There is no shortage of great live concerts taking place this summer. And, one of the best venues to take in a live show is at the Snow Park Lodge at Deer Valley Resort, where the St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights concert series takes place.
I like the mellow crowd (no mosh pit, sorry) at Deer Valley and the amenities, such as the gourmet picnic baskets that you can order in advance and the fact that you can bring your own wine, food, sodas, water, coolers and such.
On Tuesday evening, July 30, one of the best shows of the summer will take place at Snow Park, when Natalie Maines takes the stage, following an opening set by local songstress Mary Beth Maziarz.
Maines -- who many know as a member of the Dixie Chicks -- hasn't performed or recorded with that group for seven-plus years, but is touring behind a magnificent album called Mother. There's not much country twang on Mother, which was produced by Ben Harper and features an array of (mostly) love songs originally performed and/or written by the likes of Pink Floyd, Eddie Vedder, Patty Griffin, the Jayhawks and even a brave cover of Jeff Buckley's "Lover, You Should Have Come Over." There is one song on the album that was co-written with Maines by her Dixie Chicks cohorts: "Come Cryin' to Me."
Maines will undoubtedly perform most, if not all, of Mother on Tuesday night, as well as some familiar Dixie Chicks tunes and other surprises.
To accompany Maines' delicious music, I recommend indulging also in a delectable gourmet picnic basket or bag from Deer Valley Resort. Picnic bags include gourmet wraps such as tandoori chicken salad or a vegetarian version, along with salad, cheese, flatbread, house-made chips and a Deer Valley jumbo chocolate chip cookie. There are also children's and gluten-free and vegan options available.
As for the picnic baskets, they come is one- or two-serving sizes and include items such as lightly smoked salmon with dill caper aioli; chilled fillet of beef with caramelized onions and horseradish cream; antipasto of steamed artichokes, house-made Tuscan salami, imported olives, heirloom tomatoes and fresh arugula. There's also double-cream French brie and a fresh-baked baguette, fresh fruit, and desserts, like lemon pound cake and chocolate-raspberry-truffle tartlets.
For vegetarians, there's a picnic basket which includes honey-soy glazed tofu and tamari-sesame marinated Asian noodles with Napa cabbage, carrots, peppers, scallions and shiitake mushrooms.
I've tried most of these Deer Valley delicacies and, yes, they are as good as they sound. Oh, and you can also order wine, beer, water or soft drinks for an additional charge. It'll all be ready and waiting for you when you get to the Snow Park Lodge Amphitheater.
Prices for Deer Valley's gourmet picnic bags and baskets range from $28 (for a single bag) to $79 for a two-person picnic basket and can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling 435-645-6613.