If I start writing about the world’s coolest concert venues, I know some people are going to expect buildings like the Sydney Opera House. So let’s get this out of the way: It’s not on the list. This list is for outdoor venues, and also places where you’re just as likely to hear the crushing, cranked-up roar of an Engl Powerball as you are a Stradivarius violin.
Alright, let’s check out what made my list … and be sure to pitch in with your favorite venues and – just as importantly – who you want to see there!
Red Rocks Amphitheatre (Morrison, Colo., U.S.)
This blog post about the coolest concert venues has its roots at Red Rocks. I stopped there one year after skiing at Breckenridge (and collecting a sore throat along the way – yuck!). We were driving around and just happened to see the Red Rocks signs. And I was blown away. It looks like the planet Vulcan. Of course, music is probably illogical to Vulcans, so I can’t imagine they’d build it.
Unfortunately, it was a daytime visit and there wasn’t a show in progress.
Who I’d Like to Hear at Red Rocks: Rush. Red Rocks seems like it was built for Rush.
Pedreira Paulo Leminski (Curitiba, Brazil)
The world’s coolest concert venues can often do more than host concerts. Pedreira Paulo Leminski was the site of Curitiba’s 2014 FanFest fun. About 30,000 people would turn out to watch televised World Cup matches on an enormous screen. Then, local musicians would hit the stage. Everybody had a great time in the throes of World Cup Fever … including me.
Music fans here are surrounded by a pond, sheer quarry walls and an awesome slice of encroaching rain forest. This music venue has mojo.
Who I’d like to hear at Pedreira Paulo Leminski: The Gathering. I think they’re slower tempos would be less likely to ping off the fairly close rock walls. And hearing them outdoors in the rainforest? Yeah, that works (even with a singer other than their original).
Sweden’s entry to my world’s coolest concert venue post features a moat and a pirate ship. That’s right … a moat and a pirate ship. And yes, like Parque das Pedreiras, Dalhalla is a quarry. What a perfect re-use of a resource!
Some might argue that the moat prevents moshing. Like I care. I don’t go to metal concerts to have meatheads slam into me. I want to just let the sound wash over me, thanks very much. I just wonder if they can use Dalhalla in the winter!
Who I’d Like to Hear at Dalhalla: Hammerfall, who the hell else? They’re even Swedish, so nobody could do the job better!