I have many fond summer memories in Utah heading to the Sandy Amphitheater to watch ARRIVAL From Sweden THE MUSIC OF ABBA. ARRIVAL played Sandy for the better part of a decade before the pandemic hit. The band is actually from ABBA’s native country of Sweden so even when things started to open up, I’d imagine it took some time to work out touring visas to come back to the states. Sandy Amphitheater has a pretty full schedule this summer so ARRIVAL needed to look for another home here in Utah. I can’t think of a better place than the Snow Park Outdoor Theater at Deer Valley Resort in Park City. If you’ve never been to a concert at Deer Valley you are missing out. It’s the perfect place to escape the summer heat and listen to some great music.
The Deer Valley Concert Series is something I look forward to every year. It’s nice to get up to Park City where it’s a little cooler. Set upon a grassy hill that turns into a ski slope in the winter, lined with trees and a gorgeous view of the valley. It’s a perfect place for a concert. Of course, there were no concerts at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater. This year the series was condensed. Things concert-wise didn’t really open up until the end of July so there were only five shows this summer.
While the 2021 Deer Valley Concert Series may have lacked in the number of shows they were able to put on, they definitely compensated with extremely talented artists. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Nightsweats, Indigo Girls, and two nights of Dark Star Orchestra filled up the summer sky with beautiful music. The series closed with the immensely talented icon, Sheryl Crow.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats were able to successfully bring the energy to Deer Valley on August 20, despite multiple recent obstacles. We’ve seen Cancel or Postpone many shows it was great to see this show take place. In Utah lately, and other parts of western states, live musicians have not only had to navigate through a resurgent COVID-19 variant, but also nasty smokey skies. Lately, the extra safety blanket an outdoor show normally provides from the COVID-19 virus has been countered with risky, poor air quality from summer fires.
Have you ever had this conversation with your music buddies? “What musician that has passed away do you wish you could have seen in concert?”. I’ve had that conversation many times and the names vary. The popular ones are usually, Freddie Mercury, Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Michael Jackson, and sometimes Tupac and Biggie. While a couple of them are still living, The Beatles get mentioned a lot too. I can’t say that I wouldn’t love to see those artists as well because I would. But the name that is very high on my list and the name I usually bring up is, John Denver.
If someone had told me one of my first concerts of 2021 would be Kristin Chenoweth and the Utah Symphony, I probably would’ve told them they were crazy—but at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater on a toasty July night, I was proven wrong. There was a palpable buzz in the air as concertgoers lined up outside the venue on the ski slope. There they discussed where they were going to sit, swapped stories of their last-attended shows. They also shared in the excitement of seeing an Emmy AND Tony award-winner live on the stage.
Kool & The Gang with the Utah Symphony July 9th, 2021 Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater
After a full year of no concerts, and no summer activities, it was clear that everyone was itching to get out. What better way than to escape the insane heat of the valley this July. As I drove up to the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, I was immediately aware of the energy the crowd had. Walking up the hill from the parking lot people were carrying coolers, chairs, food, and drinks. They were gearing up for a fun night of music outside and away from their homes.
I forget sometimes how iconic a band Squeeze is. Of course, they have hits in the US like “Tempted” and “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell). But they are much more than their hits. At one point Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford were considered “Heirs to Lennon and McCartney’s throne”. And while that correlation may or may not have taken place, the British rock band have definitely left their mark over the last 45 years. Squeeze was the perfect band to close out this summer’s Deer Valley Concert Series.
With the stars shining up against the mountains, and along the silhouetted trees the beautiful stage of the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater at the Deer Valley Resort played host to one of the most interesting bands I’ve ever seen. The Deer Valley Concert Series invited Thievery Corporation to be its guest for the second to last show of the summer. Nights like this just don’t happen very often, so I was glad I got to be there.
I’ve spent the last several minutes staring at a blank page, trying to choose the genre or style of music that best describes the John Butler Trio +. I couldn’t settle in on a genre so I went to my Apple Music account and looked up what they titled JBT+ under. Well, it would seem they were as unsure as I was. They were listed under Rock, (I agree with that) Roots Rock, (Yep sound about right) Alternative (Yeah that works) and Jam Band (There was some serious jamming going on so, yes). Then I ventured over to Wikipedia and they added Blues Rock and Funk Rock. Here’s the thing, all of these are exactly right! So I guess it’s safe to say that John Butler and his trio plus one are an Alternative Blues Funk Roots Rock band that absolutely killed it at Deer Valley last Saturday night. If there was an award for “Deer Valley Concert of the Summer”, this one would most certainly be one of the favorites to win that prize.
It’s impossible to hold your head steady when Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue are playing. After Jessy Wilson warmed up the crowd, Troy Andrews and his band took the stage by storm with two full drum sets, three guitars (one bass), two saxophones (tenor and baritone), two backup singers, and Troy himself alternating between the trombone, trumpet, and vocals—nothing short of epic.