Showing posts with label Behind the Zion Curtain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Behind the Zion Curtain. Show all posts

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Park City Live - Worst Venue Behind the Zion Curtain and Beyond

We prefer to spotlight the Best Of, but this time the WORST gets Zenberg's attention. 

I've attended hundreds of live performances and been to probably a hundred different venues all across the United States. I've seen the best and the worst music halls. I certainly didn't expect the very worst to be located in Park City, Utah. 

Granted, Utah venues are always somewhat challenging, in part due to all the quirky laws that are both restrictive and oppressive. But I've been to dozens of shows behind the zion curtain, and thought I knew what to expect from a mainstream venue in Park City. I like surprises, but I wasn't prepared for the surprises that Park City Live served up. 

At the entrance Mighty Mo and I were "greeted" by security personnel who demanded to see our IDs. They weren't interested in our tickets, only ID, and it wasn't exclusively to insure that we were old enough to attend a 21 and older event. To be admitted, required that we remove our IDs from our wallets and hand them over to a security person who then scanned them into a database. When I asked why such extreme measures were required, I was told that it is Utah State law; an excuse we would encounter throughout the evening. We were also informed that scanning our IDs would give the venue an accurate head count of attendees in addition to being a handy go-to database in the event of an emergency. Once our ID's had been scanned, we received an official stamp on our right wrists. 

Once inside the doors, we presented out prepaid ticket vouchers which were scanned. We then received a second stamp on our right wrists and were allowed to ascend the steps toward the concert hall, where bellowing music of the opening act thundered through open doors. 

I was thirsty, so stepped up to the bar to order a water. I had been standing there for a few minutes when four other people stepped up and were immediately served ahead of me. Thanks for making me feel invisible. I didn't have to wait much longer before the bartender took my order and promptly served up my beverage. A woman standing next to me had ordered two drinks, one of which was in a can. The woman requested that the canned beverage remain unopened to make it easier to navigate the crowd. The shocked look on her face was revealing when the bartender informed her that she was required to open the beverage before handing it to the patron. "It's Utah law" she informed the flabbergasted woman. As the woman gathered up her purse, coat and an open beverage in each hand, we made eye contact and the woman mouthed, "WTF?"

The remainder of our time in the concert hall consisted of blue shirt security personnel telling us, "You can't sit can't stand can't be here... you'll have to move..." I wish I had counted how many times this happened. 

Fed up with the noisy unwelcome atmosphere inside the hall, I stepped out of the hall and into the mezzanine to chill for a moment. I was immediately approached by a security person and was informed that I couldn't take my beverage outside the hall. "It's water" I pointed out to the blue meanie who parroted the now familiar excuse, "Utah State law." 

Back inside, we were again told that we couldn't "stand here, and couldn't be here" too many more times. Fed up, Mighty Mo raised both middle fingers and put them in face of the latest blue meanie. Good thing he didn't press the issue with her because she probably would have punched him. After that encounter, she said "let's get... out of here. I can't stay another second." So we departed as the opening act finished their set.

I would have loved to have seen Matisyahu perform. Plus, we paid a lot of money to attend, but Park City Live was far too unfriendly to endure. 

The restrooms were clean and the sound system was good, but the overall vibe was toxic and unwelcoming. 

The Utah State law mantra seemed like a control lever. I am aware that Utah has some really ridiculously oppressive laws, but this was over the top weird. I don't want to be made to feel uncomfortable at a venue. I'm there to enjoy good live music, and hopefully a good vibe from the venue and the people there. I've never left a venue before seeing the band I paid to see. This was a first. Congratulations Park City Live.   


Sunday, August 2, 2015

HELLFIRE XX 2015 - in 3D

Hundreds of home-made model rockets took flight this weekend at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Perfect weather conditions contributed to a successful gathering for the Utah Rocket Club's annual Hellfire model rocket launch event. 

3d image of someone's display

Every summer, Rocketeer hobbyists bring their rockets of all sizes from around the country to participate in this unique launch event. 

3D image of another display

Many of the rockets exceed ten feet in length and ascend to an elevation of more than 20,000'. Therefore, FAA approval had to be granted and airspace closed to aircraft for the event. 

3D image adding perspective

Some of the rockets were made from kits while others where self-designed and made from scratch. Some of the participants brought scale models of iconic rockets such as the German V2 and Friendship 7.

3D image of a German V2 - the first weaponized missile known for the destruction and terror it inflicted on London during WWII

3D image of Friendship 7 - the Redstone Rocket that launched John Glen on the first US orbital flight. There was even a little astronaut in the capsule.  

More than a hundred rockets were expected to launch over the four day event.
3d image of a launch

Some of the rockets exhibited exotic sparkle effects as fiery engine-thrust particles blasted from their engines.

The rocket below was one of my favorites at the event and it performed wonderfully, except for a bumpy landing on someone's car. No damage done.
3D image B4 launch


At the end of the day, everyone gathered together for a group photo with their rockets. 
3d image - group photo

3d Image - group disbursement 
See ya again next year UROC HELLFIRE XXI!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Utah Sun Tunnels Summer Solstice 2014

Summer Solstice happened spectacularly at the remote* Utah Sun Tunnels last weekend.

