By Dexter Ray Ellis Jr.
There aren’t many situations where spending almost 4 hours in a plane, 2 additional hours lost in a maze of an airport, then another 2 hours in an uber, would be something fun. However, for me, all of that was small inconvenience when comparing it to what lied ahead. A couple months ago, I was contacted by one of my very good friends and together, we put a fool proof plan into action. See we had mutual friends living in Denver, friends that that I hadn't seen for almost a decade. Our “Fool Proof Plan” was to secretly coordinate and surprise them at the Rufus Du Sol, a popular EDM trio performing Red Rocks Ampitheater, right outside of Denver. See On top of that, they wouldn’t suspect a thing because all of this would go down on my birthday. We would just pretend we just happened to be at the same venue by pure chance. This idea took months upon months of planning, with plenty of caution to make sure we didn’t spoil the surprise. That being said, back home in Orlando, I in fact was telling everyone. In my defense, the friends I was surprising were all the way in New Jersey and I was very careful with my social media posts leading up (foreshadowing). I figured if word of mouth traveled that far, then so be it.
The plan was simple, I fly in, my secret contact steps away from the group, and meets up with me. After they take a strategic photo, BAM! I’m in the background, everyone smiles, there’s hugs all around , possibly a tear shed or two, and we have beautiful moment overall. Now even though this plan was air tight, if any of you know me, you’ll know that this is NOT how anything went. Let’s just say, in one fell swoop, the plan went full Dexter. On my blissful commute to the airport, I had nothing with me, no baggage, no carry on, just a pair of headphones, and a crap load of butterflies using my stomach as an Airbnb. Being the slightly self absorbed, social media addicted, millennial that I am, I proceeded to take a simple picture showing I was at the airport. For all they know I could have been going to Murfreesboro, TN, and the secrets integrity would remain in tact. Instead, my harmless picture blatantly had “DENVER” in the background. Unbeknownst to me, while flying 30,000 ft in the air, I had already spilled all sorts of beans. By the time I arrived into Denver airport, I was welcomed to a “YOU BLEW IT DUDE!” text. Unsurprisingly, the group had easily put two and two together and figured out that I was in fact coming to see Rufus.
For those who don’t know, the famous amphitheater is about an hour and change away from the airport, which was not what you would call, a “cheap Uber. Even after I got to the venue, I was yet to get my proverbial “breath of fresh air”, as I now have to find my constituents, among the thousands of dancing people. Not having seen these people in years, it was such an overwhelming feeling to navigate through everyone. Carefully maneuvering through the massive crowd while also making sure I didn't tumble down the steps was a challenge to say the least. After finally getting final view of my original contact for the now failed plan, I successfully made my safe passage to my friends, and not a second too soon. Right after the emotional reunion hugs, and hellos, the incredible Rufus Du Sol begin their set.
I have had the pleasure of seeing this eclectic, shadowy, yet elegant trio multiple times, but seeing them at Red Rocks hit wat different. Their show was so deep and immersive, I don’t know what can top it. The natural rock faces and scattered red lights as a backdrop was only overshadowed by the absolutely breathtaking production. Almost to the point of perfection, there was a beautiful moment, during the encore performance of You Were Right, nature, and humanity, and technology shared in this symbiotic dance of harmony. It seemed everyone joined in the freedom music gives us, all whilst in the background, hits of lightning began scattering across the rocky backdrop, almost going with the music each hit. There, in that moment, that breath I had been waiting for since the lady next to me in the plane angrily nudged me to make me aware I was snoring rather loud, finally was expelled, deeply, and fully, followed by the wave of happiness was borderline overwhelming.
Overall, I can confidently say this was up there with the best 24 hour adventures i’ve ever had. I would recommend to anyone that they should experience it as well.. The truncated time and stress, and the ever important pay off of the absolutely magnificent live show of Rufus Du Sol, was all worth it. Not to mention the exquisite content I was able to capture. I am beyond appreciative to all involved in this, my childhood friends, my amazing mom, the impeccable Rufus Du Sol, and the awe inspiring Red Rocks Amphitheater. I publicly want to thank you guys for vicariously having this adventure with me. Until next time, try your own 24 hour experience!