The first of the three sold out back to back nights unfortunately had to be called off the night before, despite resilience from Illenium’s team, due to an invading snow storm. A rare occasion at Red Rocks. As a result, audience and team members were anxious and more than eager to make up for the lost night. To bring a punch bigger than planned before. A series of phenomenal performances took place prior to Illenium, including an epic b2b DJ set from mid tempo electronic artists blanke and 1788-L, raising the atmosphere of the night to new heights. It was admirable and quite amazing to see artists brought up on stage who lost their chance to perform the night before and have everyone on the team step up and give their absolute most for everyone involved.
The show begins, Illenium front and center on the raised platform of his stage, guitar in hand strumming us a heartfelt melody before stepping in front of his performance table. Excellently starting the night, the mood was set and tensions built as powerful emotive chords and deep lyrics filled the valley of Red Rocks. He brought the audience into a state of euphoric serenity and kept everyone on their toes. You could hope for nothing more. His four-piece band quickly stepped up alongside him, which included fellow collaborators Said the Sky and Annika Wells. In the turn of the hat, the volume was amped and the drive was pushed to drop into some of the heaviest yet creative drops to hit those rocks. No time wasted to show us all what we’re here for. A creative journey and high energy that allows us to forget about what’s going on outside of the venue and simply give in to the night.
This wave of heavier production kept as we were taken on a rollercoaster of a journey. Bass heavy, drums thumping and guitar driving. He allowed space to breath before bringing in unique edits to some of his most popular tracks. Illenium gave fan favorite songs new life in the live performance realm. When the dust from this madness finally settled, band members stepped off and we were picked back up with classic tracks, new beautifully written pieces off of his recent album Ascend, such as “Broken Ones” featuring Anna Clendening and “Takeaway,” a collaboration with The Chainsmokers and Lennon Stella, and an unreleased track with Ekali titled “Hard to Say Goodbye” which you can listen to below in a video we captured. Breath was given to allow these deeply personally pieces take impact after so much dancing, granting the audience to really connect with what Illenium was trying to express.
Keep in mind, this entire time everyone in the venue was bearing freezing temperatures and a cold sharp wind on their face, yet there was not a look of discomfort around. Illenium had successfully captured the attention of all in the stands as smiles filled the stairs from left to right, top to bottom. His band members rejoined him on stage and everyone was ready to get their blood moving again. A continuous stream of bangers started to come out of the massive speakers and right into the hearts of all the listeners. At one point during all of this their guitar player took center stage, seemingly just performing from there. However, as the energy built and a filthy drop was just around the corner, he raised his guitar above his head and smashed it down into pieces in classic rockstar fashion. Now that’s metal. Spirits were high and raging as his set swept neatly into a fantastic tie up of the night with his track “Good Things Fall Apart,” a collaboration with Jon Bellion.
As fans walked out absolutely beaming from the night, it was easy to see how Illenium has gained the attention of so many over the years. Creating a tight knit unit of hardcore fans and lovers known as the Illenials and garnering mass attention to almost 20 million monthly streams on Spotify as well as tremendous collabs with artists such as Excision, The Chainsmokers, and Jon Bellion.
We are humbled to have joined in on the emotion from the sold out shows this past weekend and can’t wait for what’s in store from Illenium as he spreads his message of acceptance and connection around the world.
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