staple. I've had fun at so many their shows. They might not be comptely mind blowing but they definately bring back alot of good memories. I wish I was at one of their shows at Red Rocks drinking beer in the sun right now. So chill.

Revpnice star Wed 6/25/2008 12:46PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Revpnice

really ........i mean really??

hiddentreasure starstarstarstarstar Wed 6/25/2008 02:07PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Wow Jambase, thanks for covering good music again. I'm not trying to be crass, just thought the jam scene was turning into a bunch of garbage that I don't enjoy. Anyway, thanks again for reporting on one of the good ones. That's like four in a month!

jasonthehead starstarstarstarstar Thu 6/26/2008 10:32AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

jasonthehead

Yes, really RevpNUTS! As in BHT & The Monsters is a stellar band and Todd Park Mohr is a really really really great guitar player and performer, and also incredibly underrated. Wish I could see more of their shows, like back in my college years in Boulder with all those mind-blowing shows at The Fox. I wish they were on more festival lineups so he could get more exposure with the younger crowd, the music is perfect for them.

Midnight Radio is one of the best albums of the 90's.

Thanks for the review JamBase, good choice!

MyFavBandIsTheBestYoursSucks starstarstarstarstar Thu 6/26/2008 11:14AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

MyFavBandIsTheBestYoursSucks

^^ Right on Brother... These guys are great.

One of the 1st shows I went to just out of High School in 94'.

A two night run in Minneapolis of these guys Friday & The Allmans on Saturday....Ive been hooked on live music ever since.

Seen them 10-12 times over the years & they never dissapoint.

Would love to make to Red Rocks some day for one of these.

Revpnice Fri 6/27/2008 02:04PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Revpnice

jason, maybe you didnt get it. I mean really?