The Pour

The Pour• March 11, 2023• The State Room

Reviewed and Photographed by Alisha Gregson

Local jam band The Pour are regulars at The State Room. Utah Concert Review loves supporting local bands, and they have been on our radar for a while. We were excited to finally have the chance to catch their show. The State Room is one of my favorite intimate venues in Salt Lake. I always enjoy my time spent there. 

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Nessa Barrett

Nessa Barrett• The Young Forever Tour• w/ Isabela LaRosa• March 17, 2022• The Great Saltair

The Young Forever Tour is in full swing as it visited Salt Lake City coming close to ending its North America sets. Nessa Barrett is an upcoming artist that has gained a lot of popularity due to her social media presence. She brought along Isabela LaRosa, who also has been finding success through social media trying to promote her music. Both artists fall into a similar genre and fanbase. So she was an excellent choice for an opening act. Although the Complex was supposed to host Nessa and Isabela, they switched to The Great Saltair due to popular demand. I thought this was an excellent choice. 

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King Tuff

King Tuff w/ Tchotchke & Cool Bananas• March 10, 2023• Urban Lounge

Reviewed and Photographed by Alisha Gregson

Photo Credit: Alisha Gregson

On Friday, March 10th, King Tuff brought his tour in support of his sixth studio album to Salt Lake City’s Urban Lounge. The new album, Smalltown Stardust, was released just earlier this year. King Tuff’s fans were eager to hear him play his new music, as well as some of his older songs. Joining the tour was New York indie rock band Tchotchke. The new band made up of three talented women, impressed the crowd with their fun, retro rock vibes. 

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Young Dubliners

The Young Dubliners• March 14, 2023• The Depot

Reviewed and Photographed by Kevin Rolfe

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  We can think of no better way to celebrate than to share our review of our amazing time at The Depot in Salt Lake City, with The Young Dubliners.  The Young Dubliners have been a favorite in Utah for many years.  As far back as the old Zephyr Club.  A long-standing venue that hosted many bands in the 80s and 90s.They even played Salt Lake City during the Winter Olympics in 2002.  The Zephyr Club has since been torn down, but Salt Lake City’s love of The Young Dubliners is as strong as ever.  

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Chappell Roan

Chappell Roan• Naked in North America Tour• March 9, 2023• Soundwell

Reviewed and Photographed by Kevin Rolfe

Chappell Roan is a pop singer-songwriter based out of Los Angeles. She brought her Naked in North America Tour to Soundwell in downtown Salt Lake City on Mar 9, 2023.  Like all of the other dates on this tour, the show at Soundwell was sold out.  I found this to be extremely impressive for someone who hasn’t released a full album. Only one EP and a bunch of singles.  Sure enough, I walked into the venue and it was packed

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Broadway at the Eccles 2023-2024 Season Announced!

Zions Bank Broadway at the Eccles is Excited to Announce

the upcoming 2023-2024 Broadway Season featuring

SIX, MJ, HAMILTON and more!

Salt Lake City, UT – We are pleased to announce the 2023-2024 Broadway at the Eccles season, bringing the best of Broadway to Salt Lake City. The season begins with one week of the timeless classic MY FAIR LADY, nominated for 10 Tony Awards® including Best Musical Revival, followed by the smash hit musical based on the songs of ABBA, MAMMA MIA!, and don’t lose your head, but Broadway’s hottest new ticket, winner of 23 awards in 21/22, SIX, will be in Salt Lake for two weeks. The season continues with the premiere of the most Tony Award®-winning new show of the season MJ, the hit musical sensation that explores the creative mind and collaborative spirit of the legendary artist, Michael Jackson and one of Hollywood’s most beloved romantic stories of all time, PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL. Our fourth premiere coming to the Eccles will be GIRL FROM NORTH COUNTRY, featuring the legendary songs of Bob Dylan set in a guesthouse filled with music, life and hope. And as previously announced, the return of HAMILTON for 5 weeks in the summer of 2024.

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Stephen Sanchez

Stephen Sanchez w/ Cece Coakley• March 4, 2023• The Grand at The Complex

Reviewed and Photographed by Josilyn Wakkuri Lybbert

Fans packed in The Grande at The Complex on Saturday, March 4th, to catch the sold-out Salt Lake City stop of Stephen Sanchez’s first ever tour! Stephen was joined by the wonderful Cece Coakley for this portion of the tour! 

I first became a fan of Stephen’s music a few years ago. Back when he only had one song, “Lady By The Sea, ” out on streaming platforms. So I was really looking forward to getting the chance to experience his music live! Since I first came across his music, the twenty-year-old artist has substantially grown his discography and his fan base. His song, “Until I Found You,” went viral last year. It could often be found backing sweet moments or videos on various social media platforms.

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Mod Sun

Mod Sun w/ Stand Atlantic & Pardyalone• February 27, 2023• The Depot

Reviewed and Photographed by Kaden Severn

Monday night my fiancé and I had the chance to go to The Depot for a rock-filled lineup. Mod Sun with Stand Atlantic and Pardyalone filled the downtown Salt Lake City venue with excited fans. I have been looking forward to this concert since it was announced. So I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I got the approval to cover the show.

