Park City Institute Opens the 2017 St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series with X AMBASSADORS
X Ambassadors, nominated for a variety of awards since their 2015 debut, were most recently nominated as Top Rock Artist at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. The band includes brothers Sam Harris (lead vocals) and Casey Harris (keyboards), along with Noah Feldshuh (lead guitar), Sam's friend since the first day of kindergarten in their hometown of Ithaca, NY; the brothers were raised playing instruments, from a young age, and the three played and recorded together since seventh grade. After several iterations, the band settled into their sound-eventually scoring a spot on a Virginia radio station's playlist. They captured the attention of "Imagine Dragons" frontman Dan Reynolds, who got them signed to Interscope.
X Ambassadors bring a mix of soul and hip-hop to their guitar-driven sound, leading to inventive collaborations (Jay Z, Eminem, Imagine Dragons), and hit singles like "Renegades," "Unsteady," and "Jungle," off VHS, their first album. Billboard Magazine praised the album's "easy and effortless" sound, and Sam's "supple, soulful baritone, which convincingly switches from New Orleans bluesman to glam-boyant disco, in seconds."
VHS features interstitial audio cuts from Harris family videos, in which their parents documented family milestones, and spoke to young Sam and Casey about their hopes for the future. These moments highlight the deeply personal nature of the band's songwriting-from their struggles to translate their small-town experience into the crowded music scene in New York City, to the experiences Casey, who has been blind since birth, has faced living with a disability. The band embraces music as a platform of empathy and empowerment for others.
"Music is not something that people think of as humanitarian, but once in a while you get the opportunity to affect people's actual lives with the music and what it's about," says Sam. "That's an honor, when you can touch people and inspire them." Adds Casey, "That has been our ethos from the beginning, we would like to have a positive effect on people. It can be about real stuff, and pain, it's cathartic, that will help people, too.
Last Spring, the band released "Hoping," and dedicated a portion of the proceeds to benefit the ACLU. "As long as there are those of us who suffer and experience injustice in this world, we will continue to use our music and our voices to speak up," the band said. "Our resistance is one of love and hope." Their choices of storytelling in the songs' videos also reflect that ethos. "Renegades" highlights the accomplishments of people living with disabilities. The video for "Unsteady," carries a storyline about substance abuse.
"I want to show people who we are," says Sam. "A group of brothers, best friends, family, who have been through so much together."
Fans can expect a show that balances a personal connection with the audience with high-energy rock. Tickets for this show start at $44 (lawn) and $59 (reserved). Gates open at 5:30 PM and the show begins at 7. For tickets, call 435-655-3114 or visit parkcityinstitute.org In-person purchases may be made at The Mega Genius Supply Store and IQ HQ, 435 Swede Alley, or the Deer Valley Signatures Store, 625 Main Street.
Membership and sponsorship information can be found at parkcityinstitute.org, or by calling the box office.
Park City Institute is a non-profit organization, dedicated to bringing world-class performances and new ideas to the community. Since 1998, PCI has presented internationally renowned and cutting-edge musicians, actors, authors, comedians, dancers, speakers and film at The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Center for the Performing Arts (a joint-use facility with the Park City School District). The organization will embark on its 14th season of headliner concerts at Deer Valley Resort, this summer. PCI is dedicated to introducing young people to the arts through free student outreach workshops. Since 2010, PCI has offered a free after-school literacy program to students in grades one through 12 at the thinky and engaging retail-fronted tutoring hub, the Mega-Genius Supply Store and IQ HQ (located at 435 Swede Alley in Old Town). The organization continues to illuminate with Curiosities evenings and thoughtful salons.
ENTERTAINING, EDUCATING AND ILLUMINATING SINCE 1998
The 2017 St Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series at Deer Valley Resort
July 16: Kellie Pickler
July 23: Aloe Blacc
July 27: Melissa Etheridge: M.E. Live
August 6: San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
August 12: Parsonsfield • Laney Jones & The Spirits • Jeffrey Foucault
August 15: American Acoustic: Punch Brothers • I'm With Her • Julian Lage
August 18 Smash Mouth, Cracker and The Romantics
August 26: John Ondrasik of Five For Fighting
September 3: Josh Turner