Cristina Rendon - The Music of Sundance 2013: Star Bar

- With each pound of the drum and strum of the guitar, I could feel the beat in my bones. The vigor of the crowd kept my mind off my aching feet at midnight. I started the day at 7 a.m. but was eager to experience the hype over the Star Bar. As I stood listening to the musical acts, I realized this is why so many people and stars flock to Park City. The Sundance Film Festival returned with more than just highly anticipated movies, it returned with great music.

Davina Leone and the Matthew Facciolla Band opened for One Republic. As soon as Leone hit her first big note, I knew this was going to be good. Think Michelle Branch, but younger. At 19, she has a big voice inside a petite frame. The Miami Florida native is bilingual. She sang one song in English and Spanish. Look out for this girl because she’s going places. The Matthew Facciolla Band from New York was the epitome of rock. They have a Bruce Springsteen vibe. Their latest album is called “Second Chances.” If there was ever a place to start again, this was the place to do it.

People couldn’t hold their excitement in anticipation of One Republic. Roadies brought out the instruments. The crowd was in for a musical treat. A cello, violin, xylophone, piano, tambourine, synthesizer, drums, and acoustic and electric guitars sat silent on stage waiting to be played. Only screams and whistles filled the air until the band cut through the cheers with their hit single “Secrets.” To say lead singer Ryan Tedder had amazing energy and passion is an understatement. The blend of instruments and vocals were masterfully orchestrated into a delight for the eyes and ears. Each band member got lost in the music as the sound poured out their fingers. When Tedder sang, the crowd sang with him in harmony. When songs finished, the audience yearned for more. It’s easy to see why One Republic has fans all over the world. Their talent is special. One woman flew in from England to see the show. She managed to make it to the front row. I walked away with a drumstick that was tossed into the audience and not the chicken kind. This was the band’s fifth performance at Sundance and they’ve vowed to play at the festival every year.

Each performer breathed new life into the Star Bar. The newly renovated intimate underground venue is the perfect mix of Hollywood and Utah. Neon lights compliment the wood and rock interior design. Whether you’re on the dance floor or have snagged a spot in a VIP booth, there’s not bad seat in the house.

Star Bar will host a variety of must-see acts throughout Sundance. For more information visit

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