11 June 1988
Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre, Englewood, CO
I must express thanks to my friend from college, Nancy. She and I happened to both be attending tech school at Lowry AFB, CO, and she was kind enough to tell me about, and invite me to, this concert. I had become interested in some of the material from Dan Fogelberg's latest CD, Exiles, and was curious to see the talented singer, songwriter, guitar/piano player.
On a historical note, this was the very first event at this brand new outdoor venue, just off of I-25, a few miles South of downtown Denver. And, who would be more appropriate to perform than long-time resident of the Rocky Mountains, Dan Fogelberg?
The drive to this outdoor show raised some anxiety, as we faced an above-typical Colorado afternoon thundershower that dumped copious quantities of water on the freeway and the new car I purchased a mere seven days earlier. A couple days earlier, four tornados had touched down on the Denver Metro area.
But, having only lived in Colorado for 3 1/2 months at this point, I was quickly becoming aware what's commonly mentioned here in the Front Range, "If you don't like the weather here, wait 15 minutes and it will change!" Sure enough, by the time we arrived at Fiddler's, the rain had stopped, and the clouds began to part.
Though we got tickets late, Nancy was lucky enough to get seats in the FIFTH ROW! A zither-and-xylophone duo, dubbed "The Magical Strings" opened the show. Though I'd never heard of this performing outfit before, they claimed to be from Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, about seven miles from where I grew up. Evergreen could be considered a cultural pinnacle of the South Puget Sound area. They talked about endless hours of gazing at "Magical Mountain", again, another cultural marker in Olympia that I had never heard of before. At this point, I was beginning to question the authenticity of this group.
Regardless, they eventually made way for the main act, who stepped on stage with his Gibson 12-string, and ripped into the picking-intensive "Nexus". His latest hit, "Lonely In Love" followed, with his Martin 6-string de-tuned a semitone from the studio version.
Dan introduced his hit from 1983, "Make Love Stay", by stating that it was the only song he was aware of that used the word, "exhume". Interestingly, one of the largest rounds of applause occurred when his song had progressed to the point where that word first appeared. The second time it appeared, he sang, "And once deceased, not easily.....", but chose to shrug his shoulders in lieu of saying the word. This received an equivalent audience reaction.
More of his humor appeared later during "Hard to Say", when he replaced the word, "cry" with "ski" in, "Like why each time the sky begins to snow, you cry".
Dan, clean shaven for the first time in years, wandered over to the piano, and performed "Seeing You Again", his latest tune from Exiles, or what many call "The Divorce Album".
Dan played several other tunes, but, because this show was "An Acoustic Evening with Dan Fogelberg", fans had to miss out on several of his hits, including, "Power Of Gold, "Heart Hotels", and "Language of Love". Ironically, "Longer", his most popular acoustic number, as well as his biggest hit single (#2 in 1979), didn't make the set list.
His show continued with the familiar "Part Of The Plan", which he began with staccato strums in the key of Am7, testing the reverberation of the Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre. I must say that, in terms of sound, layout, and scenery, I'm very impressed with this new challenge to Red Rocks. The concert ended with encores of "Same Old Lang Syne", and the singalong, "There's A Place In The World For A Gambler".
The local radio stations were kind enough to drown the airwaves with his selections into the night. My friend and I made every excuse to keep driving, stopping at drive-thrus, and sitting while parked back at Lowry AFB, to enjoy the day's Dan Fogelberg experience as long a possible.
[****] - Steven T.
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