Richard Marx Loves Orem, Utah

Lots of great acts come to Utah. Just this past weekend, James Taylor performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Utah Symphony Orchestra. This summer’s Twilight Concert Series welcomed bands like The National, Grizzly Bear, Ludacris, and MGMT. All those shows were up in Salt Lake City, and I didn’t go. But when I saw that Richard Marx was performing in Orem, mere minutes from where I live, I felt strongly about going.

On August 28, Reilly and I happened to drive by the Scera Theater where the marquis listed Richard Marx performing on August 29. We agreed that that would be a fun concert, and I looked up ticket prices that night when we got home. It looked like all the reserved seating were filled, but general admission tickets were still available. Since I’ve been in a nostalgic mood this year, I decided to wait until the next morning to see if I still wanted to go. I often don’t make a lot of spontaneous decisions.

The next morning, I bought two tickets, and I texted Reilly our plans for that night.

Before the concert, we went to dinner then headed over to the Scera complex. The concert was outdoors at the Scera Shell, which reminds me of a bigger version of Central Park Summerstage but a smaller version of Usana Amphitheatre.

The evening offered cooling air and clear skies as well as mountain views behind the stage. The night couldn’t have been more perfect.

Richard Marx played all the songs. The hits. He told funny stories that went with the songs. He charmed and delighted us. He even got the audience to sing “Happy Birthday” to an audience member’s wife. He sang new songs, but only a few, because he said he goes to concerts, too, and he knows that we want to hear all his old stuff from when he had an awesome mullet. Other than the new songs, I sang along (or moved my mouth, because I’m sure singing along the whole time would have annoyed Reilly) to everything else.

He sang songs he wrote for/with Keith Urban and ‘NSync. He talked about how he writes songs as his main job (giving concerts is his “fun” job), and how fortunate he’s been to work within different genres. I admit that sounds like a pretty cool job.

Reilly likes this picture of Richard Marx:

Richard Marx jams

Here’s a video of his final encore song, “Right Here Waiting.” It’s 7:00 minutes long. First, I apologize for the shaky camera. I was sitting on the ground and using my knees as a tripod. Then I’d get uncomfortable and try to shift my weight. 1:50 gets bad.  There’s also a point around 2:45 where it looks like I’m just waving the camera around for at least 30 seconds. If you get motion sick, you may want to look away. But at least he still sounds good. Second, I’m sorry that you can totally hear me singing along. Also, his striped shirt and the stage lighting wash out his face and make him look like a French mime. That is not my fault, so I can’t apologize for that.

Here’s a selfie video of Richard Marx thanking Orem for a good concert. He may as well have been talking to me directly. Now he’s talking to you.

That was a really fun concert. I’m glad we decided to go at the last minute in late August 2013, so that we could travel back to those memorable minutes from the ’80s and ’90s and just sway and smile and sing along.

Photos from the Rodriguez Concert

If you don’t know about the movie or the man, here’s the rundown on both via Wikipedia:

Movie

Man

Seeing the movie piqued my interest in the man and his music. I knew that if he were to ever go on tour and stop in Salt Lake City, I would go.

That’s what happened.

Please note that most of these pictures are blurry because I couldn’t hold the camera steady. Because my arms were stretched high above my head. Because I’m 58 inches tall. Which, on average, is a lot of inches shorter than other people.

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My concert buddy looks good in a soft red glow.

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Doors opened at 8. The opening act began at 9. The opening act wasn’t awesome. She performed for 30 minutes, and she seemed aware of her role to occupy spacetime until Rodriguez took the stage.

Also, for some reason I wore my Chacos, and I guess I haven’t completely broken them in, so my feet hurt while standing for four hours even though I thought the Chacos would be comfortable because people hike all day in them and they go on about how wonderful their Chacos are.

Irrelevant to the music, but part of my experience. A tiny part.

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When Rodriguez finally took the stage, people cheered and yelled that they love him. At least twice he responded, “I know it’s the drinks, but I love you, too.”

If you’ve seen the movie or listened to his music, his live singing sounds exactly like that. The quality of his voice hasn’t changed since the ’70s, and it’s no wonder that South Africa loved him so much even though the United States had no idea who he was even though he’s from an actual state in this country called Michigan.

Once he sang “Sugar Man” about 1/3 of the crowd left. A lot of them were people who saw the movie. A documentary. Who watches mostly documentaries? People older than 50? It was late, though, and even I was getting tired.

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He sang for about an hour and a half. He came out for a short encore, and he was as gracious and humble a person as you ever saw. The real deal.

Links about the 1990s to Count Down to the Bon Jovi Concert in One Week

I don’t even remember when or where I heard about the concert. Months ago. It was meant to be; I had to go.

  • Wednesday, April 17
  • 7pm
  • Energy Solutions Arena
  • Salt Lake City, Utah

Some friends and I bought tickets, and all that’s left is for us to get mullets.

They probably think I’m not serious. I don’t understand how they could think that.

The ’90s meant junior high and high school. Starting college. Making friends faster than I normally did. Weird college experiences. Not the best fashion there ever was. I loved everything about that time. I remember hearing all about the Crying Game before Trig/Analyt in Ms. Marlette’s classroom. Because of that experience I have never felt the need to watch the movie.

