One of the things I look forward to most each year, is the Twilight Concert Series. Those that have been reading this blog for quite some time know that Salt Lake City has a series of free concerts, bringing out some of the finest talent in this country. Well, considering I saw Richard Thompson, several years ago, I guess it would be more appropriate to say in this WORLD. Anyhow, this year is no exception.
After last years season, which boasted some of the biggest names in Indie music (The Black Keys, Iron & Wine, M. Ward, Jenny Lewis and Robert Randolph (and his Family Band), I was ready to write off the concerts. The talent was fantastic, but I couldn't take the crowds, which were getting bigger and more unruly than ever before. The problem was the venue, a beautiful, one block plaza, smack dab in the middle of downtown Salt Lake. As much as I love the Gallivan Center, it was not built with concerts in mind. At the end of the 2009 season, this year's season was even slated as uncertain. The Gallivan Center was going to be remodeled, requiring it to be shut down for an entire year. Where would the concerts be hosted?
You can imagine my delight when I not only opened up an issue of IN (a local free newspaper) to find that the concerts were going to be held in Pioneer Park (a park that up until the last few years, was known as the hangout for Utah's homeless population), but even better, the line-up included several acts that I have been dying to see. Among these acts is SHE & HIM (featuring M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel), Hasidic Jewish Reggae artist, MATISYAHU, THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS (featuring Neko Case) and MODEST MOUSE. There are several other artists who I would like to see, including BEIRUT.
Hopefully with the shift in venue, the crowds will be a little easier to handle. Yes, we will still have a plethora of people who are there merely "to be seen", or to enjoy an overpriced social beverage with the accompaniment of free music, or just because it is the happenin' thing to do, but hopefully it will be easier to access the core of the crowd that is there to truly appreciate the music.
Coming up this week, MODEST MOUSE. This will prove to be a fantastic show, without a doubt. For those of my local Salt Lake friends who look at that name and say, "I've never heard of them", I say to you... "yes, you have."
Look and listen, my friends...