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SLCene Suggests: 5 Tips for Your Week

by on August 1, 2012

This week includes great music from two of the best live bands in the world, a cool art opening and a way to help a great cause–by eating some of the best grub available in Utah. Check it out:

Considering how much Salt Lake City has supported metal music through the years, it’s surprising that Iron Maiden hasn’t visited more often. The British metal pioneers still fill stadiums around the world, and they regularly stopped in SLC back in the ’80s. The rarity of the occasion makes this Maiden show Wednesday feel more like a “must-go” than most summer concerts. The guys in the band are old enough that you gotta figure they’ll stop touring in the next few years, making this potentially the last time Utahns will get to hear the powerhouse vocals of Bruce Dickinson, the rumbling, creative bass work of Steve Harris, and the undeniable tunes like “Run to the Hills,” “Two Minutes to Midnight” and “The Trooper.” Prog-metal dudes Coheed & Cambria open the show.

Iron Maiden headlines Wednesday, Aug. 1, at Usana Amphitheatre in West Valley City.

Of all the Twillight Concert Series shows this summer, this is the one I’ve been looking forward to the most. My Morning Jacket is one of the best rock and roll bands going right now, and live on stage is where the Kentucky-bred crew truly thrives. I became a fan after seeing them at the Zephyr Club years ago, when singer Jim James (he of the otherworldly croon) performed the entire show with a stuffed parrot attached to the shoulder of his coat–never mentioning the odd prop once. In the years since, My Morning Jacket has come through Club Sound and The Depot, but they’ve blown up to a new level, headlining festivals like Bonneroo and creating increasingly experimental new music on albums like Circuital and Evil Urges. This is a Twilight show you’ll want to be on time for, too, thanks to opener Joshua James–a Utah local whose music has taken him on national tours to play for a much-more-than-Utah fanbase.

My Morning Jacket headlines the Twilight Concert Series show Thursday, Aug. 2, at Pioneer Park.

Los Angeles-based artist Alex Israel uses his city for inspiration, canvas and talking point in his works that combine live performance, video, installation-art and found objects. The As It Lays show takes on a talk show format, with Israel as host to a collection of Hollywood movers and shakes, including Oliver Stone, Vidal Sassoon, Rosanna Arquette and Marilyn Manson. Israel will be on hand for an artist’s talk at 7 p.m., followed by UMOCA’s First Friday party with a DJ, food and a cash bar.

Artist Alex Israel interviews a cross-section of Hollywood characters in his video installation As It Lays.

Part of Plan-B Theatre Company’s Script-In-Hand Series, this year’s edition is particularly appealing thanks to both the playwright and the special guest coming for a post-play discussion. Dustin Lance Black, an Oscar winner for penning Milk, wrote 8 about Proposition 8, the California law designed to deny gay citizens the right to marry. Black’s story is taken right from the stories of the people who worked, and sued, to overturn the law. Each performance will be followed by a discussion on the next steps for the marriage equality movement and Black will be joined by Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, who just married his partner, becoming the first elected federal official married to a same-sex partner. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds will be donated to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and the rest will support Plan-B’s 2012/2013 season.

This is definitely the best foodie event I’ve ever been to, and the fact that it’s a benefit to fight hunger in Utah makes it one of the best causes to support, too. Formerly known as Taste of the Nation, the newly branded Taste of the Wasatch takes over a field at Solitude Mountain Resort and fills it with more than 50 local restaurants, live music, brews and wine for what is always a memorable afternoon. A few things I’ve learned the couple of times I’ve been lucky enough to go: 1. Remember the sunscreen. 2. Arrive starving. 3. Pace yourself–you have four hours to sample the grub, and you’ll want to sample A LOT of it. 4. Bid at the auctions (live and/or silent)–I’ve walked away with some cool artwork in addition to a full belly. Proceeds from this year’s event go to Utahns Against Hunger, Utah Food Bank and the Ogden Weber Community Action Partnership.

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