I’m not sure if there is a better thing in music than seeing a local band leave our town or state and become successful nationally. There’s a level of pride that is felt being from the same place or seeing a band like this from their early days rising from the house show to the headlining act. Such is the case with The Aces. These four young women from Orem returned to Utah to close out their first headlining tour with a sold-out home town show at The Complex on Saturday night. And what a homecoming it was.
When it was announced that The Head and The Heart would be playing a show at Park City Live in Park City I think many of their fans were surprised yet excited that they would be playing a much smaller venue than they might normally play here in Utah. For example, The Head and The Heart’s last two shows in Utah were at The Union Events Center and Red Butte Garden which hold thirty five hundred and three thousand respectfully. Park City Live holds under 900. So it there was some real excitement knowing that we were getting a very intimate show from one of the best live bands out there today.
Joshua James live is a thing to behold. The man never lost focus and wasted no time with banter. Music poured from his veins from the second he took the stage to the second he left. His ardent, impassioned folk was the perfect counterpoint to a damp March evening.
The Young Dubliners and Salt Lake City have had a love affair that started from the early stages of the band. Lead vocalist, Keith Roberts, mentioned a number of times how much he loved playing Utah, and how good Salt Lake City has been to the band. He even mentioned playing two sets one night at the long gone, Zephyr Club downtown. The band plays Utah pretty much every year, sometimes twice if there is a festival involved. Still they pack in a warm and friendly crowd no matter the venue. It was obvious the moment I walked through the doors that the audience was excited to be there and hear some Celtic Rock.
Friday night’s venue was The Commonwealth Room. This venue has existed just over a year, and it’s becoming one of my favorite concert spots in Utah. It holds less than a thousand people so there isn’t a bad spot in the room. The sound is great. And so far they have pulled in great talent, which seems to bring in the best and most appreciative audiences.
Usually, when you see a band you like in concert multiple times, you know what you’re going to get. After a while there is only so much a band can do to keep the show fresh and new for their fans. We as fans will generally accept that because we’re there to hear the songs we love live, so even if we’ve heard them play the songs the exact same way for years, we’re cool with it because we’re happy a band we like has stopped in our city again. That’s not to say the song, or show has become dull. I’m only saying that you eventually figure out what a band is going to do. For example, there are a number of bands that I like, that I’ve seen multiple times, and when they start testing the effect on their guitar, I know what the song is before it even starts. Or if they play a fancy intro, I can make out what song it is already. Sometimes part of the fun of a live show is guessing what the song is before it starts. But try not to be a song predictor too often. It might get old to your friends or those around you. Anyway, the reason I’m rambling about all this is because I just saw Muse in concert. And they put on one of the best live shows out there today. If not the best!
I love hearing that a concert has sold out. Of course, unless, I don’t have tickets. But, It doesn’t matter if to me if it’s at USANA Amphitheater or at The Urban Lounge, to sell out a venue is always an impressive thing. I’m probably more impressed when an artist sells out a show on their first visit to a city. Such was the case with Harry Hudson. He closed out his first national tour with a sold-out show at Kilby Court.
In case you hadn’t heard, Utah loves David Archuleta. So much so that he scheduled five stops throughout Utah on his Winter in the Air Tour. Last night I saw thousands of adoring fan scream their hearts out at the UCCU Center in Orem. If you can believe it, David was the runner-up on American Idol ten years ago. But I don’t think his popularity here in Utah will ever fade no matter how far we get from Archuleta’s epic showdown with David Cook.
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.
The first time I heard about The Lower Lights was right after one of their run of Christmas shows here in Salt Lake City. By the reaction of the people I was talking to, I could tell I had totally missed out on something special.