Mark your calendars and purchase your tickets because summer has finally arrived in Salt Lake City and the Red Butte Garden Concert Series is in full-swing. On Sunday, July 12 the season’s second show will open with Toots & the Maytals and feature Big Head Todd & the Monsters.
In 1993, Big Head Todd & the Monsters first topped the charts with their platinum album, Sister Sweetly. Playing together since their high school days in Colorado, this “rootsy” rock and roll band has been together for 25 years and is still as active as ever, compiling a lifetime discography of 10 albums and uncounted shows. For a free sampling of their music, check out Big Head Todd’s website.
The opening band is no slouch, either! Toots & the Maytals are legends of the ska and reggae genres. The band’s three members, Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, Henry “Raleigh” Gordon, and Nathaniel “Jerry” McCarthy all hail from Jamaica. Together they create an energetic blend of soul, reggae, funk, rock, gospel, and ska. Amazingly, this group has been playing together since the early 1960s, and has toured the world, playing and recording with some of the most famous groups of all time.
If you wish to view the show up close, tickets cost $32 for garden members and $37 for the general public. Gates open at 6pm; the show kicks off promptly at 7. However, it is a well-known Salt Lake tradition to view these concerts totally free of charge (and completely legally) right outside of the Red Butte Garden by hiking the nearby Bonneville Shoreline Trail. A popular activity, this changes the experience a bit, allowing you to sneak away from the crowds and enjoy a picnic in Salt Lake’s low foothills.
This is the year’s second show; it follows the May 29th series kick-off featuring the world-famous The Moody Blues.