Red Butte Gears Up for Another Smooth Summer Concert Series

qqz8lj - Red Butte Gears Up for Another Smooth Summer Concert Series

One of the joys of living in Salt Lake City in the summertime is the Red Butte Garden concert series. There is nothing quite like spreading out a blanket, uncorking some wine, and enjoying music from talented artists of yesterday and today, all while nestled in the mouth of one of the valley’s most gorgeous canyons.

For serious music fans, though, there are some drawbacks to the venue. The picnic-y atmosphere and BYOB policy tends to result in a good portion of the crowd yammering on through most of the show. This may be why a few of the stalwart acts who have played Red Butte in prior years opted to move to the pristine, new, and acoustically perfect Eccles Theater downtown.

But it seems there are enough friendly rock acts for the 30+ set to go around this summer, as Red Butte’s recently announced lineup is as stacked as ever. Perennial favorites like Tedeschi Trucks Band and Jason Isbell join first timers HAIM and The Head and the Heart. Indie rockers The Decemberists and Portugal. The Man both return after sold out performances in the 2015 series. Gov’t Mule and the Trey Anastasio Band fill out an unusually strong showing from the jam band set. There are a number of bonafide guitar gods in the ranks, including Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Santana. And as always, there’s plenty of overpriced nostalgia acts for those with cash to spare. Expect to see SLC’s socialites sipping wine and reminiscing during ZZ Top, Jethro Tull, and Lyle Lovett.

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the list is Southern rockers the Drive-By Truckers. Although front-man Patterson Hood and former member Jason Isbell have sold out plenty of solo shows in this city over the years, the full band hasn’t been here in a decade. During Hood’s last show at the State Room, he spoke fondly of the departed Zephyr theater, raved about Red Iguana’s Mexican food, and said it was about time he brought his band back through town. A few of us near the front shouted “Play Red Butte!” and it seems he got the message. It will be interesting to see if the DBT’s die hard fanbase, which reliably fills smaller venues around the country, has enough of a presence in Utah to fill Red Butte’s larger capacity.

Another surprise is the Utah Symphony coming to the Garden to play John Williams’ popular film scores. The Symphony is a regular presence at Deer Valley’s concert series, but they don’t usually play on the mountain closer to home.

We do want to warn you that “Jason Mraz and his Superband” will be hitting the series on Tuesday, June 20th, in case you want to book a vacation around that time.

If any of this interests you, or if–like many Red Butters–you just want to get drunk and talk to your friends on a mountain while some famous rock star plays in the background, grab your cooler and come on up to the Garden. We’ll see you there.

Here’s the full list of acts:

Tuesday, May 23 » Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson

Friday, June 2 » Trey Anastasio Band — Paper Wheels Tour

Sunday, June 4 » TajMo: The Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ Band

Sunday, June 18 » Dispatch: America, Location 12 Tour with Guster, Jake Shimabukuro

Tuesday, June 20 » Jason Mraz and His Superband

Wednesday, June 28 » Santana — Transmogrify Tour

Thursday, July 6 » Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

Thursday, July 13 » Amos Lee

Friday, July 14 » North Mississippi Allstars and Anders Osborne Present: N.M.O. / Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real

Thursday, July 20 » Mary Chapin Carpenter with Sarah Jarosz

Friday, July 21 » Lyle Lovett and his Large Band

Sunday, July 23 » RetroFutura Tour: Howard Jones, The English Beat, Men Without Hats

Tuesday, July 25 » Portugal. The Man

Tuesday, Aug. 1 » Wheels of Soul Tour: Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Wood Brothers, Hot Tuna

Wednesday, Aug. 2 » John Williams’ Film Music featuring the Utah Symphony

Friday, Aug. 4 » Drive-By Truckers with Asleep at the Wheel

Thursday, Aug. 10 » Gregory Alan Isakov / Blind Pilot

Sunday, Aug. 13 » The Head and the Heart with Matt Hopper and The Roman Candles

Tuesday, Aug. 15 » The Decemberists with Olivia Chaney

Wednesday, Aug. 16 » Chick Corea Elektric Band / Béla Fleck and the Flecktones

Thursday, Aug. 17 » Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue / St. Paul and The Broken Bones

Sunday, Aug. 20 » Herbie Hancock

Monday, Aug. 21 » Lake Street Dive

Thursday, Aug. 31 » ZZ Top — Tonnage Tour

Wednesday, Sept. 06 » John Butler Trio with Nattali Rize

Friday, Sep. 8 » Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with Frank Turner and the Sleeping Sounds

Tuesday, Sep. 12 » HAIM

Wednesday, Sept. 13 » Sheryl Crow — Be Myself Tour

Thursday, Sept.14 » Gov’t Mule — Revolution Come … Revolution Go Tour





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