Strawberry Fields Forever…on the Holladay Commons
Aug 19, 2019 02:01PM
● By Sona Schmidt-Harris
Strawberry Fields consists of lead guitar Bryan Hague, bass David Martin, guitar Jeff Jensen, and drums Eric Jensen. (Sona Schmidt-Harris/City Journals)
By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]
Beatles fans of the ’60s saw themselves as cutting-edge and rebellious. They would be surprised that in 2019 their beloved, iconic music would be played to a family-friendly crowd. The group Strawberry Fields performed familiar Beatles tunes to an audience gathered at the Holladay Commons on Saturday, Aug. 3. People of all ages tapped their feet, sang and danced.
There was a somber note at the beginning of the evening, however. City Councilman Steven Gunn requested that the audience pause for 10 seconds of silence for the victims of the El Paso shooting. The tragedy occurred earlier that same day. Except for the murmur from small children, the Commons were quiet.
The mood of the evening brightened when it was announced that the City of Holladay turns 20 in September. In celebration, free Frisbees were given away.
Members of the audience had various reasons for attending the concert.
Steven Bennett said he “just wanted to hear some good music and enjoy nice people.”
Five-year-old Kamea Aubrey said she liked coming to the Concerts on the Commons because “we get to stay up late.”
Ellison Aubrey, 3 years old, said he liked the concerts because they “eat and have fun and dance.”
Also present was former Holladay resident Steve Williams. Williams is known for his work at KUER where he was jazz director and host for decades. He currently works part time at KCPW.
“I work with Excellence (Excellence in the Community). I’m a volunteer. These are our shows. We are partnering tonight with Holladay,” Williams said.
“I try to help get support from businesses and organizations who think it’s a good thing and want to support us.”
“I’d like it if people were also down at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake on Tuesday and Wednesday nights for free concerts. Once a month we’re out at the Viridian Center in West Jordan.”
With children swinging from the canopied monkey bars, Strawberry Fields began their concert with a Beatles medley including “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “With a Little Help from My Friends,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Drive My Car” and “Good Day Sunshine.”
The adults tapped their feet and bobbed their heads.
Throughout the concert, the band conveyed interesting facts about the Beatles. For instance, Frank Sinatra was a big fan of George Harrison’s “Something in the Way She Moves.”
Paul McCartney refused to play to segregated audiences.
“Yesterday” is the most covered song outside of “Happy Birthday.”
During an unusually soulful version of “Let It Be,” much of the crowd swayed gently with the collective lights of their cell phones moving back and forth.
As the evening progressed, the audience loosened up. A group of dancers grew in front of the gazebo/stage. Grandmothers danced with children. Children danced with children, and husbands and wives enjoyed a twirl on the field.
Local vendors, including Auntie Rae’s Dessert Island, sold refreshments.
The concert was made possible by the Holladay Arts Council, Excellence in the Community and local sponsors.
Excellence in the Community and the Holladay Arts Council’s wrapped up its concert series on Aug. 24 at the Blue Moon Festival.