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

Best Summer Concerts 

This Van's A-rockin'

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By Jordan Floyd

Blues, Brews and BBQ
Sundays through Sept.
30 Snowbasin Mountain Resort
snowbasin.com

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How to pregame:
Everything you need in the way of alcohol or food will be available at the venue, so sit back, enjoy the mountain views and try not to hit a moose.

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What to wear:
A T-shirt with this line emblazoned across the chest: "Salad? That's what my food eats."

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
The joke here is that we would ask this question for a concert series with the answer stated in its name.

What to post:
A photo of you jamming out to Reno-based roots band Jelly Bread while—get this!—eating jelly bread on your Snapchat story.

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Twilight Concert Series
Aug. 16-Sept. 13
Gallivan Center

twilightconcerts.com

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How to pregame: Sip a bottle of Uinta Cutthroat for about 45 minutes. Then, in frantic succession, take three shots of any liquor you've got because the Uber is two minutes away and you lost track of time.

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What to wear:
Sport your favorite band-T from past Twilight lineups as a way to pay homage to one of the better things to ever happen to this state. No, the Wu-Tang Clan shirt you bought at Forever 21 a few years back does not count.

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
Buy a beer, take a few slugs from a flask when you're surrounded by a crowd, peruse the food truck lineup—it doesn't matter what you do because you and everyone else will end up at The Pie Hole afterward.

What to post:
Throw a black-and-white photo of the crowd and stage on Instagram with the caption: "Do y'all remember when this shit was free?"

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Ogden Twilight
Thursdays through Aug. 9
Ogden Amphitheater
ogdentwilight.com

 

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How to pregame:
Given the electro-duo-pop-funk-something-made-by-a-computer lineup, it might be fun for attendees to take a few pregaming notes from the Das Energi community.

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What to wear:
In a crowd that undoubtedly will pride itself on denim- or leather-clad individuality, the only way to break the mold among a hoard of mold-breakers is to move in the opposite aesthetic direction. That's right—wear cargo shorts.

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
What is the Ogden equivalent of going to The Pie Hole after a concert?

What to post:
If The Flaming Lips' performance is anything like it was at the 2013 Twilight Concert Series (or any performance they've ever done, for that matter), chances are you had the opportunity to snap a picture of Wayne Coyne making some Kafkaesque show on stage that only dudes who use the term Kafkaesque will appreciate.

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Red Butte Garden Outdoor Concert Series
Now through Sept. 17
Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
redbuttegarden.org/concerts

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How to pregame:
Get a little buzzed after chugging a few gallons of Kombucha.

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What to wear:
A T-shirt that reads: "I am Sheryl Crow's friend, the communist in the RV."

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
All I can say for sure, is that when you hear those guys who did the song for the Wendy's commercial perform (who are they again?), you'll have to fight off fantasies of being strung out on a Dave's juicy double.

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What to post:
Hop on Facebook Live when Indigo Girls perform "Closer to Fine" and burn your college diploma. Now you're really free.

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Deer Valley Music Festival
June 30-July 11
Deer Valley Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater
deervalleymusicfestival.org

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How to pregame:
Choke down a pair of inexplicably-priced $5 pints of Pabst at your local Park City bar.

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What to wear:
In anticipation of hearing Broadway hits from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim, it'd be most appropriate to wear your best Phantom costume, or better yet, to saunter about the festival with you and your friends donning cat costumes.

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
Dig into a meat pie you bought from your barber.

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What to post:
A video on your Insta story in which you zoom in on one of the orchestra cellists and poll your followers: "Is this guy's big violin compensating for something—yes or no?"

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Cherry Peak Summer Concert Series
June 14-Sept. 1
Cherry Peak Mountain Resort, Richmond

skicherrypeak.com

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How to pregame:
Listen to Smash Mouth's "All Star" on repeat the whole way up to Richmond, no matter which of the series' artists are performing.

What to wear:
For $12.35 on Etsy you can buy a handmade, soft-cotton T-shirt with the lyrics to Smash Mouth's "All Star" printed down the front. Wear that.

What to drink (or eat) while there:
The thought of hearing Smash Mouth play "All Star" live will be all that you need to sustain yourself.

What to post:
Put a video of you singing along to all roughly 3½ minutes of Smash Mouth's "All Star" on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, VSCO, YouTube, Vimeo, a blogger site you've just created for this momentous occasion, and your uber-private Finsta with the caption: "The meme has become reality."

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USANA Concert Series
Through Oct. 4
USANA Amphitheatre, WVC
usana-amp.com

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How to pregame:
From Kesha and Macklemore (June 16) to the inimitable Kenny Chesney (June 28), many jewels adorn Usana's summer crown. But few shine brighter than Vans Warped Tour's last hurrah (June 30). To commemorate the occasion, get a stick-and-poke tattoo of your best friend's name on your thigh and pierce something other than your ears.

