Sundance Film Festival


Here I am, the most acclaimed independent film festival in the world, what a better place to… see great music?  All the hype is taken by the films, but Sundance still has the money to bring in world renowned musicians.  Thus, I find myself arriving 30 minutes early and sitting front row to hear some amazing, small venue performances by folks as big as Sea Wolf.  (I’ve heard Sundance is a great time to ski too, empty slopes!).

Watching them all here is a reminder that I need to see more live music: creativity breeds creativity, talent inspires talent.  There was a ton to learn from every musician, but here’s a bit of what I picked up:

Greg Holden‘s presence and confidence carried his music beyond what it could do standing alone.  He looked the audience in the eye during each applause, and looked fearless to share his music with us.

Kat Edmonson was so unique.  A strong, jazzy voice, understated stance, and eyes so bright they lent her tiny body the presence to captivate the room.  Truly the best performance of the day.

Dave Berg came on nervously, but never ingenuine.  His casual approach was strange after the tuned, styled appearance of Kat, but by the end of the show he had won the audience over by chatting as though the whole room was a few old friends of his.

Paul Kelly ran onto the stage.  For someone who’d been touring for decades he exuded energy and intensity in every one of his campfire-style songs, even the slower ballads.  His banter with the audience was very consistent with his music: direct and observant.

A few days later I went back to see some more music, and, though there were many great artists, I must focus on the band that took my breath away: The Head and the Heart.  Truly one of the best performances I have ever seen.  The music was so good, but the thing that captured us all was the energy between the band members.  They would turn around and laugh with each other, and all were practically exploding with energy and dance on stage.  Whether they were playing or not at a particular moment, each was all in to the performance.  It looked like SO MUCH FUN.  It was so much fun, watching them play music.  Damn.  One of the best performances I’ve seen.  Ever.


Live performance at Riff’s Acoustic Music in Park City, Utah

I guess the thing to take away from all that music, film, talent, and creativity at the Sundance Festival is that energy, passion, and persistence will get you there, even if it takes a long time before anyone notices.  Check out my NEW VIDEO, recorded with two cameras and two talented artists (Oscar David Ortiz and Tim Braun), at Riff’s Acoustic Music.  Thanks to Larry, the owner, for all his support and encouragement, he made this happen!

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