Best Summer Concerts | Cover Story | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » Cover Story

Best Summer Concerts

Bust out the SPF, the head-bangiest of seasons is here!

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Rock It, Man!
Thrills, spills and that treasure known as Marie Osmond fleck this summer festival season.

By Peter Holslin

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Blues, Brews & BBQ
Sundays through Sept. 8
Snowbasin Mountain Resort
snowbasin.com

How to pregame: Treat yourself to an extended rest just as the black bears of Mount Ogden do during the wintertime so that you can come prepared for a gut-busting bounty of smoked meats and local beers, all provided on site along with soulful party bands like Dirty Revival (playing July 28).
What to wear: It can get chilly up there, so don't forget a humongous bear-skin pelt like the one Leonardo DiCaprio wears in The Revenant.
Essential souvenir: An official Blues, Brews & BBQ festival mug, which will get you discounts on refills all day.
Burning question: How many pounds of brisket can a man devour in one sitting?

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Ogden Twilight
Through Sept. 27
Ogden Amphitheater
ogdentwilight.com

How to pregame: Fire up Spotify and catch up on your indie music knowledge because the lineup is packed with amazing touring acts like The Flaming Lips (July 18), Iron & Wine (Aug. 21) and Iceland's Of Monsters and Men (Sept. 17). The last thing you want is to look uncool in front of hipster college kids.
What to wear: Black leggings. RVCA bucket hats. Tattoos. Just please, white people, save the culturally insensitive Native American headdresses for Coachella.
Choice pickup line: "I was the sixth backup guitarist for Arcade Fire once."
Burning question: Can Wayne Coyne tell us how he got the name for his new baby boy, Bloom?

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Salt City Sounds
June 13-July 27
Gallivan Center
saltcitysounds.com

How to pregame: Hit the treadmill at full sprint then douse yourself with a bucket of cold water—this might be an all-ages downtown fest, but be prepared for things to get steamy during performances by dance music heartbreakers Empire of the Sun (June 22), Chromeo and AlunaGeorge (both playing the Complex June 23) and Kaskade (July 27).
What to wear: Comfy T-shirt, stylish dancin' shoes.
Who to bring: The guy or gal you've been dying to make out with as the beat drops during Kaskade's "Us."
Burning question: Wait, I can't bring a selfie stick inside??

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Usana Concert Series
June 14-Sept. 25
Usana Amphitheatre
livenation.com

How to pregame: Depends. If you're here for Train and Goo Goo Dolls (June 18), then go ahead and make other plans because those bands suuuuuck.
What to wear: For Jason Aldean (July 27), your favorite cowboy hat. For Shinedown, a bespoke suit vest and tie. For Kiss (Sept. 14), quality face paint that won't melt in the heat.
What to post: A selfie of you and your LGBTQ boo embracing in front of a pride flag at LoveLoud Fest (June 29).
Burning question: Is Lynyrd Skynyrd (Sept. 20) as tired of "Free Bird" jokes as the rest of us are?

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Utah Blues Festival
June 14 & 15
Gallivan Center
utahbluesfest.org

How to pregame: Lose the love of your life to your best friend, gamble away your savings at a Vegas casino, and spend a few days sleeping in the gutter. That way you'll have a solid understanding of "the blues" just in time to see Tab Benoit let it all out on the six-string.
What to wear: Ray-Bans, a black fedora and John Belushi's sideburns.
What to throw onstage: The last remaining dignity of a downtrodden soul.
Burning question: Can a broken heart ever mend?

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Twilight Concert Series
Weekly, July 20-Aug. 30
Gallivan Center
twilightconcerts.com

How to pregame: Think deep on Long Beach hip-hop history for Vince Staples (Aug. 8). Practice your Australian accent for Courtney Barnett (Aug. 15). Channel your spirit animal to appreciate the luminescent pop of Santigold (Aug. 30).
What to wear: Supreme hats, indigo shawls, booty shorts. Don't worry about it. Just do you!
What to eat: Something either really healthy or really fatty but delicious from the food trucks.
Burning question: Wait, this fest isn't named after those vampire books, is it?

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Red Butte Garden Concert Series
Through Sept. 23
Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
redbuttegarden.org

How to pregame: Weave your own wicker chair out of wild reeds harvested from the banks of the Bear River so you'll have some place comfortable to sit on the lawn as acts like Greensky Bluegrass (June 27), Seal (July 18) and The B-52's (Aug. 16) take the night away.
What to wear: Casual attire sourced from environmentally friendly cotton buds and made on a 19th-century loom.
What to drink: Home-brewed honey wine and Blue Sky Organic Soda from Trader Joe's.
Burning question: Can we visit the rose collection to see what it's really like to be "kissed by a rose on the gray," as Seal puts it?

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Deer Valley Music Festival
June 28-Aug. 10
Deer Valley Resort
deervalleymusicfestival.org

How to pregame: With Ogden native and LDS member Marie Osmond set to perform with the Utah Symphony on June 29, this is the perfect time to gather your younger siblings and cousins for a crash course on '70s classics like "One Bad Apple" and Donny & Marie.
What to wear: Pressed slacks and fresh undergarments.
What to bring: Musical instruments for a family jam session in the parking lot afterwards.
Burning question: Will any other Osmonds be making a surprise appearance for a rousing rendition of "Utah, This is the Place"?

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Stadium of Fire
Thursday, July 4
LaVell Edwards Stadium
freedomfestival.org

How to pregame: A summer's worth of all-American events culminates on the Fourth of July with a performance by none other than Keith Urban—the greatest New Zealand-Australian-born country crooner to ever grace U.S. soil. Get up to date by rewatching seasons 12-15 of American Idol when he was a judge on the show.
What to wear: Tri-cornered hats, powdered wigs, and anything else patriotic. Australian flag capes also acceptable.
Pre-show download: Make sure to get the official Stadium of Fire ringtone.
Burning question: Seeing as Urban is married to Nicole Kidman, corner him and ask: Who's gonna take the fall for Perry's death on Big Little Lies?

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Country Fan Fest
July 25-28
Deseret Peak Complex
countryfanfest.com

How to pregame: As the name of the event suggests, this one's for country fans. So if you want to come, then make sure you're either really into Luke Combs and Cody Johnson, or you can at least fool people into thinking you are, ya big poser.
What to wear: A 10-gallon hat—or a baseball cap if you're going for that sought-after Rodney Atkins look.
Necessary supplies: Concertgoers can camp out over the weekend, so make sure to come prepared. Several cases of Natty Light's Naturdays should do the trick ("hey maw, it tastes like flamingo!")
Burning question: Is Randy Houser's newborn son Huckleberry named after anyone specific?

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Das Energi
Aug. 16 & 17
The Great Saltair
dasenergifestival.com

How to pregame: Drink lots of water, align your chakras, brush up on your vape tricks and "glow-gloving" skills. You'll need all the endurance and kandi energy you can get to last you through the weekend at this oomph-oopmh-centric EDM shindig.
What to wear: As many colors, patterns and fabrics as can possibly fit on a raver bikini. Mukluks highly encouraged.
What not to bring: Totems—they're banned, sorry.
Burning question: When's the drop?!

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Reggae Rise Up
Aug. 23-25
Heber City
reggaeriseuputah.com

How to pregame: Clean your dreadlocks while listening to Bob Marley's Legend. Rewatch The Harder They Come. See if you can get your hands on some of those weed gummies that Jim Dabakis ate on camera last year.
What to wear: Two words: Hemp tuxedo.
What to do: Lay in festival hammocks, gaze up at clouds.
Burning question: Was Sublime really that good, though?