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What to wear:
Go all out. Grow out your hair (bangs, specifically) in advance. Dye it black, blonde, pink, green, orange or all those colors at once. Cram your legs into skinny jeans you bought from the women's section—just like you had to do before the clothing companies caught on. While Vans footwear might be the obvious standard, breaking out a fat-tongued pair of Osiris or Etnies shoes could be the right step, so to speak, toward encompassing the early-aughts' aesthetic. Lastly, and most importantly, whatever it is you do, wear a studded belt.

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What to drink (or eat while there):
For the sake of nostalgia, slam a couple of Boo Koo energy drinks in between bouts of head banging or while standing in an isolated corner of the fairpark, thinking, "What's another night all alone?"

What to post:
A video on your old Tumblr of Utah's own The Used singing "The Taste of Ink." Ask your followers: "What happens when it's been in your hands, when you've savored every moment of it? Where do we go after we stood atop the bright lit city? RIP, the Warped Tour we knew."

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Country Fan Fest
July 26-29
Deseret Peak Complex Tooele
countryfanfest.com

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How to pregame:
Keystone Light is $16 for a 30 rack. Tell everyone.

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What to wear:
A Stetson hat, shit-kickers, Wranglers with a perfect circle worn into one of the back pockets, and stars-and-stripes everything else.

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
Beer has all the calories you need; chew has the vitamins.

What to post:
Whatever you put on Facebook, make sure that not a single hand is without a beer and that an American flag can be seen somewhere in the photo.

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Salt City Sounds
June 20 & 27
Gallivan Center
saltcitysounds.com

How to pregame:
Supposedly, there's free beer in the City Weekly offices right across from the Gallivan Center if you can scale the building and get in through one of the office windows.

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What to wear:
Draw a mouth and eyes on a white five-gallon bucket with a Sharpie and wear it on your head. See how many autographs you sign and how many people ask you when you're set starts.

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
Pour one partly out during Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's "Crossroads" for the loved ones you've lost; but not all the way out because beers are $10 and those who have passed wouldn't want you to waste a beer on a libation anyway.

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What to post:
That Boomerang of your drunken attempt at an Aoki jump you took last week.

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Crucial Fest 8
Sept. 28-29
Utah State Fairpark
facebook.com/crucialfest

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How to pregame:
Reciting the Satanist's creed might be a good way to prepare. It goes as follows: "I believe in the force of Satan, the father of the void, ruler of the Earth, king of the world, and in Lucifer, the guiding light and the morning star above.

And Lilith, who seeded the world with her creation. I believe I am my own church.

I hold the spirit of Satan within my heart; I was born without the stain of sin; my spirit is one with Satan. As it is now and ever will be, so it is done."

What to wear:
Blood and sweat (and some other bodily fluids) don't show as well on black clothing.

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
The blood of a virgin sacrifice? It's hard to tell what these bands' lyrics are saying.

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What to post:
Proudly show all of your Instagram followers the black eye and split lip you earned in the mosh pit.

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Summer Nights with The Stars
Now through Sept. 8
Kenley Amphitheater, Layton
davisarts.org

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How to pregame:
You might have to sip down a few Dirty Shirley's at Applebee's. I don't think you can get alcohol anywhere else in Davis County.

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What to wear:
To pay homage to ABBA and the cover band performing their music at the series, slip into the whitest, brightest, most sparkling and grandiose-looking outfit you've got and go to town.

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
Word on the street is that the Kenley Amphitheater serves Philly cheesesteaks that pair excellently with Night Ranger's set.

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What to post:
If you aren't posting a way-too-long Snapchat story of yourself absolutely losing it to Melissa Etheridge's "I'm the Only One," then you're doing this entire series wrong.

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Bonanza Campout
June 22-24
Rivers Edge, Heber City
bonanzacampout.com

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How to pregame:
Find out what tent Wiz is staying at, and see if you're Taylor Gang material.

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What to wear:
For all the fashion advice that could be given here, it feels most prudent to say, simply, wear mosquito repellant.

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
Typical scout camp fare will do: Delicious, all-beef hot-dogs impaled by sticks you found near the campsite and roasted over a scant fire, served on buns that didn't exactly hold their form in your trunk (but are edible no less), with a side of value-brand chips.

What to post:
Upload a video of your friend doing an acoustic cover of "Closer" around the campfire with the caption: "I'm almost drunk enough to think this song is good."

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Das Energi
Aug. 17-18
The Great Saltair, Magna
dasenergifestival.com

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How to pregame:
Spend the entire night beforehand crafting rave kandi bracelets, one of which features the provocative question: "Do DJs even do anything on stage?"

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What to wear:
For more masculine types, anything you could find in Pac-Sun about four years ago when all-over galaxy prints and depictions of animals wearing cheap wayfarers were en vogue will do. For those looking to sport a daring look, it seems the current trend in rave-wear is to appear as if you are a kind of furry, Technicolor space entity that, though you've only just come to Earth to experience what humans call EDM, still somehow adheres (very loosely) to Western standards of modesty (i.e., if anything, your nipples are covered) and is overcome by a superficial understanding of Eastern philosophy and its surrounding lore.