Artist, Nancy Holdt conceptualized this fascinating piece of land art back in the early seventies while researching ways to model the intensity of the sun in the desert. Her idea "to bring the sky down to earth" became a reality just south of the old ghost town of Lucin, Utah... the outskirts of the middle of nowhere. 

In this vast alkali valley, one can't help but bow to the sovereignty of the powerful sun reigning overhead. There is no natural shade anywhere. The Sun Tunnels are now part of the landscape where the annual solar pageant is manifest as a working model that emphasizes the movement and affectation of the Sun.

Most any other day of the year, the Utah Sun Tunnels are bleak and solitary. The 45 mile dirt road excursion keeps most people away, and from Salt Lake City, it takes more than two hours just to get to where the dirt road begins. But on the Solstices, especially Summer Solstice, groups of humans gather to appreciate this grand promenade of light and shadow.

Aesthetically, the 18' long, 9' diameter concrete tubes present an irresistible playground. I observed that a young boy brought some Hot Wheels cars to play with. I complemented the lad on his forethought. I'm definitely taking Hot Wheels next time I go.

Before long, a couple hundred people had gathered for a short tribute to Sun Tunnels' artist, Nancy Holdt, who died earlier this year. Then everyone moved into position to experience the Solstice Sun going down** in perfect alignment with two of the tunnels. 
Some folks took the high ground.

While everyone was doing the peek at the sun through the tubes dance, I was filming them on video. This is a sped up glimpse of that film. 

The next morning I got up early to shoot 3D pictures of the tubes just before, during and after sunrise. The following pictures are a sampling of those 3D images. 

The gathering for the sunrise was much smaller than the crowd at sunset the night before. Those of us who were there experienced an inspiring sunrise... and as usual, the Sun Tunnels performed their function perfectly. Thanks Nancy!


* 41° 18' 12.76" N  113° 51' 49.83" W - Elev. 4389

** like a big bald head

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Great Salt Lake in 3D Part 2 Stansbury Island

This post is the second in a series of articles exploring Utah's inland sea. When you see two similar images side-by-side, the photos can be viewed in 3D by gently crossing the eyes until both images become one. It's EZ to see 3D.  
On Saturday, we trekked to the northern most point of the Stansbury Mountain Range then continued north to Stansbury Island. 
Our first stop at the Stansbury Mountains was this little natural hot spring at the base of the mountain. Hot springs are common in the area and the temperature and salinity vary from pool to pool. Nearby Bonneville Seabase, hosts a variety of colorful tropical fish who thrive in the geothermally heated and salty pools.
A few feet from the hot spring we found this carcass of an unfortunate victim of this unforgiving environment. 
Large stones aligned North and South along the old Lincoln Highway. The largest is more than 5' tall. 
Leaving the Stansbury Mountains, we passed beneath Interstate 80 and headed to Stansbury Island, traveling northward, across the unpaved causeway, passed small salt flats until water is on both sides of the road
This valve allows the briny water to fill an evaporation pond. When the water has all evaporated, the salt will be collected and processed for use at your dinner table. Good eatin'
We found this old corral near the northeast shore of the Island. 
On this occasion, the water had an obvious pink hue that these photos don't do justice to. 
We found these salty birds hanging out on the salt plastered shoreline. 
Standing on the shore of this part of the Great Salt Lake is like being on another planet. No wonder the creators of Gentleman Broncos selected Stansbury Island as a primary location to film several pseudo sci-fi scenes. 

Much of the Great Salt Lake falls inside Tooele County, a region known for its diversity and uniqueness. No one knows for sure where the word, Tooele, comes from. It has been suggested that it is a Native American word that describes where land, air and sky meet... a mystical gateway to other dimensions. 
 The white salt and pink water is quite surreal. The birds seem almost out of place. 

 Looking south from the northwest end of Stansbury Island. 

The view along the causeway that leads from Stansbury Island to Bird Island. There is no access to Badger Island because the road is controlled by USA Magnesium.

Next time we'll explore Black Rock Beach and a nearby cave where the Donner Party camped. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Great Salt Lake in 3D Part 1 The Marina

The Great Salt Lake is one the most unique and mysterious bodies of water on our planet. This post is the first in a series of articles exploring Utah's inland sea. Many of the photos can be viewed in 3D by gently crossing the eyes until both images become one. It's EZ to see 3D. 
Last weekend, the Zenberg Blogue was invited to attend the grand opening of Great Salt Lake Marina's new Visitor Center. FOX 13 Utah's Big Buddah and two representatives from the Deseret News, (a photographer and writer), were the only other media in attendance for the AM event that included a boat ride on the Great Salt Lake. 
Ceremonial cake and chicken salad croissant sandwiches were provided too. 
After enjoying some food, we headed to one of the docks to wait for our ride. 
When the boat arrived we boarded and donned the life jackets that were provided. Mine needed some serious adjusting to make it fit correctly. 
Then we set sail.

I was surprised at the size of the swells and got rather wet from sea spray as we sped across the lake. My clothes quickly dried and became hard and crunchy with salt. 
Sea foam accumulates on the rocks along the levy to depths of four feet.
This light beacon sits at the mouth of the marina to help guide mariners. The 1200' tall Kennecott, (now Rio Tinto), smoke stack is visible in the background.
Billions of cute little sea monkeys play just beneath the surface of the briny marina water.
Next time we head west, all the way to the other side of the Great Salt Lake to the very mysterious Stansbury Island. See ya there!