Jim Gaffigan December 7, 2018 Vivint Arena

By: Kevin Rolfe

Photo By: Kevin Rolfe

Stand up comedy is an art form that fascinates me.  The ability to stand in front of a group of strangers and cause them to naturally react to something you’re saying with laughter totally blows my mind.  I truly marvel at the nerve these people have. I don’t know how they do it. I think it must be the scariest, riskiest in terms of failure potential, and therefore the most rewarding art form out there.  When a comic bombs, it’s just them out there. There aren’t other bandmates that they can share in their tanking with. It’s just them. But when done right, what can be better than having an entire comedy club crying laughing because of something you said.  Then imagine having an entire theater cracking up at something you said. Then imagine having an entire arena, filling a venue with thunderous laughter because of something you said. That’s how it was on Friday, December 7, at Vivint Smart Home Arena with Jim Gaffigan.  

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Metallica November 30, 2018 Vivint Arena Salt Lake City

By: Kevin Rolfe

Photo By: Kevin Rolfe

November 30, 2018, was a historic night for Vivint Smart Home Arena.  Not only did Metallica make their return to the venue, and Utah, after a ten-year absence, but they also set the arena’s post-renovation attendance record with 17,574 fans showing up for the concert.  And I believe it! I don’t think I’ve seen that place so packed!

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Andrea Bocelli November 29, 2018 Vivint Arena Salt Lake City

By: Kevin Rolfe

Photo By: Kevin Rolfe

We really classed things up over here at Utah Concert Review last night.  Vivint  Smart Home Arena was transformed into an opera house, and we attended Andrea Bocelli’s first ever concert in Utah.  He has such a strong fan base here in Utah that it was surprising that he had never played here before. Well, it was well worth the wait.  Bocelli’s fans were out in full force packing the arena for their favorite tenor’s debut in Utah.

Before I get into the concert itself, I have to mention some things about the audience and the venue.  While I enjoy attending concerts at Vivint Smart Home Arena the sound isn’t always the best. It’s just the way the venue was built.  Some tours come through and the sound techs can’t figure out how to mix this venue. Other times it’s passable and the show is so good no one cares. And other times the sound is good. I was concerned because of the type of show Andrea Bocelli puts on. It’s opera. It’s the type of music that is usually performed in halls created with the greatest acoustics you’ll find anywhere. But I have to hand it to whoever did the sound at this show. As far as shows go at Vivint Arena, this was one of the best I’ve heard.

Now, with opera being performed, this show is an upscale event.  A certain decorum and style are expected as such events. But it’s difficult because we’re all walking into a venue where basketball is played, and Metallica is performing the next night.  If you’re going to the Capitol Theater to see The Magic Flute, I think you know it’s the type of show where you throw on your best suit or dress. But I think this audience got the idea. People were dressed to the nines!  I saw slick suits and fancy gowns all throughout the arena. I saw furs (hopefully synthetic, or really really old!) and ascots. This audience was gussied up! And for whatever reason, that made me really happy.

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Lindsey Stirling Wanderland Tour November 26, 2018 Maverik Center

By: Kevin Rolfe

I have never seen Lindsey Stirling perform live before Monday night.  Well, now that I think about it, that’s not really true. I, like many of you, saw Lindsey for the first time at a halftime of a Utah Jazz game.  She was then known as the “Hip Hop Violinist”. I can’t remember if it was before or after her quarterfinal run on season five of “America’s Got Talent”.  But I would never have guessed the worldwide success she’s achieved since then. Not that I didn’t she had talent. I just can’t remember seeing someone perform at a halftime of a NBA game, then seeing them at a show they’re headlining.  I’ve been really happy for her success. It seems she’s worked hard for it, and the work has paid off. Lindsey brought her Wanderland Holiday Tour to the Maverik Center on Monday night. It was a show filled with heart, humor and holiday cheer.  

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Trans Siberian Orchestra November 20, 2018 Vivint Arena Salt Lake City

By Kevin Rolfe

Photo by: Kevin Rolfe

You know when you walk into a venue and there’s a sign taped to every door warning of lasers, flashing lights, and pyrotechnics, that you’re in store for quite an experience. And what an experience it was! Trans-Siberian Orchestra is celebrating their twentieth anniversary, but from the looks of things, there are no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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The Alarm November 2, 2018 The Commonwealth Room Salt Lake City

By: Kevin Rolfe

Photo By: Kevin Rolfe

If I had to describe Friday night at The Commonwealth Room in three words, I’d have to say, Passionate, Energetic, and Emotional.  The Alarm pulled no punches in their return to Salt Lake City. I was exhausted after the show, and I didn’t even perform! I don’t know how Mike Peters and the gang perform at that high a level night in and night out.

The Alarm opened their set with one of their many hit songs, “Rain in the Summertime”.  It may as well have been the encore the way the crowd was roaring. They didn’t miss a beat with “Beautiful”, a song off of their latest album Equals, followed by “Strength”.  I was impressed at just how well their new song fit with a couple of their classic favorites.  

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Goo Goo Dolls November 1, 2018 The Depot Salt Lake City

By: Justin Hicken w/ contributions by Hannah SpencerPhoto By: Kevin Rolfe

While they easily could have played to a much larger sold-out venue, The Goo Goo Dolls chose to keep things intimate Thursday night November 1st at The Depot in Salt Lake City. The 1,200 person-capacity room was the choice for The Goo Goo Dolls and it was extremely cozy. The Depot was jam packed! Chillier temperatures have hit Utah, and while it was tricky to stay warm in line outside The Depot, things really warmed up once you got inside the venue, and especially when the band took the stage.

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Noah Kahan October 23, 2018 The State Room Salt Lake City

By: Kevin Rolfe

Photo By: Kevin Rolfe

The last time Noah Kahan was in Utah he opened for George Ezra.   Just five months later, Noah played his own headlining, sold out show at The State Room. Things are really starting to happen for Noah and you could feel it in the crowd, and in his performance on Tuesday night.

The room went dark, and above the stage “Noah Kahan” appeared in neon lights.  The audience roared and got louder still when Noah appeared from backstage. It seemed difficult for Noah to hide how much he enjoyed the applause.  He might not have been trying. Can’t say I blame him.  I would be smiling ear to ear if a sold out venue was cheering for me like that.

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Jimmy Buffett October 17, 2018 Vivint Arena Salt Lake City

By: Kevin Rolfe 

What would you say is the best way to stay warm as the temperatures here in Utah begin to drop?  Bundle up? Throw a log into the fireplace? Hot cocoa? Those are all great ideas.  I submit that the best way to get warm on a cool fall night is to see Jimmy Buffett in concert.  

Buffett made his much-anticipated return to Salt Lake City and he made Vivint Smart Home Arena feel like a tropical paradise. ( Was going to say he turned Vivint Arena into Margaritaville, but seriously, how many times has that line been used when discussing his concerts?)  Jimmy Buffett had been away from Utah for 27 years. The guy knows when to make his stops in Utah. He came to what was then the Delta Center when it was brand new and then returns to what is now Vivint Smart Home Arena after it’s completely renovated.

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