When students return to school in a few short weeks, and they’re asked by fellow classmates for some highlights from their summer break, I’m confident that this past Thursday’s SLC Twilight with Young the Giant, The Aces and Sego will be mentioned by every student who attended the Gallivan Center on August 1. This show had everything. Good weather, a great headliner, and two support acts with local roots and large followings of their own. This has been the strongest lineup top to bottom at Twilight this summer. This is one of those shows when you see it announced you think “Oh yeah, this is going to be good!”. And you just hope that it lives up to the expectation. I have to say that it absolutely did.
So I don’t know if you guys have heard or not but Jason Aldean is really really big. Like, sold-out concerts all over the country big. Don’t get me wrong, I knew he was a big-time country star. I guess I just didn’t realize how big. I have a bit of a confession to make. Leading up to this concert I didn’t know any Jason Aldean songs. How is that possible? I like country music, and I’ve seen Jason Aldean on awards shows and on Saturday Night Live, but sometimes even the biggest stars slip through the cracks. Now, why would you want to read a review from someone who didn’t even know one song going into the concert at USANA Amphitheater last Saturday night? Well for one, if you weren’t there, I’m going to tell you all about it. And if you were there, you’ll want to continue reading to relive just how epic that evening was!
Whenever you think of a concert or live music what comes to mind? Loud music? A crowd going nuts and dancing around? The frontman running around the stage and getting the crowd going? Those aren’t wrong answers. But sometimes a great concert can be the opposite of all of those things. Such was the case at Last Thursday’s SLC Twilight with Blind Pilots. If you wanted to spend a summer evening sitting outside kicking back and relaxing while listening to some great music then this was the show for you.
When I saw the 2019 Deer Valley Music Festival Utah Symphony summer lineup, one of the first names that stuck out was Renée Elise Goldsberry. Renée has had an extensive career on Broadway, but the reason she is headlining this concert is due to her originating the role of Angelica Schuyler in the smash-hit musical, Hamilton. Ever heard of it? Not only did she originate that role, but she won a Drama Desk, Grammy and Tony Award for her performance. So I knew when her name was announced, I knew that I had to be at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater to see this performance. I’m so glad I didn’t miss this.
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.
Tuesday, July 23 brought some heat that I hadn’t felt since moving to Utah. That didn’t stop people from coming out to the historic Kilby Court! The venue famous for being the debut spot for artists in the Salt Lake area brought out a small, but enthusiastic crowd to experience the chilled out vibes and beautiful vocals from three up and coming female artists.
This was my first time attending a concert at Kilby Court and was fascinated to learn of its rich history of being one of the first places that many artists play at before becoming superstars. I was excited to hear some great music from some artists I hadn’t yet heard of but have the potential to blow up like many artists who have played here before them!
Outdoor, summer concerts are such a wonderful experience! They are always my favorite because by the time the headliner comes on, the sun is setting and it’s not burning hot outside. Everyone is relaxed in their seats or on the lawn and it’s so chill while people wait for the band to take the stage. It was no different with at Salt City Sounds with X Ambassadors. Before the show, the Gallivan Center filled with people of all ages. Food trucks of all kinds lined the plaza and there were a lot of choices of drinks for the 21+ crowd. Not only that, but there were stands set up with different mini-games and lots of spin the wheel for prizes games. Some fans who wanted to just chill out snagged a spot on the soft grass, laying out there blankets and snacks. Even more pumped fans headed straight to the pit to make sure they had a good view.
By: Kevin Rolfe with contributions by Kerriann Haycock
It was the perfect evening for an outdoor concert! Escaping the heat, heading up to Deer Valley, throwing down a couple of chairs and a blanket, eating and drinking with friends, what could be more perfect? How about a concert full of the greatest music from the Disney songbook? Sounds like the perfect evening! As part of their Deer Valley Music Festival series, the Utah Symphony presented Disney in Concert: A Magical Celebration at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater.
I don’t think there are truly any words to describe how amazing Hippo Campus is live. On Friday, July 19, The Complex was packed with fans of all ages, coming out to see Hippo Campus and The Head & The Heart. I knew from the beginning this concert was going to be a good one because even though Hippo Campus wasn’t headlining, they’re a big name on their own that brought out every Hippo fan in Salt Lake City. Excited comes nowhere near to how pumped I was for this show. It’s unexplainable. Hippo Campus is my favorite band in the world. They have been since the moment I saw them perform at Kilby Court, five years ago. Since then, I haven’t missed one Utah show.
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.