Saw Vinnie Colaiuta at Red Rocks last night


Senior Member
along with some guy named Sting- on his "Back to Bass" tour, of course. (;-)

Very pared-down, and absolutely wonderful show: sound was great, although (astonishingly) they had Sting's bass pulled way back in the mix. Vocal intelligibility was superb, among the best I've ever heard there. The music really deserves a very simple, non-orchestral presentation, and these guys did it up in spades: David Sancious and Dominic Miller are just solid as rocks, Peter Tickell is a fiddling sensation, and Jo Lawry is an outright revelation.

It was great to hear Vinnie's interpretation of all the Copeland stuff on the various Police songs they did. I seriously love the guy's live playing: just *solid*. IMNSHO, the best possible way to do this music is just to carve away all the fat, and leave the tune exposed.

Good, solid, hour and a half show, 3 encores. The most amusing thing about it was that the temperature was about 52-55degF, and poor Vinnie looked like he was *freezing his butt off*. He played the last half of the show with the hood on his hoodie pulled up. He did his usual "push the glasses up on the nose with the left hand" thing about 5 times a tune, but to this he added "and adjust the hoodie to keep the wind from blowing down his neck", all without affecting his performance in any perceptible way.

Unreal. And very much worth the price of admission!


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Gold Member
Thanks for the review! I saw Vinnie with Sting back in 1995 and loved it. He's pretty darn good at playing drums. :)

Anthony Amodeo

who is this Vinnie you speak of ?

and why should I care what color the rocks are ?

....... seriously though..... seeing Mr. C is always a religious experience for me

whenever I am feeling slightly uninspired there are two players I listen to or watch play to get that sudden urge to lock myself in the studio for hours on end

one is Tony Williams....and the other is Vinnie Colaiuta

you are lucky to see him at such an amazing venue


Gold Member
Cool! I saw Yanni there last summer and now it will be the only place i see a concert, I have been checking their schedule and don't remember seeing this.


Platinum Member

Man, I've been lucky to have seen almost every drummer that I cared for play, 'CEPT THE ALIEN!!!!

Like ANthony said, must have been a religious experience...



Senior Member
He even had a vocal mic hung, and pulled it out a few times. I'm not sure that it was for vocal work proper, though. He might have just been using it to tell the monitor mixer operator to have the management *turn down the dadgum A/C*... (;-)


Watched him on Palladia with Jeff Beck the other night again for the third or fourth time. Every time I see him he amazes me more. Not everyone's cup of tea, but he has skills that are almost unmatched by anyone!


Junior Member
He did his usual "push the glasses up on the nose with the left hand" thing about 5 times a tune, but to this he added "and adjust the hoodie to keep the wind from blowing down his neck", all without affecting his performance in any perceptible way.
That bit made me laugh... Great review. I saw Vinnie with Sting twice in 1996 and I still rate those shows as two of the greatest experiences ever. He plays with so much POWER!


Platinum Member
There is nothing like seeing a great concert,especially one that includes possibly the world's best drummer. May the memory of it live in your mind forever. Peace and goodwill.


Senior Member
The camera was primarily on Sting, but it did switch around quite a bit. So all the players got some good coverage, especially for solos- as one would hope. I only had to wait for a couple of minutes for them to switch to him to grab that shot. I took a number of other shots, but that early one was by far the best: the camera in my phone simply couldn't handle the brutal contrast of that screen once it got any darker. The show started at 8:15pm and it was pretty heavily overcast, so the daylight was gone after just a couple of songs. And that's when the chill started to set in.

I just confirmed that Clair Brothers are the primary sound contractor for this tour: They really did a top-shelf job. I absolutely love it when the PA rig can just loaf along with tons of headroom, and be crisp and tight. The folks at Clair are among the very best that there are, and no doubt about it.

One other nice thing to note: they only had a couple of days to get here and get acclimated to the altitude, and it didn't seem to affect them at all. For those who have never been there, the stage at Red Rocks is at 6450 feet elevation above sea level. And that has caught more than one sea-level-dwelling artist out when they come here. Sting has been here enough times that he knows the drill, and he's a seasoned pro in any case- but ain't none of us getting any younger. I usually huff and puff a bit hiking up from the parking lots, and I freakin' live at the same altitude!

One other thing: Sting referred to Vinnie as "the world's greatest drummer" on several occasions. There's definitely respect there.

Chicago tonight and tomorrow. It is a worthwhile tour to catch. Thanks for the kind words, all, and rest assured that I will remember that one in detail for a long time to come!


Platinum Member
He's in Chicago this weekend. I'm stuck in Miami for a previous commitment, otherwise I would be there.