Tomberlin w/ Jana Horn• June 4, 2022• Urban Lounge
Reviewed and Photographed by Mallorie Lerman
Salt Lake City was packed full of events this past weekend as the city celebrated the Pride Festival and the beginning of pride month! I was so glad to have a friend suggest some parking to me since I had never been to this venue before. Fortunately, I was able to park on the street by some houses and walk about five minutes to Urban Lounge. Having never listened to either artist before, this entire show was a new experience for me from start to finish.
When I arrived, there was quite some time before Jana Horn opened, so I checked out the rest of the venue and made my way to the back patio where there was a pride event going on! Local artists like ZaZa VanDyke, Talia Keys, and Early Successional performed on the back patio along with an audience, some local vendors, and an open bar.
Jana Horn took the stage as the opening performance. Folks sat in the booths that lined the room as well as on barstools seated at tables. Jana performed alongside Jonathan Horne who played guitar ( coincidentally he has the same last name but it’s spelled differently.) Jana began her first song and started laughing. After some noisy hand dryer interruption from the nearby restroom, Jana performed her debut album Optimism.
Her clear tone of voice and folk sounds made for a beautifully mellow performance and easy listening. I found her voice to be so incredibly soothing. She performed her single “optimism” from her new album that was released at the beginning of the year. I could tell how much passion was poured into this album from the beautiful lyricism to Jonathan using a bow on the guitar. Something skilled players like Jimmy Paige would do.
After a brief set change, more people trickled into Urban Lounge, making a small crowd in front of the stage when Tomberlin came on. Tomberlin is a four-piece ensemble centered around Sara Beth Tomberlin. The band was comprised of herself on lead vocals and guitar(as well as songwriting), Frank Meadows on piano and bass, Adelyn Strei on clarinet/guitar/saxophone, and Felix Walworth on percussion.
Being unfamiliar with Tomberlin before, I was pleasantly surprised by how moved I was by the sheer talent of Sara Beth and this group. Tomberlin showcased their entire new album I don’t know who needs to hear this…
Not only did I appreciate their talents and general sound, I really loved the way they connected with the audience. Sara Beth made small talk with us, asking how our weekend was going. She told us their manager (Jonathan) took everyone skydiving and that she didn’t do it. But like Jana also mentioned during her set, she wished she had given it a chance at least. In the middle of giving the audience an explanation as to why the band has Keanu Reeves on their merch, Tomberlin had to pause to make sure a member of the audience was alright after they went down. It’s the little things like “are you okay?” And “how was your day!?” that matter in a big way at such simple and quick moments in our lives.
Written more like poetry than a typical song format, their lyrics were strikingly beautiful. Some that stood out to me were from their song “memory” from the new album.
“Kept your voicemail in my pocket,
afraid one day it’d stop playing,
and I’d never hear your voice again,
but I play it like a song,
and when it stops, I turn it back on”
Between the audience members swaying to the music and the stand-out lyrics, I found myself enthralled in the performance that Tomberlin gave Saturday night.