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Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hanson• February 28, 2023• Eccles Theater

Reviewed by Alisha Gregson

Anthony Norman (Evan Hansen) in the 2022-2023 North American Tour of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

In March 2020, Dear Evan Hansen came to Eccles Theater. Unfortunately, after only a brief run of performances, the production had to cancel its tour early due to the Covid-19 shutdown. Now, 3 years later, the Tony Award-winning musical has returned to Eccles. Thousands of Utahns who previously missed out will finally get their opportunity to see the show. We were fortunate to see the production on March 4, 2020. We hoped that shows would only be pushed back a week or so. Clearly, that wasn’t to be.

February 28th was opening night, and the theater was filled with excited guests. I noticed far more teenagers in the audience than I typically see at a Broadway show. This was no surprise, as Dear Evan Hansen resonates with a younger crowd on a deeper level than most musicals. That’s not to say this is a performance that only appeals to a teenage crowd. This musical has already become a favorite among theater lovers of all ages. 

The emotionally raw storyline focuses on an anxiety-filled teenage boy, whose deceitful stories both build up his confidence and weigh him down. Dear Evan Hansen covers a variety of heavy topics. Topics like suicide, mental health, grief, acceptance, and both the positive and negative impacts of social media. While the performance brought many in the audience to tears, the witty humor and quirky characters kept everyone laughing. 

Anthony Norman (Evan Hansen), Alaina Anderson (Zoe Murphy) in the 2022-2023 North American Tour of DEAR EVAN HANSEN,, Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

The modern-day setting makes Dear Evan Hansen stand out among other Broadway productions. While rarely used in other plays, modern technology, and social media were integral to the plot. Digital panels displaying text messages, emails, and social media covered the backdrop of the stage. The rest of the stage setup remained fairly simple throughout the night. Usually featuring a single bed, couch, or dinner table. The wardrobe, hair, and makeup were also very different from a typical Broadway show. The casual, everyday outfits and character appearances helped the show feel authentic and intimate. 

Without over-the-top costumes and elaborate stage props, the cast of the show had the opportunity to shine. It wasn’t until the end of the night, when they all stood in line to take a bow, that I realized just how small the cast really was. With only 8 characters sharing the stage,  they each had a decent amount of time in the spotlight. I was impressed with the character development. Not only with how well they were written, but how well each actor portrayed them. The characters were complicated, flawed, and relatable, with each one having their moment as both a protagonist and antagonist. Ultimately, as they became more and more vulnerable, it was impossible not to fall in love with each one of them. 

At the center of the story, of course, was the anxious and awkward Evan Hansen. The very talented Anthony Norman was perfectly cast for the role. He transitioned seamlessly as his character developed from a fidgety, innocent misfit, to a more confident version of Evan. His voice was beautiful and he captivated the audience while singing some of the show’s most popular songs like “Waving Through a Window”, “You Will Be Found”, and “Words Fail”. 

Heidi Hansen, Evans’s single mother, was played by Coleen Sexton. Trying to balance work, school, and being a mom, Heidi struggles with her own insecurities and shortcomings. Sexton stunned the audience with her powerful performance of “So Big / So Small”. 

Anthony Norman (Evan Hansen), Coleen Sexton (Heidi Hansen) in the 2022-2023 North American Tour of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

August Emerson played Connor, the angry troubled teen whose tragic suicide sends Evan down an unexpected path. Emerson’s portrayal of the tortured teen was flawless. After Connor’s suicide, the character returned as Evans’s inner voice, far milder than the edgy version we meet in the beginning.

Zoe Murphy, Connor’s sister, was played by Alaina Anderson. Zoe, who was also Evan’s love interest, struggled to let go of the resentment she held towards her brother even after his death. John Hemphill and Lili Thomas played Connor’s parents, Larry, and Cynthia Murphy. Each member of the Murphy family grieved differently, while the loss of Connor sent the already dysfunctional family into even more chaos. As each of their complex relationships with both Connor and Evan played out, they gave the audience some of the show’s most heartfelt scenes.

Pablo David Laucerica nailed his role as Jared Kleinman, Evans’s “family friend.” Jared, a tech geek who assists Evan in his web of lies, was the comic relief. His comedic timing and delivery were outstanding, as he continued to earn the crowd’s laughter. 

Alana Beck, the bold teenage girl who asserts herself into the middle of the drama, was played by Micaela Lamas. Well-meaning, but desperate for attention, Alana will seemingly do anything to ignore her loneliness. 

In both vocal performance and acting abilities, the cast was amazing. They proved their talent with each new scene and song. As much as I enjoy listening to the original cast recording, I have to say I loved listening to this cast that much more. Maybe it was just hearing them live, but it says a lot to how great this cast was. The moving music and lyrics for Dear Evan Hansen were created by talented songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Who are also known for La La Land and The Greatest Showman. Book writer Steven Levenson wrote a beautiful and emotional story, that successfully takes on some very difficult topics in a touching way. 

I enjoyed every moment of Dear Evan Hansen and appreciated the many strong messages. I would highly recommend going to see Dear Evan Hansen at Eccles Theater if you get the chance. 

Select tickets are still available for Dear Evan Hansen at Eccles Theater. Click here for more info!