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The 50 Best Concert Venues in America

4. Red Rocks Amphitheatre

City: Golden, CO
Address: 18300 W Alameda Pkwy.
Capacity: 9,450
Coolest Feature: The huge, slanted rock that sits behind the stage

Since its opening in the early 1940s, the enormous open-air amphitheatre has been one of the most treasured locations for live performances in America. Owned and operated by the city and county of Denver, it includes thousands of seats built on an incline before a stage, all of which sit 6,450 feet above sea level. Built almost completely by Mother Nature herself, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre contains two massive monoliths—Creation Rock and Ship Rock—that control the acoustics within the venue.

It's first notable performance came during August 1964 when The Beatles appeared for the only date on their U.S. tour that wasn't sold out. Go figure. In 1971, roughly 1,000 people without tickets attempted to scheme their way into a Jethro Tull concert, leading to a tense standoff with police that resulted in rock concerts being banned at Red Rocks for five years.

During the summer of '83, U2's landmark performance was edited into Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky; the show also birthed two songs which appeared on their live album of the same name. Other artists to release material recorded at Red Rocks include Stevie Nicks, Dave Matthews Band, Neil Young, and Incubus. Most recently, Mumford & Son filmed their "I Will Wait" performance, eventually releasing it as the official video a few weeks later. Due to its reputation and stunning geological attributes, it's easy to understand why the Red Rocks Amphitheatre was previously one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

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