10 of the Provo Rooftop Concert Series’ most memorable shows
The Provo Rooftop Concert Series announced Tuesday this year will be its 10th and final season.
The 2019 series is set to feature four free concerts in downtown Provo on the first Friday of every month starting June 7 through Sept. 6, with the lineups and more details forthcoming.
Here is a look back at 10 memorable moments from the series over the years in honor of its 10th and final season.
The ‘Abbey Road Show’ — July 2011
The series’ first tribute show took place in July 2011 and was known as the “Abbey Road Show.” It featured covers from The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album.
The rooftop was carpeted with blankets and lawn chairs as people filled it from wall to wall to hear the bands play the entire “Abbey Road” album, from “Come Together” to “Her Majesty.” The concrete floor shook with the beat as the bands played into the darkness.
Imagine Dragons — Sept. 2011
In its second season, the Provo Rooftop Concert Series featured now mega-stars Imagine Dragons. The show was the series’ biggest crowd to that point, with people packed on the Provo Town Square roof to see the band perform. It was one of the building moments for the series.
The group took the place of Neon Trees, who were previously slated for the event, but had scheduling conflicts.
Tom Petty tribute show — July 2012
In 2012, the series put on a Tom Petty tribute show titled “Heartbreakers & American Girls: The Songs of Tom Petty,” performed by the same artists who participated in the series’ first tribute show, the “Abbey Road” tribute show.
Rolling Stones tribute show — July 2013
In 2013, the Rooftop Concert Series hosted its third annual tribute show, this time with the songs of the Rolling Stones. The show was almost canceled because of a flooding, torrential downpour. The event was moved to Velour Live Music Gallery about a block away, which could not accommodate the crowds. Instead, the event took the form of two back-to-back 90-minute shows that allowed the full crowd to attend.
The show included artists like Mideau, Ryan Innes, Neon Trees frontman Tyler Glenn and even Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine.
Neon Trees — Oct. 2014
The final show of the 2014 Rooftop Concert Series featured internationally known, but Provo-native band Neon Trees. The concert got so much attention, it had to be moved from the top level of the Provo Town Square parking garage to the entrance of the Nu Skin campus on Center Street.
The event was so big that to honor the group and its long-held ties to Provo, then-Provo Mayor John Curtis went onstage during the concert and presented all four members of the band with keys to the city, officially naming Oct. 3 “Neon Trees Day.”
John Lennon tribute show — Aug. 2015
The 2015 tribute show featured hits from John Lennon performed by favorite local artists like Westward The Tide, as well as band members from The Lower Lights, Neon Trees, Fictionist and many more.
The show featured songs including “Give Peace a Chance,” “All You Need is Love,” “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Imagine,” “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.”
Kaskade — Sept. 2015
The final show of 2015 featured Grammy-nominated DJ Kaskade and Provo bands The Brocks and Two Nations — and it brought out one of the largest crowds the concert series had seen to that point.
According to organizers, the concert drew about 20,000-25,000 attendees.
“I mean, it was nuts,” said Justin Hackworth, co-founder of the Rooftop Concert Series. “It was just bananas.”
David Bowie tribute show — June 2016
In June 2016, the show honored David Bowie, who had died earlier that year.
The show, called “Let’s Dance: The Songs of David Bowie,” featured bands like The Lovestrange and The New Electric Sound frontman Scott Vance.
Fleetwood Mac tribute show — Sept. 2017
The 2017 season ended with a tribute show to Fleetwood Mac.
The headlining Fleetwood Mac tribute portion of the show featured 19 songs — each fronted by a different lead singer. Sure, there were expected and unexpected heavy hitters — Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn, for example, was a last-24-hours addition to the lineup — but the main takeaway from the entire evening was the true depth of the local music scene.
The memorable moment from that show was the conclusion, when a large cast of extraordinary local musicians belted out the catchy chorus to Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop.”
Pinguin Mofex, Noble Bodies showdown — Aug. 2018
In what can only be billed as a split decision, Noble Bodies and Pinguin Mofex retired to their corners at the end of their Provo Rooftop Concert Series showdown as winners in their own right — having been able to showcase their disparate musical styles in front of a wide-ranging audience.
The Provo Rooftop Concert Series put a new spin on its typical proceedings by not featuring one true headliner, instead having the two Provo-based bands alternate their time onstage in a series of three rounds. Both bands played into the title fight angle, complete with a “Let’s get ready to rumble” intro and emcees acting as comedic fight analysts between rounds. It made for a fun approach, even if the event was just as much a real competition as the concert series is, well, actually held on a rooftop.