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Logan • Immediately after The 5 Browns finished performing their first piece of the evening, oldest brother Gregory Brown walked up to a microphone near the lip of the stage.
Brown addressed the 1,100 silent patrons inside the majestic Ellen Eccles Theatre, the first time the Utah family has performed in Utah in the wake of their father's sexual-abuse revelations. Speaking for his siblings, he thanked the community of friends and fans in Utah for an "incredible outpouring of love and support." Gregory added that recent days had been difficult, but it was the healing power of music that kept them going.
Gregory then said, "Let's have some fun."
And the Alpine-bred quintet of classical pianists performed more than two hours of music that was nothing short of triumphant, poignant, life-affirming and, above all ... fun.
After all, that's what they do.
The five siblings' background the first family of five siblings ever accepted simultaneously to New York City's Juilliard School has usually attracted the most attention, but in the past month, the most famous Utah family since the Osmonds has been rocked by scandal.
On Feb. 17, nearly a week after a life-threatening car crash in Utah, the father of The 5 Browns, Keith Brown, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree sodomy upon a child and two counts of second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child.
The three daughters in The 5 Browns publicly revealed that their father had sexually abused them as children.
(The Salt Lake Tribune generally doesn't name victims of sexual abuse, but in this case the family's spokesman said they had consented to the release of their identities.)
The 5 Browns' passionate and searing performance Monday night was the first of two sold-out concerts in Logan.
The diverse program featured what has become the siblings' trademark: a mash-up of classical piano pieces written by long-dead composers, as well as more contemporary pieces such as John Williams' music from "Star Wars" and Bernard Herrmann's score from "Vertigo" and "Psycho."
It was difficult to not read too much into the songs performed. Melody Brown introduced a solo performance of Busconi's "Melodie from Orfeo ed Euridice" by saying it was "definitely a piece about loss." Later in the program, Desirae Brown began a duet with sister Deondra of Elmer Bernstein's "To Kill a Mockingbird" theme by saying it was "about innocence and the loss of innocence."
But the most emotionally devastating piece of the night was the second encore, with Gregory once again taking the stage alone. After saying he usually didn't do this, Gregory was brought a microphone by a stagehand. With a sweet, fragile falsetto, Gregory began singing Coldplay's "Fix You."
His siblings took the stage to sing back-up, but all eyes were on the oldest brother as he sang:
"Tears stream down on your face
And on your face I...
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you"
When the song ended, The 5 Browns were saluted by a standing ovation.
Shawn and Suzanne Brady, of Richmond, said they would have come to see The 5 Browns regardless of the circumstances, but the struggles the family has been through gave the night an added depth.
"Everybody has their struggles," Suzanne said. "People can relate to tough times. [The 5 Browns] are not going to let this define their lives."
The sold-out venue, Shawn said, "speaks to the way people embrace the situation and support them."
NinaLee Darley, of Hyrum, was on the waiting list for tickets for two hours before she was told she would get a seat.
"My heart goes out to them," she said. "[Their situation] makes them even more amazing."
She paused, then added, "I'm from Utah. They're from Utah. I need to support them."
The 5 Browns
The Juilliard-trained sibling piano quintet will play its second night of a two-concert Utah stand. When •Tonight at 7:30
Where • Ellen Eccles Theatre, 43 S. Main St., Logan
Tickets • sold out