It’s insane how long we music lovers have had to wait to experience the magic of live shows. Some people don’t truly understand how much live music impacts one another until they see those lights flickering above the crowd while the high-quality production blasts through your ears right before your very eyes. Luckily, this past week, ZHU was one of the first artists to carry that energy back to the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater with a groovy & memorable six-day concert run titled DREAMROCKS.
Fans definitely received a special set each night as the setlist set the vibe of his recently released album DREAMLAND 2021. Since the album release date, DREAMLAND 2021 has already suppressed 10-million streams, which is not surprising for the king of sensual, feel-good music. Since the COVID-19 pandemic closed live music venues across the world, ZHU’s multi-night DREAMROCKS run at the famed venue was one of the first of its kind. The demand for wanting to experience ZHU’s live music was/is so high that tickets sold out within minutes, even after ZHU was spontaneously adding more shows to the roster. Each night, there were different openers, all consisting of uniquely pure talent – including , , , , PUNJAHBAE, and OG Nixin. They each provided their own vibe that made each concert run distinctive in their own way.
As a huge ZHU listener myself, I was extremely fortunate enough to attend the 2nd night of DREAMROCKS, the night when Marvel Years was opening and it was the best performance I’ve seen from ZHU himself out of the six times I have seen him.
For ZHU, the dark and surreal have always been his bread and butter, and that’s what we attendees received. It wasn’t just the music itself that made the concert dreamlike, but also the top-notch stage and audio production. His set started off with the deep energetic track ‘Came For The Low’. Even with not-so-insane crazy lasers, the lighting effects were perfect to start and continue the show with. After the intro, I remember moving up towards the top of the arena to witness the full experience of the stage with the city of Denver behind. It was at that time when ZHU played one of his tracks from DREAMLAND 2021 titled, ‘Yours’ featuring Arctic Lake. That was the perfect song to simultaneously admire the beauty of Red Rocks and what it has to offer musically and physically. Another song he played that set the mood for the concert was his song ‘Guilty Love’ – the live guitar really did it for me as it brought the song up to a whole other level.
The next song that I enjoyed seeing live was when ZHU dropped his track with Bob Moses, ‘Desire’. The best part about that song was concurrently walking down towards the crowd and witnessing the dark but calming red lights moving both horizontally and vertically above the stage. The song’s chilling tone and Red Rocks are the key ingredients to a soul-seeking night in the mountains, that’s for sure. The set then slowly faded into one of my favorite ZHU tracks, ‘Desert Woman’. There was something about the live version that really made the crowd dance and groove like it was our last night on Earth. The energy the song put out at that time was surreal.
One of the most beautiful moments of the night was when I was walking back up to the talk and was able to see him play ‘Sky Is Crying’, featuring Yuma. There was something so deep and passionate about that part of the set that makes you want to look around and admire the charm and opportunity Red Rocks has to offer. Nothing can beat the vibe of listening to live sensual sounds in the mountains while overlooking the city. Shortly after, he mixed his two songs, ‘Cocaine Model’ and ‘Provacateur’, which had every one of us grooving to the end of dawn, followed by a chill house rendition of his track, ‘Drowning’. He then proceeded to close his set with the famous ‘Working For It’ featuring and THEY., which he is usually known to close with. However, my favorite part of his closing was when he mixed his songs, ‘Faded’ & ‘Zhustudio54’ – it was the jiviest mix that I’ve ever seen him pull off – absolutely incredible.
ZHU has been one of my favorite all-time artists spanning at least 5-6 years now. Every time I get a chance to see him live, a little part of me grows inside. Especially at a Red Rocks show where it’s the first one in a while post-COVID-19… grateful isn’t even enough to describe how we “ZHUMANS” feel right now.
To anyone who might have missed out, you may have missed your chance to see one of the most iconic and memorable sets ZHU has ever played. Hopefully, we can fit another potential show this year…
This content was originally published here.