star-lined Dave Grohl party, a tribute to the music of Muscle Shoals, Ala., and legendary back-up singers stepping into the spotlight are among the music highlights on tap for the Sundance Film Festival.
Park City Live, the former Harry O’s, is the only venue that will stage concerts nightly throughout the festival and following an opening night afterparty for the Powder magazine awards, the venue will host the debut of Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players on Jan. 18.
Grohl’s Sound City Players includes John Fogerty, Stevie Nicks, Rick Springfield, members of the Foo Fighters and other artists who appear in his documentary “Sound City” that premieres in the afternoon of Jan. 18. Park City Live put 300 tickets on sale to the public for $100 apiece and they sold out within in a minute.
Park City Live CEO Kathryn Burns had to take a risk with the Grohl booking. “We were approached by William Morris Endeavor many months ago when they realized they may be in the festival,” she says. “The debate was whether we hold the date because if the movie didn’t get in they wouldn’t come in. Friday and Saturday of Sundance are my two biggest nights of the year — to hold a premium night on a whim was really risky. The day they found out they were in the festival they called and we got the date.”
Musical performances are abundant during the festival — ASCAP has daily performances, BMI holds its annual Snowball, Santa Monica, Calif. NPR affiliate KCRW and Power Media has its Concerts at Sundance series.
BMI is tying in with the documentary “Muscle Shoals” that screens Jan. 26 for its Snow Ball on Jan. 23. Percy Sledge, John Paul White of Civil Wars, trumpeter-composer Terence Blanchard and the duo of Dan Penn and Spencer Oldham will perform music that came out of the Fame Studio and Muscle Shoals SoundStudios in the 1960s and ’70s. BMI’s other major event is a director-composer roundtable with Miriam Cutler, Marco D’Ambrosio, Lili Haydn, Mark Isham and two dozen others.
“Our focus is always to tie into our year-round relationship with Sundance Composers Workshop,” says BMI VP, Film/TV Relations, Doreen Ringer Ross. “Snowball is a celebration. ‘Muscle Shoals’ is an incredible documentary. There are spiritual overtones, a mystery to (the place) and we’ll have a supergroup for the whole night.”
Another documentary, Morgan Neville’s “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” about backup singers, will be celebrated in a concert Jan. 20 with Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer and Tata Vega confirmed as performers at the SundanceHouse/Kimball Art Center. The Fray will open the show.
ASCAP will present artists each afternoon in its Music Lounge Jan. 18-25. Among the performers are Andrew Bird, Melanie Fiona, the Head and the Heart, Greg Holden, Paul Kelly and Dave Mason. “We always have a nod to our legacy,” says ASCAP assistant VP, membership group, Loretta Munoz, referring to Mason and the Blue Sky Riders with Kenny Loggins. “We want to highlight the importance of music to film, but also create opportunities for our membership.”
Southern California NPR affiliate KCRW is hosting three nights (Jan. 18-20) of live musical performances at the café ASCAP uses for daytime performances. The station will also broadcast live on Jan. 19 and 20 from the festival.
KCRW started programming with an eye toward composers on Friday, an EDM party on Saturday and singer-songwriters on Sunday. Jenny Lewis, Andrew Bird, Dustin O’Halloran, Emily Wells, Carmen Izzo, Totally Enormous Exotic Dinosaurs and Will Bates of Fall on Your Sword are booked.
“There are a lot of similarities in our organizations and mission in representing the independent arts,” KCRW music director Jason Bentley says. “We had a meeting with them and I felt like I was with like-minded people and at ease with that group.”
Concerts at Sundance, which is not affiliated with the festival, presents shows at Hotel Park City and Flanagan’s on Main from Jan. 17 to 27. Singer-pianist Jon Regen and cellist Julia Kent headline on Jan. 19 and 20; most of the acts are regional.