Big Stars, Bright Nights concerts series is ‘multi-flavored’
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The Park City Institute’s St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights summer concert series has always been a smorgasbord of musical styles.
“We like being multi-flavored,” Executive Director Teri Orr told The Park Record. “I think our audience appreciates the fact that we don’t present just one genre of music. We like to introduce people to new music, but we also like to bring back some artists that they already know or have seen them once or twice before.”
The 2017 St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights schedule is as follows:
- July 3: X Ambassadors
- July 16: Kellie Picker
- July 23: Aloe Blacc
- July 27: Melissa Etheridge
- Aug. 6: San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus
- Aug. 15: Punch Brothers, I’m With Her and Julian Lake
- Aug. 18: Smash Mouth, Cracker and The Romantics
- Aug. 26: Five for Fighting
- Sept. 3: Josh Turner
All concerts will be held at Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Amphitheater, which celebrates 14 seasons with the Park City Institute.“There is no more spectacular outdoor summer venue than Deer Valley,” Orr said. “I say that with a modest amount of authority because I’ve been to several, but it’s also some thing we hear from many of our guests, who are world travelers.”
Orr likes that the Deer Valley staff takes pride in how they present and run the resort.
“They care about how the venue looks and they care about how it functions,” she said. “Over the years, we have formed a pretty good hand-in-glove operation between both of our staff.”
This year’s concerts feature returning artists: Five for Fighting, Melissa Etheridge, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, Smash Mouth, Aloe Blacc, and Chris Thile and Sarah Watkins (formerly of Nickel Creek).
“We had Chris and Sarah Watkins come when they were in Nickel Creek in 2001, and when Nickel Creek disbanded, Chris formed Punch Brothers, and then became the host of ‘Prairie Home Companion,” Orr said. “Sarah also formed another group called I’m With Her, featuring Aoife O’Donovan, whom we presented before.”
The concert is officially called American Acoustic, and will also feature guitarist Julian Lage, who also appears on Prairie Home Companion.
“It’s going to be a great evening of harmonies and a lot of improvisation,” Orr said.
Five for Fighting, the touring name of John Ondrasik, performed a few years ago, and Orr has been wanting to bring him back for a while.
“Five for Fighting doesn’t tour often, but he does have fiends who live in Park City, which helped encouraged him to come back,” Orr said. “He’s going out this summer with a string quartet and we wanted to bring him back again.”
The last time Park City Institute presented Grammy Award-winner Melissa Etheridge was in 2011.
“She’s a bona fide rock star,” Orr said. “We all love her and her wonderful energy.”
Park City Institute brought the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus to the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts a little more than a year ago, and Orr couldn’t wait to showcase them in an outdoor venue.
“When we heard that the Utah Symphony wasn’t bringing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to Deer Valley this year, we thought about what kind of big, choral and spectacular that would still feel like a Park City Institute show and these guys were the thing,” Orr said.
The concert will also serve as the unofficial kick-off for the choir’s fall tour.
“After the presidential election, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus canceled their European tour to do a Red State Tour called the Lavender Pen Tour,” Orr said. “So, we are kind of where the tour starts.”
Orr and her staff jumped at the chance to bring back Smash Mouth, the group known for the hits “All Star” and “Walking on the Sun.”
“Everyone had so much fun two years ago when we had them play and we wanted to see if they would come back,” Orr said.
Opening the show will be Cracker and The Romantics.
“We put this show together,” Orr said. “It’s going to be a fun night. It’s where the party will be.”
The Park City Institute tried to schedule Aloe Blacc in the summer line up last year.
“Aloe and I attend the same conferences, and when I ran into him last year, he asked if he could come back,” Orr said. “We tried to work something out last year, but the schedules didn’t work.
“This year, however, things worked out. He is an amazing musician. His songs are socially conscious, but also up lifting.”
Orr said she is looking forward to presenting first-time Bright Nighters: Kellie Pickler, X Ambassadors and Josh Turner.
“People love Kellie who was a contestant on ‘American Idol,’” Orr said. “She has a fistful of CMT awards for her singing and songwriting and is known for a gentler kind of country.”
The X Ambassadors, whose single “Renegades” hit No. 17 on Billboard’s Hot 100, have been on Orr’s mind for a while.
“Someone in the community knew a friend of a friend and we looked into them,” she said. “They are a great attraction for the younger demographic, but all of us have been enjoying the music.”
The 2017 series will wrap up with country artist Josh Turner.
“We always try to do something for Labor Day weekend and his concert is on the evening before the actual holiday,” Orr said. “He’s just about as country as you can get. he’s got that deep voice and is a pick-up truck kind of guy.”
Orr said this line-up will create an exciting summer.
“Our summer shows always have a mix of emerging and legendary performers,” Orr said. “And this year, we have ten shows with artists who are known for creating powerful connections with the audience.”
Park City Institute members can purchase tickets for the 2017 St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights summer concerts at the Eccles Center box office, 1750 Kearns Blvd., or by calling 435-655-3114. Tickets for the general public go on sale on April 12. Those tickets can be purchased by calling 435-655-3114, visiting the box office or logging on to http://www.ecclescenter.org.
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