Over the past couple of weeks I’d changed my plans for the next few days. I was supposed to be getting a bus to Birmingham, Alabama today and spending the weekend there. Then it was onto Houston for a day and three days in Lafayette, Louisiana. After Lafayette I was off to New Orleans for a day before a full 24 hours on a bus to Sarasota, Florida. This had all been arranged during spring back home and didn’t take into account things like how hot Birmingham is at this time of year, how gruelling spending so long on a Greyhound is and also recent flooding in Louisiana and hurricanes in northern Florida. Most of the travel and accommodation were refundable so it was back to the drawing board with a new itinerary for the next week.
From Memphis I found a reasonably priced flight that was covered with my Southwest Airlines voucher following a previous delay at Salt Lake City. Although I’ve been to Denver not that long ago, it’s a nice place, has good accommodation options and this weekend the Riotfest music festival was taking place.
The Candlewood Suites has become my go-to Denver hotel due to it being one of the best redemptions of IHG points out there. The hotel has what it describes as a business centre but most other people would call it a public computer and printer. This facility came in handy as the only delivery option for the Riotfest tickets was print at home, something not ideal for a person who doesn’t currently have neither a home nor a printer!
The light-rail into Denver was packed tonight. All sorts was going on in Denver. As well as Riotfest, there was a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Colorado Rockies baseball team were playing. By the the most popular occasion though was a college American Football game at Mile High Stadium between the University of Colorado and Colorado State University. Nb. it’s difficult to know whether to capitalise American Football. Obviously sports are but countries aren’t and it would look funny as American football.
Riotfest has an unusual setup. The site is located on the outskirts of Denver, next to what Americans would call the freeway. It usually hosts cattle-markets, rodeos, and the like. The second stage was in the arena/barn area, while the main stage was outside in what normally was the car park. I liked how there were two stages next to each other so that when one band was playing, the other stage was being set up. This meant that the gap between acts was only a few minutes. The festival ran for the whole of the Labor Day bank holiday weekend, although I only went today. Saturday and Sunday’s line-up was also decent and included Ween, Sleater-Kenny, Misfits, The Hold Steady and some top notch hip-hop from Nas. When I arrived Jake Bugg had just taken to the stage, although I’m no big fan. Next up were Death Cab For Cutie who were quite good. There was also a horrible clash of headliners. In the barn were Deftones who I like. However outside were Jane’s Addiction who I really like. They were also performing their classic album, Ritual de Lo Habitual, in full. The last time I was supposed to see Jane’s Addiction was at Reading Festival in 2011, when they were headlining the second stage. I’d gone all the way down to Reading for the day, essentially just to see them. As they were due to take the stage, Dave Navarro came out and apologised and told everyone that they wouldn’t be performing because Perry Farrell had a sore throat. As I type, five years on, I’m still livid about this! Jane’s Addiction can be brilliant. Their show at the Manchester Apollo in 2003 was one of the greatest live music performances I’ve seen. Tonight was not at that standard but it was still very good.