What to drink (or eat) while there:
Anything but the Kool-Aid, man.

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What to post:
A blurry video of a moment far too long before a "sick drop" on Snapchat with Deadmau5's anthropomorphic, mousy grin lurking in the background (or is that just a fellow festival-goer?)

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Reggae Rise Up
Aug. 24-26
Rivers Edge, Heber City
reggaeriseuputah.com

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How to pregame:
Let's say you want to do this (almost) completely legally. Find a designated driver, and with at least 10 or so hours before show time, make your way to the The Green Joint dispensary in Parachute, Colo. Once there, buy how ever many edibles you think you can handle and get out quick—you've got a show to catch. An hour away, just before you cross back to Utah, is a town called Mack. Eat your edibles there, leaving no trace that you ever had them. From Mack to Heber City, it is about a four-hour drive. If the edibles take about an hour to hit, then you're sure to enjoy a semi-legal high for the remaining three hours of the drive and about one to three hours of the festival. Who am I kidding? That's a terrible idea.

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What to wear:
Is it ever too hot to wear a Baja hoodie?

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
I hope to God there's snacks aplenty for this crowd.

What to post:
A photo with you and all your new Earth brothers and sisters on Instagram with the simple-yet-telling caption: "One Love."

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Sandy Amphitheater
Now through Sept. 8
Sandy
sandyamp.com/events

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How to pregame:
Spend a day binge-watching David Archuleta's rise to American Idol fame.

What to wear:
Wear whatever the Village People are wearing, except the Native American headdress, for God's sake.

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
Since you can bring your own food and drink into the venue, I cannot think of a better food and music pairing for this series than washing down a Café Rio burrito with a can of Diet Coke while watching Donny & Marie Osmond's "Return Engagement."

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What to post:
À la David Archuleta's viral video of him singing every part of his hit-song "Crush" with the help of his bathroom mirror, post a sure-to-be-viral vid of you singing all the parts to Kid 'N Play's "Rollin' With Kid 'N Play." Ho-la, ho-la, hey, baby.

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Utah Blues Festival
June 16
Gallivan Center
utahbluesfest.org

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How to pregame:
Listen to the Blues Origins, Blues Masters, Blues Roots, Blues Rock, and Blues Classics playlists on Spotify in succession. It'll only take you, like, a full day to do.

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What to wear:
A necklace with a totally real Robert Johnson "Kind Hearted Woman Blues" vinyl attached to it.

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
The festival will be equipped with food-truck fare. Nothing goes with blues music quite like a sushi burrito, am I right?

What to post:
Inspired by your time at the festival, dust off the ol' six string and put a couple passable covers of blues songs up on your Facebook story.

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Stadium of Fire
America's Freedom Festival
July 4
Lavell Edwards Stadium

freedomfestival.org

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How to pregame:
Tout hollow platitudes about freedom and equality for all for nearly 250 years and—I don't know—shoot off a firework or two.

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What to wear:
Show your respect and love of the nation's flag by wearing any number of flag-featuring outfits, from cut-off shorts with stars-and-stripes material as the back pockets, to a button-down shirt made entirely of an American flag fabric.

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
Do you think they still sell Cougar Tails when it's not football season?

What to post:
For the love of God and America (which He founded), anything but a video of the fucking fireworks display.

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Utah Arts Festival
June 21-24
Library Square
uaf.org

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How to pregame:
There is no pregame—the game is happening and has been since the dawn of human life itself. As Oscar Wilde famously stated, "Life imitates art far more than art imitates life." The art festival, so to speak, has informed our daily mode of living and has for as long as any of us have been alive.

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What to wear:
Make a statement by rocking head-to-toe body paint splattered about in a Jackson Pollock style.

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
Whatever you buy from the food vendors, do so with a nearly-maxed-out credit card like a real artist would.

What to post:
Post a photo on Instagram of you and your two best friends recreating Artemisia Gentileschi's "Judith Slaying Holofernes." For props, all you need is a corn dog and a heaping pile of ketchup packets.

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Women's Redrock Music Festival
Aug. 10-11
Robber's Roost, Torrey
womensredrockmusicfest.com

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How to pregame:
Empty a cooler of beer in the heart of Utah's red rock country.

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What to wear:
Whatever the fuck you want.

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What to drink (or eat) while there:
Nothing pairs better with a gathering of badass women than a restaurant that serves a dish with actual rattlesnake meat, which is exactly what Torrey, Utah's Café Diablo serves. Mix rattlesnake cakes and their signature Jalapeño Melon Margarita with this festival's crowd and you've got one helluva gathering.

What to post:
Does anyone have cell service in Torrey, Utah?

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