Red Butte Garden has a tasty batch of shows filling its summer schedule in 2014, running the gamut of genres and generations.
Any regular readers of this space will not be shocked to hear that the highlights in my book come early in the season with the first three shows: Emmylou Harris, Janelle Monae and Jason Isbell. Later on, dance-friendly gigs by the likes of Santana, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Galactic co-headlining with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue are not to be missed.
Here's the rundown; information about the new ticketing system for Red Butte Garden is below the schedule:
June 3: EMMYLOU HARRIS, $42 for Red Butte Garden members/$47 public
One of the best voices in music, Emmylou Harris just won the 2014 Grammy for Best Americana Album for her collaboration with Rodney Crowell on Old Yellow Moon. Now she's touring in support of a reissue of her excellent Wrecking Ball album.
June 8: JANELLE MONAE, $57/$62
A fast-rising star, Monae is the show I'm personally most excited about this season. I'm seen her in clubs and arenas, and her charismatic stage presence and incredible attention to detail in her live concerts are always a treat. Think of a female Prince, Outkast or James Brown with a flair for fashion and leading a monster band. I can't think of anything similar that's ever been at Red Butte Garden.
June 17: JASON ISBELL/THE LONE BELLOW, $30/$35
Isbell is an excellent singer/songwriter of the roots-rock ilk, and his 2013 album Southeastern earned the former Drive-by Trucker much-deserved hype from all corners. The Lone Bellow crafted a great debut album themselves last year, and Red Butte audiences might remember their gig opening for Brandi Carlile.
June 20: ROBERT CRAY/MAVIS STAPLES, $35/$40
Cray is one smooth blues dude, and Staples is simply a soul music legend who has made regular visits to the garden in the past.
June 24: NATALIE COLE, $42/$47
The pop vocalist most recently delivered a critically praised album sung in Spanish.
June 29: GAVIN DEGRAW/MATT NATHANSON/MARY LAMBERT, $45/$50
This evening is full of pop-oriented singer/songwriters taking the stage.
June 30: FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS/MAX FROST & HOLY CHILD, $30/$35
This American indie rock-meets-neo-soul crew has become a festival favorite the past few years, and their tourmate Max Frost fits that description pretty well, too.
July 1: SARAH MCLACHLAN,$60/$65
More recently seen on Portlandia and animal-rights commercials than the charts lately, the founder of Lilith Fair is still sure to pack the place for her lush pop songs.
July 9: THE AVETT BROTHERS, $47/$53
The high-energy quartet has grown both creatively and commercially since they first played Red Butte a few years back.
July 10: BOB WEIR & RATDOG, $50/$55
Deadheads will rejoice at the idea of a night of Bob Weir and his Ratdog pals jamming at Utah's best summer concert venue.
July 21: PAT METHENY UNITY GROUP/BRUCE HORNSBY, $42/$47
The guitar ace Metheny brings his latest band to town for a show pairing him with another instrumental master--pianist Bruce Hornsby.
July 22: TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND, $45/$50
The bluesy, worldbeat-influence sounds of guitarist Derek Trucks, his wife/guitarist/vocalist Susan Tedeschi and their crack band have become a regular part of Red Butte's summer series.
July 25: LYLE LOVETT & HIS LARGE BAND, $47/$52
Lovett and his consistently excellent Large Band are old favorites at Red Butte.
July 27: GARY CLARK, JR., $32/$37
If you're looking for incendiary guitar work and a star on the rise, Texan Gary Clark, Jr. fits the bill just fine.
July 28: AMOS LEE, $37/$43
Lee traded in a career as a school teacher to pursue his blend of folk, rock and soul music.
July 29: SANTANA, $95/$100
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has been thrilling audiences of his live shows for more than four decades.
Aug. 3: JOHN HIATT & THE COMBO/TAJ MAHAL, $37/$42
Two old favorites join forces for a show sure to please blues-rock fans who have seen both Hiatt and Taj Mahal come to Red Butte for years.
Aug. 5: CHRIS ISAAK$49/$54
An ace band he's been playing with for years allows Isaak to put on remarkably entertaining roots-rock concerts with a retro vibe.
Aug. 8: RAY LAMONTAGNE/THE BELLE BRIGADE, $47/$53
Neo-folkie LaMontagne is touring in support of his new Supernova set.
Aug. 10: TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE/GALACTIC, $38/$43
Talk about a serious dose of New Orleans in one night, this double-bill is sure to be one of the sweatiest shows of the summer.
Aug. 12: MICHAEL MCDONALD/TOTO, $57/$63
McDonald is one of the most recognizable voices in pop music thanks to his solo success and years with the Doobie Brothers; Toto is a band that I thought broke up around 1983. I bet they play "Rosanna."
Aug. 14: SHERYL CROW, $69/$74
A Red Butte favorite in recent years, Crow's most recent music skews towards country more than rock.
Aug. 19: PORTUGAL. THE MAN/GROUPLOVE, $35/$40
A fine combination of young rock acts--Portugal. The Man is a rock band hailing from the hometown of Sarah Palin; Grouplove is an L.A. crew with a dance vibe to their music.
Aug. 21: DAVID GRAY, $48/$53
The British singer/songwriter's popularity in the states has remained intact far longer than I thought it would.
Aug. 24: BRANDI CARLILE, $39/$44
The charismatic folk-rocker is a regular at Red Butte these days, delivering spirited performances there nearly every summer in recent memory
Aug. 29: EARTH, WIND & FIRE, $60/$65
After having to cancel last fall, the soul and funk pioneers bring their show of familiar hits to town.
Sept. 11: AN ACOUSTIC EVENING WITH BEN HARPER, $48/$53
This man is a wicked player on any guitar he chooses, acoustic or electric, and a winning storyteller as well.
Sept. 14: CONOR OBERST, $35/$40
The alt-rock wunderkind is all grown up, and while most remember the 34-year-old Oberst for his Bright Eyes records, his recent work in his own name has been excellent. His new release, Upside Down Mountain, comes out in May.
HOW TO GET YOUR RED BUTTE GARDEN TICKETS
Red Butte Garden recently announced a change to its ticket-sales operation, one that is sure to streamline the process from the past years. Here's the lowdown:
1. Tickets go on sale to members of Red Butte Garden on Monday, April 28 at 7 p.m., and will only be sold online until 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 29, when in-person sales and phone sales at Red Butte Garden, as well as online sales via Ticketfly, will be available. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on May 5 at 9 a.m. So it remains advantageous to secure a membership to the garden to have a chance at your preferred shows. You can get a membership here.
2. Online ticket sales will now be handled by Ticketfly.com, which also has a phone-order option. To be able to act fast when you want to buy tickets online, set up a Ticketfly profile in addition to securing that Red Butte membership.
3. Red Butte Garden will be providing Ticketfly with its list of members at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 27, so be sure to get your membership by then if you want to get in on the members-only on-sale date April 28. Red Butte Garden will not be renewing memberships between 6 p.m. April 27 and 9 a.m. April 29.
4. Ticketfly purchases will have a ticket fee of $4.50 per ticket for online sales; in-person and phone-order sales at Red Butte Garden have no ticket fees. Buying through Ticketfly allows you to print your tickets at home, pick them up at Will Call, pick them up at the Red Butte Garden Visitor Center or have them mailed to your home.
5. There are no longer season-ticket packages available.