The ASCAP Sundance Music Cafe began Friday, but during the day the most exciting musical event came at 1 p.m. at the Bing Bar on Main Street, as Jason Mraz debuted songs from his forthcoming, highly anticipated album. I got the chance for a one-on-one with Mraz (sporting long, curly hair and facial hair) before the show, and he said he was blown away by the excited and large reaction he has received from the release of his first video for the album. "I thought it would be a slow build," he said. "It is nice. I've been working on this [album] for a while."
Mraz, backed by only one musician, wowed the crowd with a tribute to Etta James, who passed away earlier in the day. Mraz performed James' signature song "At Last," which then morphed into "Fly Me to the Moon," which then transformed into his past hit "Lucky," and then he began singing that song in Spanish. A great moment.
Later in the evening, I had the chance to check out Park City Live (where Harry O's used to be) and Sugar (where the Star Bar used to be). Both venues were impressive, but while Park City Live looked very much like it did before, the people behind Sugar have totally transformed the space, for the better. The stage is now centrally located, where the main bar once was. The inside of the space is very modern-looking, with the most comfortable couches ever imagineered by man. With its space much smaller than Park City Live, it has an intimate feeling that makes it seem like the most exclusive party in town.
Park City Live's inside was livened up by the dancing girls on the bar and on stage while a D.J. warmed up for Ludacris. Whereas in past years the dancing girls wore bikinis, this year it seemed as if it was more of a bondage theme. Still, eye candy for the men. I don't know how women feel about the whole thing, considering that many men can't take their eyes off of the scantily clad dancing girls.
Also notable was Caleb Chapman's Hoodlums Brass Band, a group of 14 young musicians (between the ages of 11 and 17) who entertained a large crowd for about an hour-and-a-half beginning at about 8 p.m. at the Miners Monument on Main Street. People walking by either stopped to watch or danced along to the tuba and trombones, despite the
rapidly decreasing temps. A beaming Chapman (who runs a musical school in American Fork) told me, "I have the best job in the world."
— David Burger