Friday, September 24, 2021
Home A & E Review: Lower Lights at Kingsbury Hall

Review: Lower Lights at Kingsbury Hall

Last night, hoards of families and hipsters alike filed into Kingsbury Hall bundled in warm coats and carrying umbrellas on a rainy Monday night, looking to be filled with Christmas cheer—courtesy of the Utah supergroup The Lower Lights.

The Lower Lights, a large group of local musicians of varying fame and fortune, have hosted a Christmas music concert each year for the last 6 years, and each year it has grown—primarily through word of mouth. It has grown so much, in fact, that the Lower Lights moved this year from the Salt Lake Masonic Temple to new digs at Kingsbury Hall, while still selling out all of their shows. The move was a detail that did not go unmentioned by the band.

“How’s everyone feel about the padded seats?” one member of the twenty-something-member group asked early in the show. Another mentioned how relieved he was that he didn’t have to put rows of metal folding chairs like in years past at their former Christmas show home. Another said, “We had many apprehensions, as I’m sure you do, about us moving here.” But still, all who spoke from the stage on the subject mentioned that it was a dream come true to be playing the venue.

And so the band played. Sometimes all at once, sometimes in shifts, and often making sure everyone got their moment to shine. But they seemed to have trouble connecting with the crowd. Maybe it was because it was the first night, or maybe the room was a little too big for them. But, often they paused for audience reaction, and got none.

Songs varied from traditional Christmas tunes (“I Saw Three Ships”, “Silver Bells”, “Away In The Manger”), to gospel standards with a folksy bluegrass touch (“When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder”, “God’s Gonna Trouble The Water”, “Just a Closer Walk With Thee”). The crowd seemed to liven up a bit at the more upbeat tunes, clapping as if they were at an actual revival.

At the introduction of a song by the great Louvin Brothers the crowd fell silent (gasp!), but made noise again as soon as the song, “River of Jordan”, started.

The band shined more during the gospel songs than the Christmas standards, led in part by an outstanding fiddler. A detail that makes this reviewer wonder why The Lower Lights tradition seems to be only a Christmastime one.

One year ago today: Utahns mourn at a vigil for Breonna Taylor. Taylor was shot and killed by a police officer in March 2020, inspiring worldwide protests and calls for racial justice. ...

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Gayle Dowdle as Queen Elizabeth I of England ⁠

@dowdledesign is the queen of renaissance fairs and comic conventions. Dowdle began cosplaying six years ago and has been planning to recreate Queen Elizabeth I ever since. She spent as many as 700 hours constructing the ensemble. She entered her cosplay into the @fanxsaltlake 2019 cosplay contest, winning first prize. Since, she has continued to make upgrades to the royal cosplay she has created. “My dress will never be finished,” she says. 👑⁠

The wig is actually made of Dowdle’s own hair, which she cut off before beginning chemotherapy treatments last year. She says, “When I wear this wig, I don’t feel like Gayle with cancer, I just feel like Gayle again.” ⁠

See more portraits of Utah cosplayers at the link in our bio! ⁠

Photo by Adam Finkle⁠
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Missy Moody as Giselle from "Enchanted"⁠

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While Moody’s Giselle cosplay has been hailed as screen accurate, Moody advises, “Just have fun with cosplay. Don’t worry too much about accuracy. It’s OK to take some shortcuts.”⁠

See more portraits of Utah cosplayers at the link in our bio! ⁠

Photo by Adam Finkle⁠
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Ryan Bielik as Caleb Widogast from "Critical Role"⁠

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“I wanted something elegant to do—flashy, colorful. Something with a lot of grace in the costume,” says Bielik. ⁠

See more portraits of Utah cosplayers at the link in our bio! ⁠

Photo by Adam Finkle
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Kimber Gabryszak as Brienne of Tarth from "Game of Thrones"⁠

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"I like doing villains or people with a unique appearance who might not be as conventionally pretty,” she says. “Brienne is this tough, badass, giant, imposing woman.”⁠

See more portraits of Utah cosplayers at the link in our bio! ⁠

Photo by Adam Finkle
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IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!⁠

We're teaming up with @gotbeautydotcom and @goodthingsutah to offer a $150 beauty package. Got Beauty is celebrating 30 years of business locally owned and operated by women. ❤️⁠

Here's how you can win: ⁠
✨ Like this post and tag three friends in the comments.⁠
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✨ Enter by 5 p.m. Friday for a chance to win!⁠
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Get ready to explore a city of secrets⚡👁️⁠

In a brand new issue of @slmag, we're uncovering the strange, obscure and unexplained stories and lore from Salt Lake City’s history, from a lost Mormon colony to a rampaging royal elephant to a sphinx with the face of Joseph Smith.⁠ Plus, we highlight outdoor gear trailblazers and continue our 2021 Travel Series in the Big Sky State.

Subscribers: look for this issue in your inbox soon. The magazine will be on newsstands Sept. 1! 📪⁠
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If you’re wondering if it’s worth the trip to a certified Dark Sky Park to view the Perseids, the short answer is “yes.” The long answer is “heck yes.” 🌠⁠

It's not too late to see the yearly Perseids meteor shower light up the night sky. Learn more at the link in our bio!⁠

Photo: Gates of Lodore in Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal; Credit: @miahwatt courtesy @visitutah
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Trade the snowy mountains for sandy peaks. 🏂⁠

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Check out more of our favorite Idaho destinations at the link in our bio!
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Today is National Watermelon Day! 🍉🍉🍉⁠

Celebrate with easy-to-make watermelon granita, summer's coolest frozen dessert. The full recipe is at the link in our bio!⁠
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It's giveaway time!🐒🍻⁠

We're giving away two tickets to @hoglezoo's Zoo Brew. Visit the zoo's more than 800 animals while sipping a local beer at this 21+ event. ⁠
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Here's how you can win:⁠
🐘 Like this post and tag three of your favorite party animals in the comments.
🐘 Follow both @slmag and @hoglezoo.⁠
🐘 Enter by 9 a.m. Wednesday for a chance to win!⁠

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