Hidden but not forgotten: local concert series returns
Jun 22, 2017 04:41PM ● Published by Travis Barton
Crook & The Bluff perform on June 9 as part of the Hidden Hollow Concert Series. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
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It’s called Hidden Hollow, but through its summertime concert series, this open space of land may uncover itself a little bit.
After taking a break last year, the Hidden Hollow Concert Series—presented by Utah Open Lands—returned to Sugar House this summer.
“We wanted to reinstate it and start it up again as a community event so everyone in the area could become involved,” said Marie Lenihan-Clarke, outreach director for UOL.
UOL aims to preserve open land such as recreation areas or open spaces. Hidden Hollow is one of those spaces.
Hidden Hollow, once known as Monkey Hollow, was under threat of becoming an underground car lot when a group of students from Hawthorne Elementary discovered the area in the ‘90s. The school children, known as KOPE Kids (Kids Organized to Protect our Environment), along with their teacher worked with UOL to preserve the area.
The concerts take place in the area’s miniature amphitheater sandwiched between the Draw and a shopping area. The first two shows featured The Fangs and Crook & The Bluff (June 9) and Creature Double Feature and Ivouries (June 23). Two shows in July will see Timmy The Teeth and CERA (July 14) then Suit up, Soldier and The Lovestrange (July 28) take the nature stage.
Each show features local bands that UOL found through radio stations and Facebook.
“It really didn’t take long, they’re all on board to help and they all want to do their part,” Lenihan-Clarke said.
One of those bands, Ivouries, was slated to perform on June 23, after press deadline. Jaxon Garrick, the band’s lead songwriter who organized the group, said it would be the group’s first time performing in a low-key outdoor event.
“This will be kind of an interesting endeavor that we’ve never really done before as a group,” Garrick said.
“It’s a little more chill than we’re used to,” added Casey Schrader, bassist and keyboards.
For a group that does more venue-based shows, Garrick said it might require them to play differently, something they’re capable of doing.
“I feel like the best performers can really understand their audience. I think we’re very calculated as a band, we really think about what we’re playing and the audience we’re playing to,” he said.
Garrick described their style as a mesh of everything, a little bit like R&B music meets The Cure.
“We consume so much different kind of music that every song is kind of different,” Garrick said. As a free event that celebrates the condensed piece of protected land, organizers hope the concert series incorporates the Sugar House community. Whether it’s introducing people to Hidden Hollow and its history or simply thanking them for their support.
“It brings groups of people together who may not necessarily hang out but have similar tastes in wanting to protect open space, listen to local talent,” Lenihan-Clarke said. “It does really project a sense of community spirit.”
For those who attended the first concert on June 9, it was the atmosphere they found so appealing.
“This has a really chill vibe to it which is kind of like the park itself,” said nearby resident Tara Spein who often walks through the nature area.
These communal gatherings, Garrick said, are so important for creating awareness of local art.
“This kind of stuff, supporting your local artists, just shows that you really care about growing the infrastructure of a city whether it be artistically or just infrastructurally,” he said. “You really care about that and you’re really invested in that so I really respect people that come out to these and support artists.”
Garrick added every band needs a village.
“No major label is signing any artist on a whim these days, they’re signing artists that really have a whole community backing them,” he said.