From what began as a humble and quaint gathering at the Gallivan Center, and then fast forwarding to 2014, this summer concert series has grown into one of the highlights of Utah’s summer culture. Each year gets bigger and better. The artists are more incredible, there is a wide range of musical diversity from week to week… the sound, the lighting, the crowd control, the food… everything is completely dialed in to what makes for a great concert experience.
Last night, at the Ms. Lauryn Hill and Thundercat show, the producers of the series even managed to choreograph some perfectly timed light rain. It was beautiful.
We started our first Twilight Concert of the season by sampling some food from the Twilight Food Market. We tasted delicious gyros, Korean BBQ, and of course, a few cold IPA’s from the Red Rock Brewery.
The Twilight Food Market offers caters to tastes of all types, from pizza to specialty food trucks, with vegetarian options, Thai, subs and sweet treats. There are also booths from local artists, where ticket holders can purchase handcrafted jewelry, clothing, soaps, and ceramics.
We laid down our blankets under a tree in the shade and did some people watching while we listened to the very talented Thundercat.
Even though more and more people began to arrive, it never was too overwhelming. Pioneer Park has been an excellent upgrade.
Thundercat, an alternative R&B Fusion band, started with a slow groove that perfectly set the tone for the evening and hopefully the summer as a whole.
What felt like a throw-back to a modernized 70’s funk, lead artist, Stephen Bruner brought you back and forth between a mellow beat and a hidden depth of soulful lyrics. Subtle changes in beats and bass-lines, the performance had the capacity to break your heart.
A short set left everyone wanting more.
In the past, the series has been criticized for the lack of security and problems with fans getting unruly, jeopardizing the safety of patrons.
This year, everything seemed under much more control which made for a better concert experience on the whole. Less moshing, and more dancing. There was collective vibe of good energy to compliment the soulful reggae experience.
A rain shower dusted the audience, but honestly, it didn’t dampen the attitude of everyone. The rain came down and made the whole show better.
The summer heat could have drained the artist and the audience, but we were lucky to have some light wind, plenty of free water and amazing performers.
As the night progressed, and the sun started to settle behind the west mountains, more people began to arrive. The audience began to swell as the anticipation to see Ms. Lauryn Hill grew.
The former Fugees artist has been on a 15 year hiatus, and has only set a 12-date tour to make her long anticipated comeback.
Somehow, the organizers of Twilight were able to convince her team that Salt Lake City had some of the best fans an artist could want.
“One of the benefits of playing venues smaller than the ones I’m used to allows me the opportunity to not only reconnect with my supporters but to expose them to a portion of the musical journey I’ve been on which the world for the most part has not had access to,” the 39-year-old singer said in a statement. “I’ve never shied away from being musically adventurous, nor am I known for being a lightweight when it comes to lyrical content or musical exploration.”
And don’t even get me started on the incredible show that Ms. Lauryn Hill performed for her adoring audience. In fact! That girl deserves a post of her own. For Lauryn Hill’s full SALT review, follow this link.
Suffice to say, she didn’t disappoint.