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Review: Kenny Loggins shines in Red Butte performance

Published July 24, 2013 11:26 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

People packed Red Butte Garden on Tuesday night to hear the music of Kenny Loggins and they were not disappointed. For two hours, Loggins sang to fans who filled the venue from wall to wall.

The Blue Sky Riders, a new trio of Loggins, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr, opened the show. The trio's music covers several genres, but most songs have a country or folk feel. The band played seven songs off their debut album, "Finally Home," opening with "I'm Feeling Brave Tonight." The trio also performed the title track from the debut album, "I'm a Rider (Finally Home)" and "Dream," the song Middleman identified as the band's "theme song." The budding band left the stage to applause and whistles from an audience that was already familiar with their music (the trio performed at Sundance earlier this year).

Loggins' solo show began with a night club feel, the blue and magenta lights mixing with the fog and creating an illusion of cigarette smoke. Loggins opened with "Danny's Song" and "House at Pooh Corner." He also serenaded the audience with an acoustic version of "This Is It" that fit perfectly into the chill feel of his opening songs.

For the night's rendition of "Whenever I Call You Friend," Loggins called Middleman to the stage with him to sing the duet. Middleman is the first to sing the duet with him since Stevie Nicks. Around the garden and especially in the front rows, people rose to their feet.

After the duet, Loggins moved to a more intense sound. The band broke out electric guitars and drummer pounded his drums during "Angry Eyes," the first hard rock song of the night, and the lighting changed from the mellow blue and magenta to mostly red. Everyone in the garden was on their feet. When he played "I'm Alright" from "Caddyshack," people began dancing. Loggins ended his set with three songs from the "Footloose" and "Top Gun" soundtracks, "Danger Zone," "Playing with the Boys" and "Footloose."

Following "Footloose," people applauded, whistled and cheered. Loggins had no choice but to do an encore. He returned to the stage and played two more songs. First, he played Loggins and Messina's "Your Mama Don't Dance." His final song for the night was "Forever."

He left the stage to the sound of roaring applause and an audience on its feet. One this is certain: The 65-year-old can still rock.