MUSIC: Bon Iver, Jenny Lewis Kick Off Twilight Concert Series Tonight

Written by Steve Pierce on . Posted in Music

Our prayers have been answered: the music gods have looked upon Salt Lake City and they have blessed it – abundantly.

Thursday evening marks the first show of the Twilight Concert Series at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake, which will feature the excellent indie-folk group Bon Iver and opener Jenny Lewis. The free concert series has become increasingly relevant in recent years by recruiting top-notch national acts, including Nada Surf, the Roots, Andrew Bird, Broken Social Scene, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Neko Case, among others. However, the Salt Lake City Arts Council (the series’ host) has really upped its game for 2009. In addition to Bon Iver and Lewis, Salt Lake City will welcome a plethora of talented artists to town this summer, including the Black Keys, M. Ward, Sonic Youth, Iron & Wine, Okkerville River and Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears. This excellent line-up should have downtown rocking every Thursday night all summer long.

Thursday’s headliner, Bon Iver, took the music world by storm in 2008 with its sparse, aching debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago. Crafted in a secluded Wisconsin cabin by frontman Justin Vernon, the album and its recording process instantly reached mythical status amongst critics and fans alike. The album ended up on virtually every critic’s “Top Ten” list for 2008 and propelled Bon Iver onto the national stage. Since then the group has released an excellent EP, been featured on multiple television shows and toured the world. Not half bad for a couple guys from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

You may remember Jenny Lewis, who will open Thursday’s show, from her childhood role as the young lead character in the 1989 movie Troop Beverley Hills. If you were fortunate enough to miss that flick, you may also recognize her as the frontwoman of beloved indie band Rilo Kiley. Lewis’ first solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat, received critical praise following its release in 2006 and her latest full-length effort, Acid Tongue, has continued in its predecessor’s worthy footsteps. If you like sweet folk melodies and angelic vocals, Jenny Lewis is your girl.

If you’ve ever lamented the (previously) sad state of Utah’s concert scene (or even if you haven’t and you just like great music), you should be at the Gallivan Center every Thursday night for the next two months. Nowhere else in the country will you be able to see this caliber of artist for free. This type of cultural opportunity doesn’t happen often in Utah. Take advantage of it while you can.

Bon Iver and Jenny Lewis will play tonight (Thursday, July 9th) at the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake City. The show starts at 7:00 p.m. and admission is free. To hear tracks by these artists, check out the songs included below.

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