Even if you’ve never picked up a Kenny Loggins album before, there’s probably at least one Kenny Loggins song you know by heart from a much-loved movie. From soaring hits in Top Gun (1986) like “Danger Zone” and “Playing With The Boys” (the musical score to the infamous beach volleyball scene) to the title track “Footloose” and “I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man)” (both from 1984’s Footloose) to “Meet Me Half Way” from Over the Top (1987) to songs for both the Caddyshack (1980) and Caddyshack II (1988) soundtracks to contributions on the 1976 A Star is Born soundtrack, Loggins was the undisputed King of the Movie Soundtrack in the 1980s. Now Loggins will be bringing his cinematic-friendly repertoire to Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre for its outdoor concert series.
It might be easy for some audiences to dismiss the shaggy-mullet-wearing purveyor of some of their parents’ most inoffensive soft rock favorites, but you can’t deny some of those songs have some serious staying power. More recent references in pop culture have brought them back into contemporary vernacular, including guest appearances on animated shows Family Guy and Archer, in which his song “Danger Zone” has been a recurring joke on the show.
If the soundtrack hits don’t get you, consider Loggins’ 1994 children’s album (that’s right, children’s album) Return To Pooh Corner and tell me the title track doesn’t make your inner child weep as they’re transported to a simpler time. He has since released more children’s music, if that’s the version of Loggins’ that appeals most to you.
Of course, Kenny Loggins doesn’t need me to make the case for him. He’s got a musical career spanning 50 years, he’s a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter (for “What A Fool Believes” and “This Is It” ), and he’s been nominated for an Academy Award (“Footloose”), a Tony Award (“Footloose” again) and a Golden Globe Award (also for “Footloose”).
Opening for Loggins are locally-based special guests Rich Wyman, a songwriter and pianist who opened for Alanis Morisette and The Goo Goo Dolls at the Winter Olympic games in Salt Lake City, and Lisa Needham, a singer/songwriter/storyteller and Wyman’s wife.
They all perform live at Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. Gates open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m.
Tickets are on sale to other Red Butte Concerts at the Outdoor Concert Series website. See the full Red Butte summer lineup (be aware, there have been some COVID-related cancelations) and Salt Lake’s guide on how to Red Butte.