Jazzy Olivo needs no intoduction

SLUG Picnic Presented By Sparrow Electric 07.25 w/ Jazzy Olivo, Rocky Lavoie and Mel Soul...

SLUG Picnic

For Salt Lake’s music-hungry residents, and especially for our local musicians themselves, the abrupt and sustained cancellation of in-person live concerts since mid-March has been a blow to the sense of community in our music scene. As part of a widespread effort to counter this dearth, SLUG hosted a brand-new, socially distanced outdoor concert event: the SLUG Picnic. With food courtesy of the Balabé Food Truck, and booths featuring local artisans, mutual aid groups and local grassroots organizations, the inaugural SLUG Picnic Presented By Sparrow Electric

SLUG Picnic kicked off with a performance from the ever-talented Jazzy Olivo, backed by the skilled keyboardist Courtney Isaiah Smith. Olivo ran through a swathe of her original songs, a beautiful, multilingual blend of pop, jazz and soul. She also included a stellar cover of “Valerie,” as made famous by the late great Amy Winehouse.

 Up next came Rocky Lavoie, the night’s sole solo artist. Although she was the only human on stage, you’d never guess by her sound—Lavoie’s rich guitar playing and measured use of real-time vocal loops confirmed the presence of a powerful one-woman show.

Mel Soul & the Messenger rounded out the night. With her highly personal songs and deft percussion accompaniment from “the Messenger,” Mel Soul touched the hearts of all the SLUG Picnic audience members as the sun began to eke toward the backside of the western mountains. Standout songs “Hurt People” and “801,” especially, surely left tears in a few patrons’ eyes.

The inaugural SLUG Picnic offered a fun, light-hearted and—most importantly—safe concert experience. If you missed out on July’s offering and want to get in on the music, SLUG will be hosting another Picnic event on Aug 22, featuring Elowyn, Cherry Thomas and Fur Foxen. Find more information through Facebook.

SLUG Picnic would like to thank all of the sponsors who made this event possible: Sparrow Electric, Beehive CheeseDented Brick DistilleryDistillery 36Gem City Fine FoodsLes MadeleinesMineral Resources InternationalMonster EnergyPopArt Snacks and Waterpocket Distillery.

All Photos: Matt Nelson (@mattnelsonimaging)