As a concert reviewer, I’ve had the opportunity to see many artists as they’re starting out. I’m always thrilled to see them move on to the next step of their career. An album release, a TV appearance, or what’s most impressive to me, when they stop back by Utah but in a larger venue than before. For example, we were able to cover Conan Grey, when he was at Kilby Court then again on his next tour at The Depot. Not everyone has that kind of trajectory in their music career so it’s exciting to see when it does happen.
Out of all these artists, my favorite has been Jade Bird. Jade was one of the very first artists to reach out to Utah Concert Review for coverage when she was coming to play Utah. Of course, this was exciting to me. One, the website was gaining some traction, and two, someone saw the value in it that they would want us out to cover their show. I eagerly accepted the invitation without having ever heard of Jade Bird or listened to her music. She was opening for Son Little at The State Room and that was about all I knew. But upon seeing that initial performance, I’ve become a big fan ever since.
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, Madison Cunningham played The State Room this past week on her “All I’ve Ever Known” tour to The State Room in downtown Salt Lake City. When I was invited to cover this concert my initial excitement was related to returning to The State Room. After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, it was so nice to step foot into that venue. I really missed it. It’s one of my favorite venues in Utah and it never suffers from a lack of talent coming through its doors. September 29th was no exception. Madison Cunningham is an artist you should get to know.
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.
As I pulled into The Commonwealth Room parking lot on March 11, 2020, to cover JOSEPH, I could already tell things were different. So different that I parked within the first three spots next to the venue.
Just a little under a week earlier I was at The Commonwealth Room. I was watching The Lone Bellow perform in front of a sold-out room. There were a couple of masks being worn, but the place was packed and people were standing shoulder to shoulder. I walked up to the box office to get my ticket and photo pass and asked, “How’s it looking in there?”. “Well, it’s definitely not a full house. This show was almost sold out.” It was clear to me that people were already beginning to practice what we would hear so much in the following year, “social distancing”.
By: Kevin Rolfe with contributions by Heather Callister
Friday, January 24, 2020, at The State Room, was a special night for any music fan, but especially for fans of Midge Ure of Visage, Ultravox or Thin Lizzy fame. Midge Ure gave his fans a treat in one of Utah’s best music venues with his Songs Questions and Answers acoustic tour. A more appropriately named tour there has never been. It was just Ure a microphone and a guitar on that stage. He walked out and played his only truly planned song of the evening, “Dear God”. From there it was in the hands of the audience.
This Friday was a great one for me because I was able to see the great Brent Cobb in action. I was completely blown away by his performance! Personally, country music generally isn’t quite up my alley, but nonetheless, I enjoyed every moment. I’ve never experienced a country concert before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into it. I’ve heard only good things, that it only takes one show to get hooked on them. That rumor definitely held up! The overall atmosphere seemed so welcoming, almost as if you were just catching a show with all of your friends. Looking out at the audience, all I saw was a sea of flannel and it was great. I especially lucked out with having the opportunity to see the one and only Brent Cobb for my first ever country concert.
John Craigie is a one of a kind singer-songwriter, comedian, and storyteller. His well-balanced mix of folk songs and comical stories make for a wonderful evening and that’s absolutely why John Craigie and his audience were all smiles at the State Room for a rare seated show on Wednesday night September 18th.
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.