Blues Traveler & Big Head Todd and The Monsters

Blues Traveler•Big Head Todd and The Monsters•July 11, 2023•Red Butte Garden

Reviewed and Photographed by Alisha Gregson

July 11th was a night to remember for Salt Lake City concertgoers. Blues Traveler and Big Head Todd and The Monsters rocked the Red Butte Garden. Fans of both bands were in for a treat. The two acts delivered an unforgettable show that had the crowd on its feet. From the opening notes of Big Head Todd’s set to the final encore of Blues Traveler’s, the evening was a high-energy show.

The Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City was the perfect setting for Blues Traveler and Big Head Todd and The Monsters to perform their best hits. The beautiful gardens provided a picturesque backdrop for the concert. Eager fans arrived early and covered the lawn long before the opening act. The summer breeze cooled the air, adding to the already incredible atmosphere. Despite its capacity for thousands of concertgoers, the venue still had an intimate feel. 

Photo Credit: Alisha Gregson

Blues Traveler and Big Head Todd and The Monsters have both been mainstays in the American rock scene since the late 1980s and early 1990s. Blues Traveler, led by master of the harmonica John Popper, first rose to fame with their hit single “Run-Around” in 1994. They have since released numerous albums that have showcased their unique blend of blues, rock, and jam band influences.

Photo Credit: Alisha Gregson

Similarly, Big Head Todd and The Monsters, led by guitarist and vocalist Todd Park Mohr, made a name for themselves in the early 90s with their album Sister Sweetly which included hit songs “Bittersweet” and “Broken Hearted Savior”. Both bands have earned a reputation as incredible live performers. They are known for their excellent musicianship and energetic shows that always leave their audiences wanting more.

Big Head Todd and The Monsters

Kicking off the evening’s festivities, Big Head Todd and The Monsters put on an impressive opening act. This Colorado-based rock band brought their signature sound of blues, funk, and rock to the stage and didn’t hold back, keeping the audience engaged throughout their set. 

Lead vocalist and guitarist Todd Park Mohr commanded the stage with his soulful vocals and impressive guitar riffs. The rest of the band brought their own unique flair to each song. Their setlist included hits like “Bittersweet,” “Broken Hearted Savior,” and “Circle.” Their entire set had the crowd singing along and swaying to the beat. Big Head Todd and The Monsters got the crowd hyped and set the bar high for the rest of the evening’s performances. Their energy and musical talent left the audience excited and anticipating Blues Traveler’s arrival on stage. It was clear that this opening act was more than just a warm-up, as Big Head Todd and The Monsters proved to be a powerhouse in their own right.

Blues Traveler

As the sun set over the stage at Red Butte Gardens, the anticipation in the crowd was at an all-time high. The stage was set, the instruments were tuned, and the moment had finally arrived for Blues Traveler to perform. The cheers erupted as the band members walked out one by one. They were greeted with an enthusiastic response from the crowd.

Frontman John Popper wasted no time in captivating the audience with his harmonica skills, as his soulful notes reverberated through the venue. The band kicked off their set with an energetic rendition of their hit song “Mountain Cry,” drawing the audience into a world of blues-infused rock.

Throughout the night, Blues Traveler treated the crowd to a mix of their classic hits and new material. They did an excellent job showcasing their musical versatility and raw talent. Popper’s harmonica solos were nothing short of mesmerizing, and he played with a level of skill and emotion that left the audience in awe.

It wasn’t just Popper who stole the show. Each band member had a moment under the spotlight to shine, displaying their musical talent. Guitarist Chan Kinchla delivered electrifying solos, while drummer Brendan Hill and bassist Tad Kinchla provided a solid foundation for the band’s exciting sound.

Photo Credit: Alisha Gregson

Blues Traveler has a reputation for being an incredibly energetic live band. They definitely did not disappoint at Red Butte Garden. The energy from the crowd was infectious, with everyone on their feet dancing and singing along. The highlight of the crowd interaction came during “Run-Around,” when the entire venue seemed to be jumping up and down in unison. The band was clearly feeding off the energy of the crowd, with their own energy growing stronger with every song.

One of the crowd’s favorite moments was when Blues Traveler and Big Head Todd and The Monsters came together on stage for a mind-blowing collaboration. The musicians showed off their incredible talent and chemistry by jamming together while creating an unforgettable performance on stage. 

Blues Traveler is known for their long improvisations, and this was evident during their performance. They seamlessly transitioned from one song to another, often extending the length of their songs with mesmerizing instrumentals. The crowd was completely captivated the entire evening, losing themselves in the music and the energy of the band. The band ended the concert with one of their biggest hits, “Hook,” and let the crowd take over the chorus. The entire concert was exciting from beginning to end, and both bands gave the fans at Red Butte a concert they won’t soon forget. 

4 Replies to “Blues Traveler & Big Head Todd and The Monsters”

  1. I attended the show last night in Lincoln, Ca and it was probably the worst concert I’ve ever been to. Big Head Todd was good, but Blues Traveler was terrible. I was very disappointed. Popper inexplicably walked off the stage twice during the set. The sound and lights were awful. You couldn’t hear Popper’s harmonica or singing over the mix, which sounded like a catfight. The bass player was wandering around barely playing , barely standing. It was like an off night at the Moose Lodge. Big Head Todd, is pretty good, probably should have been headlining instead of BT.

    1. Oh wow! Sorry to hear you had such a rough experience. Sounds like a rough night for BT. Hopefully they’re not all like that! Thanks for your comment.

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