Recommended: Red Rocks Going for Round Two

4 Michael Franti - Red Rocks June 5; Photo by Tim Van Schmidt

Tim Van Schmidt


Here we go again.

If you have been keeping your eye on area live music schedules, you probably have seen that fabled Colorado outdoor venue Red Rocks’ 2021 schedule is a whole lot like last year’s schedule — a lot of the shows have been rescheduled from last year due to virus concerns.

Apparently, nobody wants to give up a date at Red Rocks.

Things are improving out there, but is Colorado ready yet for a pandemic concert lineup? We’ll see, but let’s “be here now” and check out the current Red Rocks dates.

Those dates include Ziggy Marley and Stephen Marley, along with Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, on May 30, Michael Franti and Spearhead on June 5, The Revivalists on June 11, Big Head Todd and the Monsters on June 12, Chicago on June 17, The Tedeschi-Trucks Band on July 30-31, Joe Bonamassa on August 8-9 and The Black Crowes on August 29-30.

Keep your fingers crossed for good luck in 2021 — there is no place better to see an outdoor show than Red Rocks.  The Red Rocks site is at, and they explain this about the schedule: “Please know the 2021 schedule is subject to change depending on COVID-related conditions and artist availability.”

Ziggy Marley – Red Rocks May 30; Photo by Tim Van Schmidt

More music: Other live music on the schedule in the area includes the Mad Dog Blues Band at Avogadro’s Number on April 10. Pianist Gary Schmidt will be at The Rialto Theater in Loveland on April 23.

For something completely different, the Front Range Chamber Players will be presenting the Mendelssohn Trio, performing Rachmoninov and Tchaikovsky, on April 27 as part of their “Creative Colorado Virtual!” series. You can find the event at

Also, be on the lookout for the virtual version of Opera Fort Collins’ monthly event, “Arias at Avo’s.” The live event has traditionally occurred on the last Sunday of the month at Avogadro’s Number. The group, celebrating its 41st anniversary this year, is currently carrying on by posting fresh performances each month on YouTube. Opera Fort Collins also has a special live program on the schedule titled “Afternoon Tea With a Diva,” set for June 13. Check their site for details at


FoCoMX: The bad news is that the annual FoCoMX festival — a Fort Collins music festival organized by the Fort Collins Musicians Association — has been postponed from its usual date range in April until the fall. Yes, that’s because of virus concerns, which messed with the event’s dates last year too.

FoCoMX is just a brilliant opportunity to hear Colorado music in all its diversity and glory. The festival books multiple acts into multiple area venues over several days to present a yearly snapshot of just how creative our musicians are. That’s what makes it worth the wait. Even during a pandemic, you shouldn’t count out FoCoMX just like you can’t count out regional musicians, who have probably been woodshedding like crazy over the past year. 

My prediction is that in the fall, FoCoMx will be an exciting outpouring of pent-up expression.

To fill in the gap between now and then, FoCoMX organizers will be presenting a mini virtual festival dubbed “FoCoMX: Public Trust” and will feature performances by BBMC, Copper Teeth, DEBR4H, Hanna Doreen Brown, The Sickly Hecks, and Smelling Melons as well as interviews. This event will occur on April 23 at Check that one out, and then get primed for the return of FoCoMX later in the year.


Movies to stream: In the far future, less fortunate people in space get some of the worst jobs.

In the new 2021 Sci-Fi feature on Netflix from South Korea, “Space Sweepers,” not only do workman spaceship crews have to retrieve all the junk floating in orbit around the Earth, but they also have to compete for it. The winners grab salvage pay while the losers get nothing.

So begins an imaginative romp that sees one crew of misfits get embroiled in a titanic struggle to control the power of one special little girl. You might say the movie is a little shallow, with comedy bits punctuating fantastic action, but it is charming nonetheless, and there is plenty of futuristic eye candy.

“Nomadland,” on Hulu, is more of a tone poem than entertainment. It begins as a hard-luck story about a widow, played by Frances McDormand, who leaves a devastated Nevada town to live on the road in her van. 

It’s not for fun but for survival. However, she finds a warm camaraderie with others doing the same thing, and it helps lighten her load. The buzz is that this is part fiction and part documentary, using real “van people,” or “nomads,” as part of the story.

The pace in “Nomadland” is slow, but that is the point. While sadness seems to permeate the movie and those who populate it, there is also the sense of people taking charge of their lives anyway, even if it is something that others — more sedentary people — can’t understand. A lot of the more static moments in the movie are actually moments of beauty you could only appreciate if you were “out there.”

The 2021 Netflix release “I Care A Lot,” featuring Rosamund Pike as a predator targeting seniors, has nothing to do with beauty. It is about greed, a strong motivator that trumps even hate.

The set-up is that Pike’s barracuda character, a professional “legal guardian,” traps senior citizens with court orders, tucks them away into facilities friendly to her grift, then bleeds the people’s resources dry. That is until she picks the wrong old lady to add to her roster of cash cows. This results in escalating mayhem when the woman’s son turns out to be a nasty Russian mob figure.

But the movie takes an unexpected turn that underscores the power of greed.

While a very gritty but engaging story, I worry about viewers who might not find it abhorrent to prey on the weak and elderly. I would guess this movie might even be an inspiration to some. For that, I have to question if where this ends up isn’t misguided.

Tim Van Schmidt is a writer and photographer based in Fort Collins. Check out his channel on YouTube at “Time Capsules by Tim Van Schmidt.”


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