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Provo parties like it’s 1994 at 2018 Rooftop series finale

September 9, 2018

Many in attendance at the crowded Provo Rooftop Concert Series on Friday night, including me, weren’t born yet in 1994, and judging by the music at the annual tribute show, we missed out.

Several Utah musicians teamed up for the last concert of the 2018 season to perform a variety of 1994 hits in a show titled “I’m a Loser, Baby: A 1994 Mixtape,” organized by Paul Jacobsen.

“I have to say, 1994 is a very special year to me, and we’ll just pretend that that’s when I was born,” series co-founder Sarah Wiley told the crowd Friday. “It made perfect sense to plan a whole show to celebrate the year of my birth.”

The concert aimed to feature the best in everything from rock to country to R&B in 1994 with songs like Blur’s “Girls and Boys,” TLC’s “Waterfalls” and Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough” performed by singers including McKay Stevens, House of Lewis, Stuart Maxfield, Tessa Norman, Brandon Robbins, Dallon Weekes, Mindy Gledhill, Ryan Innes, Nate Pyfer and Mia Grace.

“In 1994, when everybody else was doing flannel and angst, a British band called ‘Blur’ released this clubbing anthem that might as well be a disco song,” Jacobsen said to introduce “Girls and Boys.”

House of Lewis, Maxfield, Robbins and Pyfer seemed to get the audience especially excited with their covers of Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” Pearl Jam’s “Corduroy” and Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So.”

Innes, Jay Warren and Abraham Thomas also pleased the crowd with a passionate rendition of “I’ll Make Love to You,” during which they threw red roses out to the audience.

“This particular Motown song might require a permission slip from some of your parents,” Jacobsen said jokingly while introducing the number.

Gledhill opened the concert with an upbeat set including her hit “Whole Wide World,” a cover of Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” and live premieres of two songs from her new album, “Rabbit Hole,” which Gledhill said will be coming out “really soon.”

“We’re excited to close out our 2018 season with an awesome show tonight and couldn’t think of a better person to just kick the night off for us,” Wiley said of Gledhill. “We are so excited to have one of our absolute favorite people in the world.”

For the final number of the night, Stevens joined the rest of the featured Utah musicians onstage for a fun cover of Beck’s “Loser” that seemed to have everyone singing along, a further confirmation that 1994 was a good year for music.

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