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Home / Articles / News / Letters /  Twilight Ain't What It Used to Be

Twilight Ain't What It Used to Be

By City Weekly Readers
Posted // August 14,2013 -

Every so often, a live concert provides a fan with an absolutely perfect moment. It’s a moment where the listener is completely enveloped by the sound and lyrics and taken away into a place of musical euphor—


It’s a moment where a longtime favorite song is finally heard in a new and refreshing ligh—

“BRO!” “Is that you, bro?”

A long-awaited connection fina—



And it’s a moment that can be completely ruined by chatting socialites, rebellious teenagers and, of course, a nation of inconsiderate bros. Such is the life of a music lover at the Twilight Concert Series. Clowns to the left of me, jokers on the right, and here I am, stuck in the middle with a bunch of yoo-hoos.

I firmly believe that the Twilight Concert Series is a land of opportunity. The Salt Lake City Arts Council has done a tremendous job of booking some of the best indie-rock and hip-hop acts for this $5 admission summer concert event. The opportunity to see bands like The National, Grizzly Bear, MGMT and Ludacris (all on this year’s schedule) for a nominal fee is enough to make any audiophile salivate. Many of these bands rarely choose Salt Lake City as a tour destination, or haven’t for years. It is also a great opportunity for any concert-goer to hear and experience new music for the first time.

But for many, these concerts are not a venue to see a band, but a place to hang out with their friends. If standard concert etiquette were followed (or any etiquette, really), this wouldn’t be an issue. But it isn’t, so the issue remains. In a nutshell, these concerts are a breeding ground for rabid inconsideration. Take a look around and you’ll find plenty examples of folks talking loudly without any regard for what is happening onstage, others barreling their way through the crowd only to barrel their way right back a few minutes later, and the inescapable smell of you-know-what.

As a guy who has been to nearly 100 concerts, I completely understand that outdoor concerts are not intended to be as comfortable and carefree as a magic carpet ride to Agrabah. Stuff happens. You might get bumped around a little bit or have your view blocked by someone taller than you. You might even have to deal with the smell of weed from time to time. But Twilight isn’t what she used to be, and if enough of us speak up, maybe some changes could be made.

I have no ill will toward the Arts Council or the staff and volunteers who work at these shows. They do a great job. I try to never leave a show without saying “thank you” to the people standing at the exit gate. They have a tough job, and they work hard. All I am trying to do is point out some flaws and help pave the way to a better experience for everyone. I hope this letter can serve as a jumping-off point for us to enact a few changes to improve the listening environment for those of us who don’t need to scream, smoke, mosh or crowdsurf to enjoy every concert. If not, at least I was able to get a few things off my chest.

To the Arts Council and Twilight Concert Series staff, I really appreciate you providing such an incredible event. If you are worried that making changes might alienate some of your paying customers, don’t be. Keep scheduling great bands, and people will come. Let’s just do our best to ensure that potentially great moments aren’t ruined by ignorant concert-goers.


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Posted // September 6,2013 at 11:21

Does anybody know what incident happened last night? As we were leaving I can only estimate about foury police cars pulling up in panic. . .


Posted // September 6,2013 at 12:48 - I have been scouring the news for this as well. We were near the southeast corner of the park when dozens of police started running to that corner of the park. I can't imagine what kind of incident would require that many officers, when you still have tens of thousands of concert goers to snoopervise.


Posted // September 6,2013 at 10:36

For reals. People need to stay in one place, stop smoking weed(!) and just relax. Maybe the concert stage could be higher so you can actually see the band from a distance and don't have to squish next to sweaty high teenagers up close. And what was with so many people passing out and punching each other last night? Bad drugs?? 


Posted // September 6,2013 at 10:06

I, personally, don't feel that this condescending letter is deserving. I've always had a wonderful experience at this event. The only negative aspects, in my opinion, are the people that smoke cigarettes outside of the designated smoking area and the morons that climb into the trees. The tickets are affordable, there's good music, water is never incredibly overpriced, there's places to use the restroom and to refill your water bottles, security is everywhere and as assertive as they can be. I understand your perspective on this past summer's Series, but I don't agree.


Posted // August 19,2013 at 00:16

I remember watching Leo Kottke, Arlo Guthrie and several others at Gallivan center with no more than 100 other people. Maybe even 40 for Leo. Those were the real Twilight Concerts for me. Not really interested in being in the same space with 30,000 other people to almost hear the band play.

It isn't what it used to be.


Posted // August 16,2013 at 12:42

Twilight shows are a great peek into the real Salt Lake City. The gritty, the rough, the friendly, the high. They're a chance to really feel the humanity and spirit of this place.  

You might just try getting down off your high horse and come ramble around with the rest of us, have a great time, see some friends, take it all in with some gusto.





Posted // August 16,2013 at 18:33 - Too dark, too flat, too boring, too mobbed. Galavan was the place. . . . in the city center for the aesthetically pleasing vibe. I think there really wasn't an option to stay there though, and keep it safe with the growing crowd. All good things come to an end. : (


Posted // August 16,2013 at 14:50 - No, I believe you're thinking of WalMart.