It’s no secret: I geek out at Deer Valley summer concerts. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new discovery, or an old favorite. If I’m outdoors, with people I adore, watching live music and enjoying a picnic basket prepared by the expert culinary team at Deer Valley, then I am a happy camper of the highest order. Couple that with bumping into dear friends our neighbor, Sue, our pal Nikole and making some new acquaintances (I’m looking at you, fun couple from Texas), and I’m good to go. However, if you give me a few extra hours in gorgeous weather, hanging out with my husband and listening to Diana Krall with the Utah Symphony? Well, I am pretty sure there is no better way to spend the evening.
Because Krall happens to be one of Jeffrey’s and my favorite artists, we wanted to arrive early to get good seats. Pro tip: You can buy “back-rest” style seats which sit flat on the ground, and still qualify for seating in the “blankets-only” section, which fills up more slowly than the “chairs” section. So even though we were not anywhere close to the front of the line-up at the gates before they opened, we scored a close-enough spot that we could hear and see well.
When I saw Krall perform years ago at Abravanel Hall, I felt like that experience ruined me for all others no way would another one of her concerts be as perfect. Well, simply put, I’m an idiot. This woman has proven for years that she will capitalize on any opportunity to top herself. The evening she played at Deer Valley was ample demonstration of this. The weather, too, seemed to rise to the occasion. Sure, it was hotter than usual that night, but it was also clear, gorgeous and, eventually, the kind of cool summer evening that reminds us of why we live in the mountains.
Krall, herself, remarked upon this several times, noting that Deer Valley is her favorite ski destination, that she always feels at home here. (This is a recurring theme for nearly every artist who visits the Snow Park Amphitheater stage whether for the first time or on a return visit. And, no, I don’t think it’s just stage-patter flattery.)
One of the reasons Krall is such a joy to watch is that she, herself, is a fan. More than once, in the course of her set, she simply stopped playing to watch her band members, or to take in the Symphony’s arrangement, under the direction of conductor Jerry Steichen. “I kind of get lost in the music and forget to play,” she admitted. “I’m just such a fan.” It’s an occupational hazard, likely, of surrounding yourself with other gifted musicians.
So, thanks, Diana Krall, for giving me even more reasons to love your music, and to geek out at my favorite venue. Hurry back, please.