WEEKEND UPDATE: Special 4th Of July Edition

Written by Steve Pierce on . Posted in Music

Welcome back to the second edition of Rhombus’ Weekend Update. (Much thanks to Lorne Michaels and the folks at SNL for not suing me for copyright infringement yet.) This week we’ll tell you all the do’s and don’ts for your holiday festivities. We’ll tell you the events going down in Utah Valley and you get to figure the rest out on your own — just try not to set anything too large on fire.

WEEKEND UPDATE: Special 4th of July Edition

The Good:

America’s Freedom Festival: Balloon Fest | Saturday, 6:30 a.m., Provo High School (1125 N. University Ave., Provo)
There’s a lot of weird crap that people do on the Fourth that you don’t get to see very often otherwise. A massive launching of hot air balloons at 6:30 a.m. would be one of those things. I don’t think I’ve seen a hot air balloon since I was 10-years-old and, to be honest, I don’t even know where I’d begin to look. Fortunately, they happen to be bringing them into our backyard. So if you like big colorful, floating spheres and can stomach the early wake-up call, here’s a way to start your holiday off right.

America’s Freedom Festival: Grand Parade | Saturday, 9:00 a.m., University Avenue (Provo)
I’ve never been one for parades. I don’t really understand the people who must watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade every single year and if, for some unfortunate reason, they are busy at the time of its airing, they TiVo it. I don’t get that. (Maybe it’s the floats: they have no power over me.) Provo’s annual parade will have significantly less glitz than its big city counterpart, but it always receives rave reviews. People literally started camping out for spots along the parade route a few days ago. I don’t understand this, but I believe this must say something about the parade. Who knows — I could end up horribly disappointed. But at least I’ll know I satisfied my curiosity. I pray I do not lead you astray.

The Vibrant Sound | Saturday, 5:30 p.m., Tabernacle Stage (University Ave. and Center St., Provo), Free
I know, I know: we stumped for the Vibrant Sound last week as well. And while I promise that Rhombus is not becoming the band’s personal propaganda arm, I will say this: if you haven’t read our review for last weekend’s release party, do so. Then, come to the show. It’s for your own good really. If you missed out on Saturday’s awesome performance, you now have a second chance and — even better news — it’s free! The band’s blend of hip-hop, soul, R&B and funk defines what summer music should be. I can’t think of any better way to enjoy your early evening.

The In-Between:

Stadium of Fire: The Jonas Brothers | Saturday, 8 p.m., LaVell Edwards Stadium (Provo)
I’m very ambivalent about this event’s status. Positive: huge fireworks display. Intriguing: the cultural phenomenon of the Jonas Brothers. Less intriguing: the music of the Jonas Brothers. Equivalent to the black plague: Glenn Beck. Between these conflicting factors, it is difficult to make a cut-and-dried judgment of the intrinsic or extrinsic worth of this event. In the end, it probably comes down to price. Tons of tickets are still available for this year’s show (unlike when music goddess Miley Cyrus came last year), which means scalpers are going to be getting real antsy just before showtime. If you can get a cheap ticket, it might (might!) be worth checking out. If not, just sit outside and watch the fireworks. Hopefully you won’t be able to hear the bellowing of the great Beck — it would probably be wise to retain as many brain cells as possible.

The Bad:

Truman | Saturday, 2:00 p.m., Tabernacle Stage (University Ave. and Center St., Provo), Free
There’s a fine line between the highly original and clever music made by the Vibrant Sound and the — I’ll say this nicely — distasteful, Maroon 5-cover-band-esque sound of Truman. If you really have nothing to do at 2:00 p.m., go listen to Songs About Jane a couple more times. I promise that it will sound the same — only better and with less smugness. The problem with the Truman brothers (sons of Diamond Rio keyboardist, Dan Truman) is not that they make Provo’s worst music (they don’t — I saw a guy literally playing a saw last week), but that they seem so impressed with their own mediocrity. Having the right connections is a great blessing in the music industry and I have no doubt that Truman could some day end up being “big stars,” due to said connections. But great record sales and a famous last name do not good music make — just ask the Jonas Brothers.

“Disco Night” | Saturday, 9:00 p.m., Classic Fun Center (250 S. State, Orem), $6
Let’s just be honest: disco was never cool. Even when disco was “cool,” it wasn’t cool. I realize college students have a penchant for doing otherwise stupid, ghastly things in the name of “humor” and “ironicism,” but please — my dear friends — please abstain from trying to resurrect disco. It wasn’t cool in the 70s and it won’t be cool now. A benevolent God won’t allow it.

Happy 4th of July from everyone at Rhombus!

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