Thursday, August 19, 2010

Music Marathon, Day 6: Ryan Hiller

We're two for two.  Two rainy but fun concerts at Deer Valley's Wednesday night summer concert series.  The highlights of the evening, besides Ryan Hiller's music, were a couple of trick dogs and a broken umbrella. Before the rain began, hula hooping to the music was all the rage.

The umbrella snap was a surprise indeed, complete with snapped ribs and the shocked look of the umbrella owner.  T'would have been better to capture the moment on video.  It was one of those situations ... you really had to be there.
Hiller performed to the umbrella'ed crowd, who endured the light rain, until the sprinkles evolved into a downpour.  Unlike the Bryon Friedman concert, where we danced onstage when the rain began, we were forced to huddle at the edge of the stage.  I'm not entirely sure why, but I think the gestapo who imposed this rule did so to accommodate a trick dog performance, which commenced within minutes of when Ryan encountered a guitar string situation and headed backstage.

During the unplanned break, we were "treated" to a live, trick dog performance, with canines who traveled from Vegas to entertain us with their jumping, sitting, and yes, even crime fighting skills.  If you are into trick dog stunts, this was your show. Perhaps I'll ne'er be a trick dog afficionado, just sayin'. 

Eventually, the real show went on.  The houndstooth-hat-wearing Hiller kept the die hards who weathered the rain dancing to his jazz and blues mix.  I loved his style and rhythm.  Not the most ponderous of repertoires, it was a nice decrescendo from the Dave Matthews concert the previous night.  Along with the group, I danced ever so lightly (to cover for my feet, which have been screaming for a foot rub since Monday night).  Ryan had a similar style, almost an offshoot of Matthews, one of many artists with whom Ryan has worked.
Hiller's musical career began early, at age 14 in Park City, Utah, but he's made all the right moves, a degree in Jazz Performance at the University of New Orleans, working with a wide range of artists such as Bob Dylan, Lenny Kravitz, Santana, and performing at such venues as House Of Blues and The Maple Leaf, among others.  Like I said, I was very impressed with the quality and depth of his lineup.  Somehow I don't think we'll be seeing Hiller at free concerts in Park City for much longer.  He's definitely one to watch.
Hiller didn't end early though many left for drier places.  By the end of the concert, there were maybe two dozen left standing in front of the stage and another dozen on the hill.  I'm fairly certain the majority of the crowd beelined for the CD table and then left. That would explain why, when someone in the concert posse asked to borrow $5 from me to buy a CD after the concert, she was disappointed by them being sold out.  So here's a link to buy the same online.  In any event, we stayed to the very end. And I'm not sorry either.  {nobody melted in the rain, at least not us}


Disclosure: Admission price for this event was FREE. I received NO compensation for this review.

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