Friday, September 24, 2021
Home A & E Music Velour Homecoming for Soul Sisters Jenn Blosil, Mia Grace and Jude
Photo by Charissa Che

Velour Homecoming for Soul Sisters Jenn Blosil, Mia Grace and Jude

Last Saturday, Sept. 27 marked soul songstress Jennifer Blosil’s return to the music after having served 18 months on an LDS mission. The show was billed modestly as her “Homecoming,” but hip Provo joint, Velour (the starting grounds for Imagine Dragons), was packed to the brim with old friends, as well as her devoted Utah followers.

Pre-show, Blosil and openers Jude and Mia Grace were backstage, passing around a honey mouth spray that supposedly soothed the vocal chords, and alternately wincing at the taste. It was Jude’s first-ever show, and after some pep-talk and a group prayer, the demure singer-songwriter took the stage. Her songs, while of the understated variety, showcased a maturity and oftentimes painful self-awareness well beyond her 17 years.

Mia Grace splashed the stage (which was eccentrically adorned with a huge Japanese silk fan and faux-stained glass windows) dressed in goth-chicwear. Electric guitar strapped in place, the bluesy balladeer channeled Alanis Morissette circa Jagged Little Pill with slick songs about sweet talkers and could-have-been lovers.

The theme for the night was set: These young, female up-and-comers have written songs that adequately match wits with their pop contemporaries, and then some. Consider a more earnest, substantial take on the Taylor Swift phenomenon, whose predominantly young female fanbase has found a personal connection with words on singular experiences (a particularly moving moment came with Jude’s performance of a tender song she had penned following her parents’ divorce).

By the time Blosil came to the fore, the crowd had sat itself down stageside with their DSLRs and excited chatter over what new material she had up her sleeve for the occasion. The Orem native had her own plans, though. The night’s serious mood was instantly dispelled with an anecdote about a wardrobe malfunction: “So my mom had actually sewed me a dress for the show,” says Blosil, “and just as I was putting it on, the zipper broke.” She reenacted the scene, shuffling sideways and assuring passersby that all was well. With this, she excused herself for the oddity of her chosen outfit—a shirt with her own face on it—as it was the only thing she had at her disposal.

With the crowd chuckling, she broke into her set, which included tracks from her EP, “Enemy” and “Make it Better.” The contrast from her lighthearted, self-deprecating stage banter to her impassioned soulful belting was transcendent. She emoted almost as though directly to her subjects: her audiences were simply caught in the intimate moment as voyeurs.

Show highlight, “Sweet Talk” had quite the amusing backstory. The sassy track begins, “You say you’ve been to Paris, well I couldn’t care less” and the attitude doesn’t relent. “It was [a few months] before my mission started, so I thought it would be fun to go on some dates before I left. After this first one, I decided, ‘I’m never doing this again,’” Blosil laughed. To paraphrase, the song was a delicious kiss-off to a hot-shot who was so busy recounting his own glory; he only later found out Blosil was a singer—and a rather good one, at that.

The encore was poignant, and judging by the expressions in the audience, seemed to strike a strong cord. “I am not this hair, and I’m not these clothes,” Blosil sang on the ukulele. The reflection on self-worth and self-love was a simple and fitting closure for a night of introspective, coming-of-age music, and the flood of fans who sought to give the singer a hug afterwards was evidence that great things were in store for the blossoming (or, shall we say,Blosiling) musician.

Click here for more concert photos by Charissa Che.

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"⁠

@madamemoodycosplay has competed on the stage at comic conventions from Salt Lake City to New York in Giselle’s massive wedding gown from Disney’s "Enchanted." The self-taught seamstress has remade the dress five times over the course of four years, eventually wearing it to her very own nuptials. ⁠✨⁠

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"⁠

“It was a demanding mistress,” @moody_kittens says of his Caleb cosplay, his take on a character from the Dungeons & Dragons live-streaming sensation turned multimedia empire "Critical Role." Bielik started cosplaying in 2013 and typically attends three conventions per year. After the pandemic, his Caleb cosplay represents a return to form: an obsessive attention to detail. Bielik plans to publicly debut his Caleb cosplay this year at @fanxsaltlake, where he will also enter the cosplay contest. 🪶

“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"⁠

@kimber.and.connie.cosplay sets a high bar for herself. “I love to be as screen-accurate as possible,” she says. Gabryszak has always loved costuming, “I was cosplaying before I realized what cosplaying was.” But she did not attend her first comic convention until 2015. She says, “Brienne is the most ambitious character I have ever cosplayed.” Gabryszak had to learn leatherworking, for example, but by far the most difficult undertaking was constructing the chainmail. ⚔️ ⁠

"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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✨ Like this post and tag three friends in the comments.⁠
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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. 🏂⁠

At Idaho's Bruneau Dunes State Park, enormous dunes are the perfect playgrounds for dreamy sunsets, night sky views and a sandboarding adventure.⁠

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. ⁠
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!⁠

(Tickets are valid for any 2021 Zoo Brew event.)⁠

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