Last Saturday, fans of local music gathered at Diabolical Records for a full day’s worth of music, with proceeds benefiting Mary Brooke LeChance, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Bands included Cult Leader, Baby Ghosts, Fossil Arms, Koala Temple, BAUG, High Counsel, Conquer Monster and Sarah DeGraw.

You can find more information about Brooke and support her through treatment here.

Photography by Scott Frederick

With a schoolgirl smile, Jenny performs for an appreciative crowd. Photo: Scott Frederick

On a perfectly clear and comfortable late summer evening, Salt Lake City’s Twilight Concert Series continued on Aug. 11 with The Aces and Shannon and the Clams opening for headliner Jenny Lewis. The crowd was chill, the drink lines busy and the fragrance of dank smoke steady throughout the show.

The Aces, City Weekly‘s Best Pop Act from their Best of Utah Music 2016 lineup, opened the show with a solid, melody-driven pop-rock set. The Aces—McKenna Petty (bass), Katie Henderson (guitar/vocals) and sisters Alisa (drums) and Cristal Ramirez—(lead vocals/guitar) played radio-friendly danceable tunes, ending with their newest single, “Stuck.”

Shannon and the Clams continued the evening’s playful vibe with their brand of surfer doo-wop garage rock. Bassist/lead vocalist Shannon Shaw, guitarist/vocalist Cody Blanchard, drummer/vocalist Nate Mahan and keyboardist Will Sprott played a set that in many ways sounded like a blast from the ’50s and ’60s.

The night’s headliner, Jenny Lewis, came out with her band to an appreciative crowd as darkness fell on the park. By this time, the audience had grown to cover nearly every available space. Lewis is an accomplished actor and musician, and she showed her chops with every song she played. “Do you wanna hear new poetry or old stuff?” she asked, about halfway through the show. “Old stuff,” the audience howled. With that, she launched into “Portions for Foxes” from her Rilo Kiley days and rocked the crowd to the bone.

The reception, concert and retirement party for KUER night time jazz DJ Steve Williams drew a who’s who of current and former media and broadcast professionals to the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake City. Among the VIPs were longtime former news anchors Terry and Susan Wood, City Weekly Publisher John Saltas, KUER Station General Manager John Green, Editorial Cartoonist Pat Bagley, Ashley Hoopes, former owner of The Dead Goat Saloon Daniel Darger, KUED Director of Production Ken Verdoia and his wife Carol, Senior Correspondent for KSL Television John Hollenhorst and former KRSP DJ Michael Kavanaugh, among others.

John Green presented Williams with a platinum record in commemoration of 31 years of service to KUER and for supporting jazz musicians and music throughout Williams’ professional career. The attendees begged Williams to stay involved in Salt Lake City’s local music scene and he assured them he will.

The evening was capped with a heartfelt performance by the Corey Christiansen Trio which featured Jay Lawrence on drums, Ryan Conger on keys and Christiansen on guitar. 

On Monday, Nov. 24, Chrissie Hynde and her band, along with opening act The Rails, rocked Salt Lake City at The Depot. Hynde, the principal creative force and voice of The Pretenders, is on a U.S. and European tour supporting her first solo album Stockholm, released June 2014. Between songs, Hynde expressed how much she is enjoying her current club and theater tour. “Isn’t this much better than a stadium show?” she asked several times during the show. Hynde’s voice hasn’t lost a thing which was apparent on her new material as well as Pretenders hits, including My City Was Gone and Don’t Get Me Wrong.

LA’s three piece Mammoth opened the evening with a short set that got the crowd swaying and tapping. Mammoth’s sound is like jazz-fusion and prog rock had a heavy metal love child. I was reminded of Alan Holdsworth’s song “Metal Fatigue” throughout their set. Spicy Wolf Man, on the band’s website says, “Mammoth flit around ever-shifting time signatures and key changes without missing a beat, and they do so with assuredness and confidence while managing to  blend elements of prog metal, jazz fusion (à la Allan Holdsworth) and funk. Pretty awesome stuff on display here.” I agree.

Next up was Sithu Aye. Sithu Aye could be described as “ridiculously complicated and noodly guitar-work can be found all over …” says Daniel Davis from Sputnik Music. It’s true. Every player’s fingers were a constant blur as they dished-out a nearly impossible display of speed, dexterity and musicianship. The rockers were out in force as headliners Haken launched into their set. From Pink Floyd–ian atmospheric soundscapes to an amalgamation of jazzed-up Rush, Yes and Dream Theater, Haken is a music nerd’s dream, and Urban Lounge’s small space was an ideal place to see them. The space is small enough so one could count all eight strings of each guitar and all six on the bass easily—yes, these guys are serious musicians and could probably play anything by Bach or Chopin while chewing gum and walking backward. If the movies of Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf were set in the 21st Century, Haken would most certainly be asked to compose the soundtrack.