Thursday, July 15, 2010

Red Butte Gardens = Concert Heaven

I love the mountains. I love going to concerts. I love being with friends. Combine all three and you get a trifecta of music-mountain-friend goodness.
Last week I packed up the picnic basket (or bag—Brunette gave me a lovely insulated picnic bag for my b-day) and headed to Red Butte Gardens. Nestled in the the Salt Lake City foothills, Red Butte Garden Amphitheater is in my opinion the best outdoor venue in SLC. Red Butte brings in a great list of unique bands each year. This year the artists range from The Bare Naked Ladies to Willie Nelson.
Red Butte is great, I can't say anything bad about it (maybe because it is also RED). The music is fantastic. Not just the great artists who perform each year, but the concert sound is some of the best I have heard. Production is great—by production I mean all the behind the scenes stuff from picking up tickets, to concert security, to employees who monitor the height of chairs and umbrellas. You can't beat the experience and atmosphere either. You can bring in your own blankets, chairs, food, and alcohol (not that I do, but I appreciate a good Martinelli's). It isn't uncommon to see wine glasses next to blankets spread with an array of fancy eatables. But my favorite part about Red Butte is the amazing view of the Wasatch mountains. I have lived in Utah most of my life and yet I am still in awe of how spectacular the mountains look. Added to the outdoor concert atmosphere, they are majestic to say the least.

Brandi Carlile rocking out

So enough about how much I love Red Butte Gardens, I actually saw a show while I was there. I went to the amazing and fabulous Red Butte (couldn't help myself) to see Brandi Carlile. This is my 3rd time seeing her. She has an amazing voice and I'm so impressed with how she can crack her voice in just the right way to make her music unique and soulful. This was probably my favorite show of the three I have seen (maybe it is the Red Butte factor). We had a great picnic dinner of chicken salad sandwiches, grapes (yes I was fed them in a cluster—Greek goddess style), birch [root]beer and my favorite Jujyfruit candy. We sat on a blanket near the back and ate our dinner during the opening band (Katie Herzig was awesome), but headed up to the front to watch Brandi up close. The crowd was great, but we had a small encounter with a gentleman who didn't like us standing in front of him. Needless to say by the end of the show everyone was standing including this friendly man.