Jerry Jeff Walkers croons at Red Butte Garden Sunday evening
And you thought July provided some busy weekends, not to mention the caliber of talent on tap this weekend... and, of course, with maybe the single coolest weekend of the year at hand, yours truly has booked a trip out of town. Nevermind that some of my all-time faves start parading in on Saturday. But that's my problem. If you are here, I envy you. Seriously. But only if you get out, so let's look at the options.
Once in a while you see a concert that really and truly stands out. That happened to me back in '08, The Wilders played a memorable, blistering twang-tastic set on a Sunday afternoon at Snowbird's bluegrass festival. I've been patiently awaiting their return ever since. Thursday night's the night as The State Room hosts the energetic Kansas City string-quartet for what should be a blast along with The David Mayfield Parade, who are catching on - fast. Tickets are $14.
Check out The Wilders right here:
Also Thursday, and it's hard not to see some good music at some point this weekend, Philadelphia's Kurt Vile will be at the Twilight Concert Series in Pioneer Park along with rock legend Thurston Moore, of Sonic Youth. Both are touring behind strong, fun records. And while it's become typical for about two-thirds of the Pioneer Park audience to not give a tinker's damn about who's playing, but for those of us who do care about music, this is a fine night.
On Friday, The Infamous Stringdusters will get their grooving grass sounds on at The State Room. These guys are relentless tourers and are making a return trip to The State Room. Get tickets right at thestateroom.com.
Saturday: The Tennessee roots-rocking gals Those Darlins will be at The Urban Lounge on Saturday night as part of a triple bill along with MotoPony and White Arrows. After seeing this group earlier this year - also at the Urban - I left slightly less of a fan than I had been based on hearing their first two records. But if I were going to be around Saturday, I'd give them another chance. You should too. Tickets are $8 (!) and remain on sale at 24tix.com.
Also Saturday, Warped Tour makes its annual appearance at the Utah State Fairgrounds. A few things we know about this year's Warped (and all the other ones before it). It'll be hot, and about 80 percent of the crowd won't know 80 percent of the bands. And it's ADHD theater, because except for the headliners, every band gets a 15-minute set (somewhere, Andy Warhol is smiling) and Facebook and Twitter will probably crash locally Saturday with all the photo tagging and status updates that'll be going on. And rest assured, if you go to this, and are older than 22, you will leave feeling like you and Warhol could have attended high school together. Always entertaining Memphis rockers Lucero will be on hand, and these guys actually have fans older than 18. Also, The Aggrolites and Larry and His Flask are some of the more appealing acts. Tickets are $35 the day of and the music starts at 11:30 a.m.
And fans of quality free music should take note that roots rockers extraordinaire The Bottle Rockets and famed songwriter Marshall Crenshaw will be at Snowbird at 6 p.m. Saturday. Neither of these acts are as famous as they ought to be, but listen to the Rockets''90s rock classics "Radar Gun," and "1,000 Car" or any of Crenshaw's alt-country tunes and see what you've missed. If you want to see something good, but cheap, this is your show.
Sunday: Gallivan Center will host another outdoor show this Sunday when songwriter Amos Lee plays a gig originally scheduled for back in February. Talk about trading up. Instead of a gray, winter's evening stuck inside The Depot, you get a warm summer night downtown. Tickets start at $26.
And finally, Sunday night, Texas country music legend Jerry Jeff Walker, pictured above, graces the Red Butte Garden stage with a full band. That is reason alone to leave the house. The fact that James Cotton, a blues legend with few peers, is the opener? Don't miss this. It shall astound you.
For concert announcements and live tweets during shows follow Salt Lake Magazine arts/entertainment writer Scott Murphy on Twitter @murphyinfo.