Saturday, March 6, 2021

Home A & E Review: Lower Lights at Kingsbury Hall

Review: Lower Lights at Kingsbury Hall

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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.

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That is, nobody until Major John W. Powell said the 19th Century equivalent of “Hey man, hold my beer while I try this.”⁠

Read more about his dangerous expedition at the link in our bio!⁠

Photo of Powell’s expedition courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division⁠
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A brand new issue of Salt Lake magazine is coming your way! ⁠

We can't wait to share these stories with you. This issue includes our annual Blue Plate Awards celebrating those surviving and thriving in the restaurant biz. Plus, we take a road trip to Wyoming and ask why the only Utah passenger on the Titanic didn’t survive her journey.⁠

A note from our editor Jeremy Pugh, including beautiful tributes to Mary Brown Malouf from our friends in the community, is online now. Read more at the link in our bio ❤️⁠

Subscribers: Look for this issue in your mailbox soon. The magazine will be on newsstands March 1! 📬
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Today, we are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2021 Blue Plate Awards! ⁠🎉⁠

These prizes honor the growers, food evangelists, grocers, servers, bakers, chefs, bartenders and restaurateurs who do more than put good food on the table—they make our community a better place to live. This year, just surviving as a local business deserves an award, but each of our Blue Plate winners did more than that. They made us grateful for every person involved in the essential act of feeding us.⁠ 🍽⁠

At the link in our bio, we have the full list of winners, a celebration of feats of COVID creativity and a tribute to restaurants we lost this year. If you’re hungry for more, pick up a copy on newsstands March 1! Plus, check out our Instagram for spotlights on some of the Blue Plate winners. ⁠

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2021 Blue Plate Award Winner: @spicekitchenincubator for Keeping the Spice Flowing⁠

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2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @thestore_utah for Special Deliveries ⁠

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A wind storm #tbt for your feed today. 🌬️🛹⁠

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Read the full story through the link in bio.⁠


📸Bears Ears National Monument: Courtesy of Utah Office of Tourism
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What’s your favorite park in Utah? ...

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