Sure, there’s nothing quite like the intimacy of a jazz club or the tightknit feel of a roadhouse or honky-tonk if you’re into live music, but when it comes to real life concerts spectacles, you just aren’t going to ever be able to top the open-air concert.
Whether this concert is held at a world-renowned outdoor amphitheater like Red Rocks or at a major football stadium like Gillette in Massachusetts makes absolutely no difference – there’s just something about being one of 50,000+ people (and sometimes a lot more than that) all moving and grooving to a live show put on by professionals.
And even though the open-air concert seems like a bit of a modern construct, nothing could be further from the truth. These kinds of concerts have been going on almost since music was created, giving everyone the opportunity to really rock out in the great outdoors.
If you’d like to learn a little bit more about open-air concerts, what helps to make them so special, and where to check out the most impressive open-air concerts around the United States (and especially in California), you’re going to want to check out the inside info we have for you below.
A quick history of open-air concerts
For whatever reason, human beings developed music pretty early on, and ever since the first couple of ladies and gentlemen got together to hum a tune, open-air concerts have been pretty much “THE” way to enjoy some music.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater was not only home to some of the most impressive plays in human history, but also some of the most jaw-dropping early open-air concerts, but people were playing concerts even further back in time. The Coliseum for one was almost always rocking with some kind of entertainment, and open-air concerts were quite popular even back in ancient Rome.
Fast forwarding quite a bit, Central Park in New York City has always been a hotspot for open-air concerts and a great place to take in a show. Not a night goes by in the city that never sleeps without a bit of music being played in the park.
Today, there are literally thousands and thousands of open-air concert places all throughout the United States alone, with maybe hundreds of thousands of all over the world. It’s become almost effortless to find an open-air concert no matter where you live!
The spectacle of the open-air concert
If you really want to know what differentiates an open-air concert from a more traditional venue all you have to do is visit a major stadium like Gillette, like Mile High, or like Yankee Stadium – or even better yet, make a trip out to Colorado and see what Red Rock Amphitheater is all about.
You’ll know exactly what the experience is all about the moment that you hear the first note carryover the crowd and hit you like 100,000 watts of electricity. There’s nothing quite like being in the crowd of thousands and thousands of people all moving and grooving to the same act. It is quite literally electric.
On top of that, these kinds of concerts are almost always home to amazing light shows, pyrotechnics, and the kind of man-made spectacles that aren’t all that “indoor friendly”. This helps to take the performance over the top, to create a truly grand scale, and to transform your expectations and your experience from attending a simple concert to something else entirely.
Just imagine what the atmosphere at the original Woodstock must have been like – that’s the magic of the open-air concert!
Venues that you are going to want to make sure to visit
If you are only going to attend a single open-air concert in your life, you’ll want to try and make sure that it’s the one in Denver at the Red Rocks Amphitheater. Carved right into the mountain stone, it sits almost 10,000 people it is home to some of the most spectacular shows in the world.
There’s just something about the combination of music, nature, and the atmosphere of this amphitheater that sets everything over the top.
You’ll also want to check out the Ford Amphitheater in Los Angeles, the Greek Theater in Berkeley, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, and the Mountain Winery in San Jose. All of these have can’t miss shows all year long!