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Blackbear and Co. Rocked the Rocks

Blackbear delivers moving performance at Red Rocks

From “idfc” to “do re mi,” Blackbear has scaled US R&B charts for the better part of the 2010s and just recently made his way on tour to Red Rocks this past Friday. Accompanied by his fellow producer and Mansionz co-artist Mike Posner, as well as pop talent Stalking Gia, EDM duo DVBBZ (read as “Dubbs”), and the new-gen hip-hop figure Lil Skies all made for a truly splendid night at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. 

Blackbear brought an array of music to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Beginning with the beautiful vocals and showmanship of Stalking Gia and her first live debut of “PTSD,” she displayed what made Blackbear notice her enough to offer her a spot on the track “Wish U the Best” and now a spot on her first headlining tour. Domineering, vibrant, and beautifully spoken, she kicked off the show with enough flare to set the tone for what had still yet to come that evening.

Gia’s show was followed by the somber vocals of Mike Posner and his guitar as he paid homage to the performance of the Dave Matthews Band in their 1995 record at Red Rocks. Posner, a notable writer for many pop artists today, showcased his influence by doing his own takes on “Stay with Me” by Sam Smith, “Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber, and “Sugar” by Maroon 5 in a stunning display of acoustic pop showmanship. He concluded by playing “Buried in Detroit” in honor of his father and “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” for the main inspiration of the song, the late EDM pop artist Avicii.

Switching tones with enough neon to paint Hong Kong, the wild and thrashing party songs from DVBBZ conquered the crowd in a flurry of dancing and bass drops, which echoed chillingly off the stone panels of the amphitheater. They played multiple party tracks off their EDM series “Kanary.” DVBBZ sent the audience into a roaring frenzy with hands high and heads banging with each node and drop in their performance.

Following this, Lil Skies’ performance took the time to play select tracks in honor of the recently passing artists Lil Peep, xxxtentacion, and Mac Miller, which served more than enough justice to the deaths of three icons in modern hip-hop/rap and R&B. With hyped tracks of his own and the recognition of other inspiring legends, Skies was more than able to hold his own on stage to continue the energy in the audience.

Then of course, in a stunning display of pyrotechnics and flash, Blackbear took the stage, defining why he was the main attraction. The crowd knew each lyric “Verbatim.” The amphitheater sang in unison during “chateau” and “IDWK.” Introducing unique live remixes of “idfc,” “Oceans,” and “i miss the old you,” was an experience that no recorded track or video could do justice to. Bear took the show with great vigor and the crowd was left screaming for more up to the very end.

From glee to sadness, from fury to sobriety, Blackbear and Co. exemplified the versatility of modern music in one four-hour show, making it a night to remember.

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