If I write about the world’s coolest music venues, I know some people will 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.
So 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 AmphitheatreÂ (Morrison, Colo., U.S.)
I got the idea for this post after a spontaneous stop at Red Rocks near Denver. We were driving around and just happened to see the Red Rocks signs. And the venue blew me 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 LeminskiÂ (Curitiba, Brazil)
The world’s coolest concert venues often do more than host concerts. Pedreira Paulo Leminski was the site of Curitiba’s 2014 FanFest: 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. And I had never even heard of it before I went to Curitiba.
Music fans here are surrounded by a pond, sheer quarry walls and an awesome slice of encroaching rain forest. And this gives this world’s coolest music venueÂ entry some serious mojo.
Who I’d like to hear at Pedreira Paulo Leminski: The Gathering. Their slower tempos would be less likely to ping off the quarry 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, DalhallaÂ is a quarry. What a perfect re-use of a resource!
Some might argue that the moat prevents moshing. But I don’t go to metal concerts to have meatheads slam into me. Just let the sound wash over me, thanks very much. Seems like Dalhalla wouldn’t get much use in the winter considering the climate, though.
Who I’d Like to Hear at Dalhalla: Hammerfall, who the hell else? They’re even Swedish, so nobody could do the job better!