Oh, the irony of being an entertainment writer with a love for music.
Fresh off a web story in which I openly ridiculed anyone going to see the shameless retreads of REO Speedwagon and Styx, I recommend readers see other old-timers Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard on Tuesday and then rebound in time to see the Grateful Dead offshoot led by aging hippies Bob Weir and Phil Lesh called Furthur.
Oh boy. So let the hypocrisy-free edition of this post commence.
But before I enter the arena of blatant self-contradiction, let's look at what to do Monday night, starting with an up-and-coming group from Athens, Ga., called The Futurebirds hit Kilby Court for a 7 p.m. concert. This sextet has opened for the Drive-By Truckers, which automatically gives them a lot of credence in my book. And as always, Kilby gives you a chance to find out for yourself if these guys have good chops and good songs. Seattle-based Cataldo opens up and tickets are $10 in advance through 24tix.com.
As promised, I implore you to go see Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard on Tuesday night at Kingsbury Hall. This pair of 70-somethings have written a handful of songs between them that I can't imagine the American music songbook without. "Me and Bobby McGee," "Workingman's Blues," "The Pilgrim #33," "Big City," Help Me Make It Through The Night," and "Okie from Muskogee" to name just a few.
And while they've done a few shows together in the past few years, I nearly fell over when I realized their first full-length tour together was winding through SLC. These two legends are still in relatively good shape considering the booze, miles and hard living they've both done. For me, this isn't just a can't-miss show, it's a "be-there-no-matter- what" show. Hope to see you there.
On Wednesday night, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, rhythm guitarist and bassist, respectively for the defunct Grateful Dead bring their latest musical incarnation together for Furthur's first Utah tour stop since forming in 2009 at the Maverik Center. The lineup includes former Dark Star Orchestra guitarist John Kadelick, who used to be "Fake Jerry" in DSO.
Ever since Jerry Garcia died in 1995, Lesh and Weir have been in various bands that seemed to rework the Dead's terrific songbook in new settings with different instrumentation, rearranged songs and a different vibe. Not this time. And that's what I find largely depressing about this project. It's the most straightforward attempt yet to recreate the Grateful Dead and has scarcely any new material, although Weir and Lesh have penned a handful of new originals for Furthur. Instead they rely on songs written in the late '60s and early '70s to carry the day. And while it is terrific fodder for Deadheads nationwide, who still listen mainly to that band (and yes, I know a LOT of people who still do that), it makes me question their relevance. That being said, the setlist is full of ridiculous golden oldies the band rarely played when Garcia was alive but are now common. But as with any band, it's not what gets played, it's how well the song is played. So, as a Dead fan for more than 20 years, I'll be there. But, I'm going in with a ton of trepidation. Wish me luck.
Also, pop diva Taylor Swift brings her brand of "country" to EnergySolutions Arena on Wednesday. The show's sold out. And '80s pop-rockers Erasure are at Kingsbury Hall. Tickets remain on sale for this show - which will most likely have a party vibe.