I don’t think there are truly any words to describe how amazing Hippo Campus is live. On Friday, July 19, The Complex was packed with fans of all ages, coming out to see Hippo Campus and The Head & The Heart. I knew from the beginning this concert was going to be a good one because even though Hippo Campus wasn’t headlining, they’re a big name on their own that brought out every Hippo fan in Salt Lake City. Excited comes nowhere near to how pumped I was for this show. It’s unexplainable. Hippo Campus is my favorite band in the world. They have been since the moment I saw them perform at Kilby Court, five years ago. Since then, I haven’t missed one Utah show.
Norah Jones gave us the smoky torch songs of the new millennium. Though often understated, her work has the polished precision of a trained musician. It’s no surprise that she has a degree in jazz piano; hers is not a sloppy talent. Her music wafts through Soul, Folk, and even dips into Blues and Country, but it always returns to her roots in Jazz. Three songs in, I could feel the audience’s collective blood pressure lowering. Dreamy lyrics about missed rendezvous and wandering off into the moonlight coupled with seamless vamping melted, then evaporated, my spine. So long as Norah and her crew were playing, there were no cares in the world.
Shawn Mendes is as big a pop star as there is right now. It’s virtually impossible to not know who he is. He has the type of fame that gets him featured on everything from Saturday Night Live to TMZ. He’s everywhere! But on July 16th Salt Lake City had Shawn to themselves at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
The arena was packed! I didn’t hear if it was a sellout or not, but if it wasn’t there couldn’t have been many seats left. I walked in just as Mendes took the stage and the audience filled with mostly teen to preteen girls was deafening! The roar subsided (slightly), and I could make out that the first song was “Lost in Japan”. I looked around at the frenzy to get a sense of the crowd and who was there. Next to many of these rabid teenage fans were what seemed to be their parents. I would see a group of about four to five girls and there would be a couple of moms with them. Every so often I’d see a dad in the mix. God bless them.
Have you ever been to a concert that you really enjoyed and thought, “You know, I really wish I could see this show again really soon!”? But you know that in most cases it’ll be up to a year and most likely longer until that artist returns to your city. It doesn’t happen often, but this year we were fortunate to have Jenny Lewis bring her On The Line Tour through Utah twice in the last two months. Jenny Lewis gave a rousing performance at The Commonwealth Room on May 18 then returned to Utah but this time up in Park City as part of the Deer Valley Concert Series at Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater on July 11. Same tour, same artist, two very different shows.
Nearing the end of a 32 show North American tour, Ocean Alley brought their Australian reggae fusion to the infamous Kilby Court. I was never that into reggae music until I heard of Ocean Alley. Bringing in sweet, relaxing vibes from the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia, Ocean Alley sold out Kilby Court and delivered one of the coolest shows I have ever experienced. From hits such as “Confidence” and “Yellow Mellow”, lead singer Baden Donegal lead the crowd on a journey that had every person feeling positive energy. My journey started off with going to a venue like none other: the one and only, Kilby Court.
The amount of energy that Chase Atlantic brought to the stage was INSANE. Friday night, fans lined outside of The Depot, wrapping around the corner as they waited for doors to open. I had heard of Chase Atlantic before, but have never actually heard their music. But with how excited every girl and guy seemed in line, it was obvious they had a strong fan base here in SLC. I honestly had no idea what kind of music they played but was excited to find out. And oh was I surprised and also super into it!
Underground Hip Hop is an interesting art form and Zion I seems to represent the genre to the fullest. With the ability of the public to pay for individual songs, rather than having to buy an entire album, it is imperative that artists of all genres tour consistently to remain relevant and connect with their fans. Luckily, Oakland, California’s Zion I were already reaching the 10,000 hour mark (Malcolm Gladwell) of touring when album sales began to plummet, so their live show is definitely dialed-in. And the legend lives on…
I arrived a bit after 5:30. So, unfortunately, I missed a few performers leading up to Tegan and Sara. Seeing as I’m a member of the LGBTQ community and was raised in a conservative culture I was unprepared for how triggering this festival was for me.
The sound quality at USANA Amphitheater was decent for the performances but absolutely horrific for the host, Kalen Allen. He handled the major glitches with sparkling grace (literally, he was wearing this silver sequin jumpsuit).
I have been lucky enough to have seen Tegan and Sara live before. I love them and in my eyes, they can do no wrong. I’m bummed that I was behind schedule and missed the first part of their set. They finished their bit with “Closer” (a fantastic indie pop ballad full of soon to be realized sexual tension) and it was maybe a little thrilling hearing so many voices sing the words. Tegan and Sara are HUGE in the queer community and very popular as a mainstream band. Maneuvering through the crowd, singing along with nearly every person I walked by. Music creates a bond and it was something I had been looking forward to meeting with this concert.
The Deer Valley Concert Series has officially begun! Sunday night marked the opening of the seven-show series that will take place throughout the summer. The series which is presented by Deer Valley Resort along with The State Room Presents takes place on the majestic resort at the foot of what in the winter would be a ski slope. If you’ve only been to Deer Valley in the winter you’d never know that once summer hits, this ski slope turns into the beautiful Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater. It’s the perfect place to escape the heat of the valley. It can get a little cool up on that hill, but what better way to warm up a brisk mountain evening than with reggae and blues funk? Michael Franti & Spearhead along with Ziggy Marley.