More and more artists are announcing their sets for Sundance as the opening date approaches. Artists like rising star Kendrick Lamar, will be playing Park City Live on Jan. 18. Be prepared to fork out a little dough, though — pre-sale tickets are going for $100.
The Sundance Institute has announced that Belle & Sebastian, whose frontman Stuart Murdoch directed the film “God Help The Girl,” will play a set at the Festival Music Café on Jan 20. Whether that should give us hope of a surprise Nick Cave performance, another prominent musician with a film in the festival — who knows.
Another treat will be three performances by The Fela! Band in support of the documentary “Finding Fela,” which chronicles the life of the late influential afrobeat performer and political figure Fela Kuti. His life spurred a popular Broadway musical called “Fela!,” and the band from that play will be uniting for the performances on Jan. 17, 18 and 19. They’ll be playing with talent from the film “Low Down,” featuring Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and composer Ohad Talmor. Trans singer Rae Spoon, featured in the documentary “My Prairie Home,” will also perform at that show.
KT Tunstall also announced another show on Jan. 22 at the Sundance House, playing with composers and performers Craig Wedren, Kris Orlowski and Mark Orton.
Sondre Lerche announced another Jan. 19 performance as well, sharing the stage with Wild Cub and Dan Deacon.
We’ll keep you updated with any more changes.
Among the acts announced earlier are some fairly heavy-hitters: Park City Live will be hosting both Steve Aoki and Dash Berlin, among the top DJs worldwide according to the venue’s marketing assistant Grayson Gilliland. Ludacris caps the 10-day schedule on Jan. 25.
“We give back to Sundance and the celebrities and the tourists in a positive way because we bring in the top tier in the entertainment industry, whether hip-hop, indie or electronic music,” he said. “We try to bring in the biggest and the best.”
The entire concert series at Park City Live is sponsored by Billboard this year, so they’ve got an industry powerhouse behind them. And there are a few nights with shows still unconfirmed, which means more big names could be performing.
Fans will be able to see singer Skylar Grey, who has appeared on tracks from Eminem, Dr. Dre and several others, at least twice. She’ll be performing with Lil Jon for a DJ set at The Downstairs Jan. 16. If you miss that show, the next night she takes the stage again with former Utahn Kaskade at Park City Live.
Of course, club music isn’t for everyone, and in that case there are plenty of options as well. Pop-rock band O.A.R will play Jan. 16 ,with an acoustic performance by reggae alt-rocker Matisyahu opening up the set.
There’s been some shake up in terms of venues in over the last year as well. The Star Bar, which housed many of the big-name performances last year, has since morphed into a club called Epic. The club’s schedule hasn’t yet been released, but general manager Anthony Herbert says he’s working with the same folks who brought in Ke$sha last year, so there could be some serious musical possibilities there.
For listeners who don’t want to trudge all the way up to Park City, Sicilia Pizza in Salt Lake City is the place to be. Visit Salt Lake had previously sponsored performances from local musicians during Sundance at the Beehive Tearoom, but that shop has closed its doors.
The shows at Sicilia will feature eclectic artists ranging from the rockabilly influenced Triggers & Slips to the all-acoustic French swing band St. Boheme. And, of course, all of them are locals.
“It will add energy to the downtown scene, which is improving steadily every year,” said Michael Mack, VP of services for Visit Salt Lake.
The upshot of moving things over to Sicilia, according to Mack? More space, longer hours and a full bar. Sicilia’s location on 300 South also is between the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center and the Broadway Centre Cinemas (both Sundance venues), so it’s easy to move between film mode and music mode. Plus pizza, which is never a downside.
By far the largest number of performances comes from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Music Café.
The group has partnered with Sundance for the last 16 years and have got daily performances from the likes of Wilco side project The Autumn Defense and KT Tunstall.
There also will be a performance from trans singer Rae Spoon, who will be featured in the Sundance documentary “My Prairie Home.” They’ll also have Sondre Lerche, who composed the soundtrack for not only “Dan In Real Life” but also “The Sleepwalker,” an entry in this year’s Sundance U.S. Dramatic Competition.
All in all, Sundance will have music ringing out practically all day. Plus there are a few music-related films like the Nick Cave documentary “20,000 Days On Earth.” Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie and Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys have also contributed music to a couple films.
Music for Sundance
Sicilia Pizza Kitchen • 35 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City; 801-961-7077. There is no entrance fee to Salt Lake City Festival Café events and it’s open to the public, but seating is limited.
Park City Live • 427 Main St., Park City; 435-649-9123. Tickets available at http://parkcitylive.net.
Downstairs • 625 Main St. (corner of Heber Ave.), Park City; 435-226-5340. Tickets available at downstairspc.com.
Sundance ASCAP Music Café • 751 Main St. (Rich Haines Gallery), Park City. Open Friday, Jan. 17 - 24, 1:30 - 6:00 p.m. Open to all Festival Credential Holders (21 and over) as space allows.