Finding humor in the every day is easier said than done, but Miss North Carolina 1963 (better known as Jeanne Robertson) makes it look like a breeze. This isn’t a product simply of age experience, it’s the result of a finely-tuned analytical perspective sharpened by wit and just the right amount of wackiness—specifically, the type of wacky that decorated the lobby of the Eccles Theater with signs encouraging the night’s attendees to enter a drawing to win a “JEANNE ROBERTSON SIGNED AND SAT-ON ROCKING CHAIR.”
By: Local SLC musical artists: Valerie Rose Sterrett and Annie McAllister
Cradling two microphones in her right hand as if she were holding a pair of birds, Chan Marshall, known as Cat Power, pours her powerfully enchanting voice into them, the audience staring into her shadow as if she were casting a spell. The atmosphere was very intimate as the audience swayed and nodded their heads in agreement with her music. You could see her fans feeling it, some smiling with their eyes looking up to her in awe, while others danced freely with eyes closed and arms gliding. The Union is a spacious venue, but it held what felt like a purposefully modest audience in chairs that reached a little more than halfway back into the space. Toward the middle of the concert, she waved for us to leave our chairs and come closer.
I was transported Monday evening and I am still not quite sure if I have yet returned. I am slightly terrified as I write this…full disclosure, I did not know that much about Chelsea Wolfe when I was asked to cover this performance. So I put the headphones on, tuned in and let Ms. Wolfe take me away, not dissimilar to what happened Monday night when I arrived at a completely, packed to the back, Metro Music Hall. After binging her music all afternoon, I was ready for an evening of Gothic rock.
Tuesday Night in Salt Lake City brought out dedicated fans to see fast-rising rapper, Tobi Lou. Kilby Court was buzzing and you could feel the excitement of hip hop fans eager to see the new but very talented artist. I had seen Tobi perform as an opener for KYLE about a year ago and was excited to see him headline for the first time.
The Ogden Twilight Concert Series on Thursday night brought Alvvays and The National to the Ogden Amphitheater. The sold-out show was packed from the beginning, with a full crowd by the time Alvvays (pronounced always) took the stage. As they kicked off the night, the crowd rose to their feet and remained that way for the entirety of the evening. I had never heard of Alvvays, a Toronto based indie-pop band. As they began to play, I was immediately impressed with Molly Rankin’s voice. There was a sweetness to it, yet it was strong and powerful as she sang out to the crowd. Keyboardist, Kerri MacLellan’s voice complimented Molly’s nicely and the two of them commanded the front of the stage. Their 45-minute set had fans singing along with a relaxed yet exciting presence to the crowd. As they wrapped up their set, anticipation filled the air for the National.
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.
As we get older and we grow up, we many times attend concerts of our favorite bands to remember the “Good Ol’ Days”. And many times nostalgia fills us and we go back to that time when we were younger when we saw a particular band for the first time. There are times when we’ll go to a show for that nostalgia trip and unfortunately a band has passed their peak and we’re sadly reminded that we’re all older and that the band we’re seeing probably needs to call it a day. Then there’s The Alarm. Sometimes I wonder what it was like seeing The Alarm back in the 80s or 90s. (My first time seeing them was last year.) Could it have possibly been better than what I saw on August 8, 2019, at The Complex? There’s just no way. I think through the circumstances of Mike Peter’s life he has breathed new life in The Alarm, especially in their live shows.
It doesn’t seem fair that one band can have so many talented musicians, so many talented vocalists, and so many talented songwriters that create so many great songs. There are bands out there that are barely able to squeeze out maybe one solid hit (which is more than I could ever do). Then there’s The Head and the Heart who have what seems like an endless supply of really great songs.
Fresh off two sold-out concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, The Head and the Heart met up with us here in Utah for their third show in as many days. Those Red Rock shows were streamed online. I took a peek at the first show and I knew we were in for a great night I was really excited to hear a lot of songs from the new album Living Mirage. I have really enjoyed that album. When UCR saw them at Park City Live back in March, The Head and the Heart played some songs from Living Mirage which was still a couple of months away from being released. I loved those songs and was excited to see how many more songs they’d perform on this tour.