As soon as we arrived back in Park City, Utah, we began the whirlwind preparations for my dad’s friends Grateful Dead cover band: Aiko. The concert was taking place at a large outdoor venue, so equipment had to be shuttled back and forth, instruments had to be tuned and checked, blankets and chairs had to be set up, and food and drink had to be prepared for the band members.

When everything came together though, the show was amazing and worth all the effort and planning that went in to making it possible. Their opening band: Jukebox Antihero consisted of elementary to high school aged local students. Their sound was what I would call slightly edgy and somewhat alternative, but they sang all covers. I was highly impressed with the amount of talent coming from such young musicians. The singers had strong, bold voices and solid stage presences. The guitarists, keyboard players, and drummers all seemed to have a command of their instruments and as a whole, the band played their heart out until 6 pm; they were even asked to do an encore although they declined.

When Aiko came to the stage, the crowd was already excited and the outdoor venue packed with supportive fans. They played until 8 pm, performing their set flawlessly. As the concert wore on the crowd got increasingly enthralled with the music, moving to stand and dance near the front of the stage. Everyone had a blast singing along and observing the artist John Bukaty, create a painting of Jerry Garcia during the band’s set. The piece was auctioned off at the end of the event.

The night was a wonderful chance for me to meet more of my parents’ closest friends that they have maintained since college. It’s such a special group of people that they are a part of, brought together by mutual support and a love of music. I hope to have such close knit relationships like the ones they have formed and fostered in their lives when I’m older. Below are a few of my favorite photos from the event 🙂

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