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.
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.
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.
BILLIE. FREAKING. EILISH. WOW! On Tuesday, June 4 Billie brought the most amazing and well put on show I have ever attended to The Great Saltair. As early as 6 am on Tuesday, fans arrived dressed head to toe in Billie’s merch and sat in line all day hoping to get a good enough spot to see this talented 17-year-old perform. The freeway exit to the Saltair was completely backed up due to the number of people anxiously arriving to attend this show. The Great Saltair is all the way out in Magna and there is only one exit to the venue and one parking lot so it was pretty crazy getting all of the cars in.
Carlie Hanson is a singer-songwriter from La Crosse Wisconson. She is getting ready to release her first EP Junk on June 7th. Her current single “Back in my Arms” was just released in April and is getting a ton of play. I had the opportunity to speak with Carlie the day before her show at The Depot. I really enjoyed chatting with her. Enjoy!
Utah Concert Review: Hi Carlie how are you? Where are you currently?
Carlie Hanson: Hii, Kevin! I’m good, very good. I’m in Denver right now where we’re doing a show tonight.
UCR: Well, we’re excited to have you here in Utah.
CH: We played Salt Lake City one other time and it was one of my most memorable/ favorite concerts ever. Like the crowd was just unreal. Everyone was so hype. We played in like this little garage. I think it was called Kilby Court.
Just five dates into her second headlining tour, Maren Morris made her first stop in Utah as a headliner on Tuesday night, bringing her Girl: The World Tour to The Union Events Center in Salt Lake City. Morris had made previous stops in Utah as an opener for Keith Urban and Niall Horan but never as the headlining act. Walking to the venue I could tell from those walking beside me that this was a really big deal for Maren Morris fans.
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.