A mid-September evening at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah, can be a beautiful sight with the Wasatch Mountains towering in the background. Add an endless catalog of hits from Kenny Loggins, and you have a perfect evening. This was the case on September 12, 2021. In only his second show of 2021, Kenny and his band brought the enthusiastic crowd to their feet for a night of dancing and singing.
Kenny is the king of 80’s soundtracks, with his music appearing in some of the biggest titles, including “Caddyshack,” “Footloose,” and “Top Gun.” In June 2021, he released an LP titled At The Movies, including some of his biggest hits from various movies. Celebrating these amazing songs always brings people out, but first, the crowd was treated to some of his early hits. “Lady Luck” from 1977 began the set, followed by the Loggins and Messina classic “Danny’s Song.” A short story of a large intimidating man in the front row of a show years ago asking Kenny “to play the bear song” introduced “Return to Pooh Corner.” He then talked of his friendship with Stevie Nicks and played “Whenever I Call you Friend.” Next up was a new song, jungle-inspired “The Great Adventure.” The ‘non-movie’ songs ended with a crowd favorite, “This Is It.”
At this point in the set, Kenny and the band dove into the songs that have appeared on so many memorable soundtracks.
The soundtrack journey started with “Meet Me Halfway,” from “Over The Top” from 1987. Things then jumped right into “I’m Free” from 1984s hit “Footloose,” ironically filmed in Utah about 30 miles from the show site. The Roller Mills and the church from the iconic movie are both still in use. “Playing with the Boys” was preceded by a great story about auditioning songs for “Top Gun.” He jokingly said he picked the scene where the cast is playing beach volleyball because he was sure that no one else would want that scene. Kenny then took us back to his first movie soundtrack appearance, “Caddyshack” from 1980. “I’m Alright” was the song that set the stage for soundtracks to become a viable way to release music to a mass audience and symbiotically have one benefit the other.
Another major hit came from the “Top Gun” soundtrack. “Danger Zone” lifted Kenny to the top of the charts as well as the top spot for movie soundtrack success. The live performance was terrific, and Kenny’s voice sounded particularly strong during this song. The last dive into the movie soundtrack set was another from “Footloose.” The title track from the movie saw Kenny using an electric guitar for the first and only time. The crowd responded with no seat left occupied. Everyone was up dancing to the song as Kenny, and his band gingerly played what the crowd seemed to be waiting to hear.
The song came to an end, and the band left the stage. They were greeted by a dark amphitheater chanting, “Kenny, Kenny, Kenny.” After a quick break, the band appeared again and broke into “Convictions of the Heat” and easily transitioned into “Celebrate Me Home.”
There was then time for one last song. It seemed fitting that another 80’s hit would end the night. “Forever” was one of the few hits that was not from a movie but cemented Kenny as 80’s Music royalty.
The night took the crowd on a journey from Kenny’s early days as a solo artist and as part of the Duo Loggins and Messina. The journey continued through his reign in the ’80s, ’90s, and ending in 2021.
Kenny Loggins has been inspiring fans for over fiKenny Loggins has been inspiring fans for over five decades, and his voice has not aged one bit, unlike the rest of the world. His performance could not have sounded any better. The band that backed him played flawlessly and left the crowd in amazement of the show they had just seen. Kenny Loggins can be found at select dates throughout the rest of 2021. Do not miss the opportunity to see this legend as well as hear some great music.
Kenny Loggins live band consists of:
Scott Bernard – lead guitar, vocals
Rick Cowling – guitar, vocals
Adam Nitti – bass, vocals
Carl Herrgesell – organ/keys, vocals
Dave Salinas – drums