It’s so great that I have maintained most of my ’90s friendships. Just last week at the grocery store I ran into a freshman floormate from BYU. I still keep up with friends from my hometown where I graduated from high school. Those folks are even more beautiful and passionate versions of themselves. The decade and our gang helped each other evolve. world now may be so very full of suck, but we’re still doing our best.

I mean, fine. We listened to artists like Counting Crows, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, The Offspring, Sting, Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories, Radiohead, and R.E.M., but hello? We also listened to Boyz 2 Men, Madonna, Ace of Base, Wilson Phillips, and Bon Jovi. Garth Brooks. Martina McBride. Fresh Prince. All the once embarrassing stuff that holds so much nostalgic value for me now. I listened to the soft rock my mom loved. I got into a lot of oldies developed an affinity for live jazz and classical. The group I grew up with soaked it all up.

To commemorate next week’s event, I’ve looked up a few links to get people reminiscing about the ’90s.

The Most Important TV Couples from the ’90s

What ’90s Kids Can Relate To

I Hate When Dawson Cries about First World Problems

On a More Serious Note. Thanks Again, Onion

So I can’t even begin to tell you how fun this concert will be. Sure, Bon Jovi has a new record and is on tour to promote it. But he definitely knows that everyone wants him to sing his old stuff.

I wonder if he misses it.

Friday Hodgepodge

I didn’t get home until late, so this post will be quite short. You’ll forgive me, I can tell.

Three things tonight, then I’m off to bed.

1. So, we were at In -N- Out this evening, and Reilly and I ordered our cheeseburgers “animal style.” I wondered if anyone has tried ordering their burgers “Gangnam Style.” What would that mean, exactly? Would you get your burger with a mini Psy doll? Would the song blare through the speakers and the cashiers do the famous dance? Could some try ordering this way and let me know how it goes?

2. Have I mentioned that my brother-in-law is in a band called Book on Tapeworm? They had a slumber party concert tonight, and it was awesome. They were also on a radio show called Radiowest. It’s cool hearing people you know on the radio. It’s especially cool hearing all of a personality in a voice: in sentences, in mumbles, in single syllables and hesitations. Listening to both shows was a lot of fun.

Seriously, though, buy their debut album. You won’t regret it. (And while you’re on that page, watch that awesome video again.)

And listen to yesterday’s radio show. They played live in the studio, and you won’t find much difference in sound with the recorded album. They’re that awesome.

3. I have not cried more reading any other blog than Miggy’s. (That’s her internet handle. The family members she writes about get nicknames, too.) Today’s post was incredibly touching. I attended the same LDS ward in NYC with the author for a couple of years. Not only is Miggy really creative and artsy (she makes her home decor, makes clothes, transforms cute shoes to even cuter shoes, paints, etc.), she’s also a very cool mom with a terrific perspective on life because of the experiences she’s been given. If you don’t end up regularly following the blog, at least read the one post. It made my day.

The Review, As Promised

I finally got around to writing the review about last week’s concert with the Utah Symphony and Hilary Hahn.

The post is live over at The Glass. While you’re there, take a nice, long look at Chris McGovern’s site. He has gotten to interview some serious names in the classical/ contemporary classical/just plain awesome music circuit.

Enjoy!

I Saw Hilary Hahn Tonight

A review of the concert with the Utah Symphony at the de Jong Concert Hall is coming soon. I’ll be a guest reviewer over at my friend’s music and interview blog, The Glass.

In the meantime, a few pictures:

Here is Hilary Hahn’s autograph:

Here I am talking to Hilary Hahn. She appears to be listening intently:

Here is Hilary Hahn laughing at something I said. Believe it or not, I made her laugh on purpose. This is what happens when you put two charming people near each other:

YOU GUYS.

She was so wonderful and cool, and of course charming, and I was SO starstruck.

More to come.

Book on Tapeworm Was Here

This is what happens when I bring a camera. There doesn’t have to be as many burdensome words.

Last night, I went to an album release show of a band called Book on Tapeworm. Here they are:

The percussionist here is my husband’s brother:

Here was their real-life, life-size set last night at the Velour. As you can see, the stage quite resembles the band’s CD case:

Here’s Gavin working his magic. He came all the way back from grad school in Illinois for this show. This guy is legit:

So, if the set looks surreal, if the CD packaging is styled after their set, you can expect to hear music that’s ethereal and transcendent and not harsh and grating and makes you feel like gagging yourself.

If you’re into well-written songs, tight harmonies and angelic voices; if you like thoughtful music that truly reflects how serious and professional and skilled the musicians are; if you appreciate the shrinks, swells, and swings of emotion in music that makes you sigh with longing or nostalgia; and if you want the mystery and magic of the morning mists meandering groves and chaparrals, then you’ll love this album.

If you don’t like any of that stuff, I can accurately conclude that you’re pretty stupid.

Also, these folks are incredibly nice and insufferably cool people. None of the band members are likely to become supreme jerks when they become rich and famous.

Check them out, like them. Buy their stuff. Watch them:

Book on Tape Worm – Shadow Puppets from Jason Moffat on Vimeo.

They’re amazing.