By Mary Zakheim
With summer comes longer days, lobster-red sunburns, weird tan lines and, our favorite, all of our much-loved bands coming out to play! While seeing your favorite band play anywhere would be enough for a true fan (oh, the terrible venues I’ve endured for love), seeing your favorite band play at a truly spectacular setting is worth the plane ticket that it takes to make that happen. Luckily for all of us, there are plenty of stunning music venues across this scenic country that play host to a variety of popular and indie acts! Pack your bags, folks, and get ready to watch your favorite bands in your (soon-to-be) favorite venues:
The Gorge Amphitheatre – George, Washington
Overlooking the magnificent Columbia River in Central Washington, The Gorge Amphitheater is the perfect setting for a summer set. While the biggest performances take place during its famous Sasquatch Music Festival, the venue has smaller festivals and acts playing throughout the summer months – culminating in an annual Labor Day Weekend show by the Dave Matthews Band. Since its opening in 1985, the venue has often been called one of the best (and most beautiful) outdoor amphitheatres for its sweeping mountain views, slanted lawn that can seat 20,000 people and its nearby campgrounds.
Crosby Theatre – Santa Fe, New Mexico
Home to the Santa Fe Opera, this stunning outdoor theatre is surrounded by the towering Jemez and Sangre de Cristo Mountains, providing patrons with beautifully scenic views of New Mexico’s natural landscape. Not only is it architecturally interesting, with its plunging and arching rooftop, the design is also meant to capture rainwater to recycle and use around the grounds. From July to August, the theatre invites guests from around the world to come and listen to the Sante Fe Opera in a wonderfully unique setting. To date, the venue has hosted events ranging from typical classical music performances to international opera premieres.
Red Rocks Amphitheater – Morrison, Colorado
About a thirty-minute drive outside of Denver lay the impressive Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Surrounded by Colorado’s trademark hulking crimson rocks, the setting provides the world’s only naturally-occurring and acoustically perfect amphitheatre. The vistas are so sweeping, beautiful and breathtaking, that a visit is a must for any music lover. The theatre seats close to 10,000 people and has hosted acts as big as The Beatles, as classic as country legend Dolly Parton and as modern as indie darlings The Avett Brothers. Sitting 6,450 feet above sea level, this mile-high amphitheatre delivers acoustics as beautiful as its views.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion – Chicago, Illinois
The mountainous stage, located in Chicago’s Millennium Park, is an architectural wonder – with its fluttering steel ribbons and intersecting maze of pipes. The venue is a mix of fixed seating and standing room that can host up to 11,000 people for its summer concerts. It plays host to an assortment of acts – from pop to country to classical – that, no matter what is playing, draws huge crowds eager to see sets on such a magnificent stage. Not only is the pavilion a beautiful sight to see, the setting also offers grand views of the Chicago skyline from its vantage point.