Girl In Red

Photo Credit: Kevin Rolfe

On an unusually cold night at the end of May, girl in red heated up The Great Saltair as she brought her Doing it Again Tour to Utah.  Fans from all over the state filled the classic venue for what was to be an exciting night of high energy, music, and inclusivity.  Norwegian-born singer-songwriter, producer, and amazing frontwoman, Marie Ulven, brought this crowd on an inclusive experience that is both very personal and communal.

The show began with “Doing it Again Baby”.  The band wasted no time getting the energy at a high level.  The lighting was appropriately deep red for the girl in red. Ulven moved frantically across the stage.  It seemed like she was attempting to connect with every member of the audience from the get-go.  Standing in between the fans and Marie, I felt that bond being made.  She seemed incredibly happy to be at The Saltair.

In between songs, Marie Ulven joked to the crowd that she “Was not feeling salty.”  She told us that she walked along the beach of the Great Salt Lake and mentioned that she saw so many dead birds.  Wondering why that was the case and why the birds wouldn’t migrate elsewhere.  The dead birds became a running joke throughout the night.  She mentioned them several times.  Even admitting that she was distracted during the song, “girls” because she was thinking of dead birds.  It was pretty funny.  

I thought girl in red did a great job of mixing in the new album with many of the old favorites.  I think this crowd was excited to hear most of these new songs live for the first time.  Fans were extremely supportive of Ulven when she shared that the song “I’m Back” was about coming back after being depressed for years.  It felt like many in attendance related to that sentiment.  There was so much support in the room for girl in red.  I think that’s because she is so honest in her lyrics and when she’s talking from the stage.  She makes her concerts a safe space for people with issues of mental health or those who are part of the LGBTQ community.  These songs really resonated and in return made for a crowd that really got into this show. 

Some of my favorite moments included when Marie was given a bouquet of roses and how gracious she was towards the offering.  I loved how much fun she had interacting with her bandmates.  They seemed so into the show and I think she loves performing with them.  I loved the hair flips, the head banging, and the high kicks.  If I had noise-canceling headphones and someone asked me to guess what kind of music was being performed, I would have guaranteed that I was watching some sort of metal band.  That was the level they were all at. Especially Ulven. At one point, right before she performed “dead girl in the pool”, she asked everyone to jump during the chorus.  This crowd was so ready for that request.  They fulfilled the assignment admirably.  Everyone was jumping and going wild every time the chorus came up. It was an amazing sight to see.  

The show closed with “i wanna be your girlfriend”.  It was the perfect closer.  The voices rang in The Great Saltair rafters.  I loved being in attendance at this concert. A couple of years ago, Utah Concert Review was unable to cover girl in red’s Utah tour stop.  Since then I have been hoping for another shot to see this show.  It was everything I was told it would be and more.  Can’t wait for them to come back. 

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