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Manu Chao w/ Radio Bemba Sound System – June 8, 2007 – Red Rocks

Manu Chao

This fine, and finally, warm evening found me surrounded by friends and acquaintances who were virgins to the outdoor phenomenon that is Red Rocks Amphitheater. I personally couldn’t figure out why such a sizeable quantity of people who had been in this area for upwards of a year or two had still not been to a show at this venue, but circumstance would prove that this group of kids couldn’t have picked a better first show.

Perhaps one of the most amazing feats of the evening, for me, was managing to meet up with three different groups of people in the same effin parking lot. When does that ever happen at Red Rocks? After parking my car, I whipped out my cell to locate party #1, and lo and behold they were literally two cars straight ahead of us. Libations were had, Cheetos were consumed, and once a few full rounds of hacky sack were finished, we made our way into the stadium.


Screams of excitement and jubilation bounced off the steep walls as Manu Chao took the stage, ripping open the evening with their first track of the evening.

The arena was packed, full of more shirtless white kids than I have seen in a long time. There was not one still body in the crowd, except perhaps for my friend Justin who was on crutches, but even he managed to move around a bit despite his temporary handicap, proving that the audience was hell-bent on shakin’ what it took their mommas nine months to make. And Chao certainly delivered, playing high-energy tracks and speeding up the normally laid-back “Bomba-La’s” to an intense frenzy of guitar and keyboards.

Manu Chao was born to Spanish and Basque parents who moved to France when Chao was a child to escape the dictatorship of Franco. As a result, he grew up in suburban Paris, surrounded by artists and philosophers, which consequently caused an insatiable thirst for diversity in his life, and eventually, his music. Singing in a variety of languages, this manifestation of multiplicity was quite evident. I may not have understood any of the words, but the language of shaking your ass is definitely universal, and it seems that everyone else in the crowd understood it, too.

In short, this was one of the highest octane shows of the summer, and I am almost positive that the crowd had ten times more fun than the band did. That’s not to say that Chao and his band didn’t enjoy themselves, but had there been any more excitement, we probably would have seen stretchers wheeling out people having exhilaration seizures!


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