Concert Venue Bucket List

As I often write about seeing live music, it should be no surprise to anyone that I have a bucket list of concert venues at which I would love to see a concert at some point. There’s not that many of them, so getting to them all is totally feasible. I just need to start making the effort to do it.

At the top of my list is the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. It’s probably been close to 20 years since I first found out that Red Rocks existed and have wanted to go there every since. Not only does it look like an amazing venue built into gorgeous red rocks in the area, but they play host to an amazing line up of artists every season. I came the closest I’ve ever been to going this summer. I was in Colorado Springs for a conference this June and I was hoping there would be someone I wanted to see playing at the same time. Unfortunately there wasn’t, but I was super sad that Ryan Adams was playing two days after I left. Alas, I didn’t have a good enough reason to stick around that long to see him. I guess I’ll just have to plan a Colorado trip specifically to go to Red Rocks sometime soon.

A good number of the venues on this list are in or around the Nashville area, so I can probably knock them all out in one well planned trip. As a lover of country music I of course have on my list the home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium. It would be an honor to sit in that place where so many legends of country music have played.

You may of course guess that this also means I would love to see a show at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. It’s an intimate venue playing host to up and coming and hopeful singer/songwriters. I remember first learning about the Bluebird Cafe from the 1993 movie The Thing Called Love. It starred River Phoenix right before his death, Dulmot Mulroney, Samantha Mathis, and Sandra Bullock shortly before she hit it big with Speed. I adored this movie about some country singers trying to make it big in Nashville. The Bluebird Cafe featured in it prominently, and I have wanted to go there ever since I saw it. Now of course the Bluebird shows up regularly in the tv show Nashville, which has just increased my desire to make it there.

About an hour and a half outside of Nashville is a place called Cumberland Caverns. They host concerts there under a series called Bluegrass Underground. I became aware of it a few years ago when I saw some video they recorded for the series they broadcast under that name on PBS. Of course my sucktastic local PBS station (seriously MPT is the worst) of course doesn’t air it, but I’ve seen some short portions of a few of the concerts online. It looks like an amazing experience to see some live bluegrass music played underground in a cavern.

Speaking of PBS and concert series, at some point I’d like to make it back to Austin and actually get to see a taping of Austin City Limits. The concert series itself is more historic at this point than the venue, which moved about four years ago. When we were in Austin last fall sadly there wasn’t really anything going on there. I guess it’s a good reason to go back to Austin at some point and eat my weight in barbecue again.

Venues that are built into natural settings with gorgeous views are held high in my esteem, which leads to my final two venues The Greek Theatre and the Gorge Amphitheatre. The Greek Theatre is built inside of Griffith Park in Los Angeles. It’s styled like an old Greek theatre. It looks like a pretty cool place to see a show. Finally, on my list is the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington. It is often voted one of the best outdoor concert venues. It’s built at the foothills of the Cascade mountains overlooking the Columbia River. The pictures I’ve seen of it look amazing. It holds over 27,000 people and plays host as such to a lot of music festivals. I suspect if I ever do get there I would need to be very selective about what I saw. I don’t like dealing with that many people and especially not that many drunk and high people, so a music festival is out. I’d have to see if there was something else that was a little less intense to attend before I could ever commit to seeing something at that particular venue.

My husband is probably groaning reading this because he probably wants to go with me to exactly none of these places, so I’m sure he’d love to plan all our future vacations around visiting them.

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