Can you imagine starting a band, signing a record deal, then collaborating with members of your favorite bands growing up, then heading out on tour and playing these songs in cities across the world that you never thought you’d play in? That’s the dream, right? Well, this is exactly what has happened to up and coming Australian pop-rock band The Faim.
These boys from Perth have been headlining tours in Europe and Australia performing songs that they have co-written with the likes of Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy), Mark Hoppus (blink-182), Josh Dun (Twenty One Pilots), and Ashton Irwin (5 Seconds of Summer). They stopped by The Depot in Salt Lake City supporting Andy Black of the Black Veil Brides.
The Faim is an emerging pop-rock group from Australia who got their start with renowned producer John Feldmann (blink-182, Good Charlotte), who was so impressed with their early demos that he invited them out to LA to record with him. There they enlisted the help of several notable co-writers. Since their launch last February, The Faim have been on the rise, to say the least. They released their critically acclaimed debut EP, toured exhaustively worldwide, supporting PVRIS, Against The Current, and Sleeping With Sirens, and played festival staples including Reading & Leeds, Slam Dunk, and more. The guys also recently collaborated with Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low and wrapped their first ever headline tour of Australia and Europe, with the majority of shows completely selling out.
The Faim will be supporting Andy Black of Black Veil Brideson Tuesday, April 16 at The Depot. I had the opportunity to speak with Stephen Beerkens, Bassist and Keyboardist for the band. I really enjoyed our conversation. Enjoy!
Utah Concert Review: Hi Stephen. We’re excited to have you come play Utah. Have you toured the States before?
Stephen Beerkens: We have. We were lucky enough to tour with another Aussie band called Hands Like Houses in November and December of last year which was epic. It was our very first US tour so, yeah, it was awesome touring with a great group. Not only a great band but a great group of people as well.
Conan Gray seems like an artist who is skyrocketing. The truth is Gray has had been around since 2013. He first came on the scene with his well-followed YouTube Channel, then releasing self-penned songs on that channel in 2015 eventually being signed to Republic Records. In late 2018 Gray released his debut EP, Sunset Season which was followed by a tour where he has sold out most cities. Conan Gray finished off his first North American headlining tour to Salt Lake City with a sold out show at Kilby Court.
Ben Folds entered my radar in a real way at a Tori Amos concert. He’d just embarked on his solo career and she gave him a leg up by letting him open for her Lottapianos tour. He has grown as an artist since then and seems to have taken a cue from her refusal to draw harsh lines between the rock and classical music worlds. Ben was backed by the Utah Symphony Orchestra (along with a choir) which plumped out and embellished his melodies as well as faithfully performed pieces from his sonically ambitious So There album, written with an orchestral arrangement in mind. My one disappointment was that they did not perform Ben’s “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” which topped Billboard Classical and Classical Crossover charts.
Note from the Editor: When I saw that Jade Bird was coming back to Utah, I knew UCR had to cover her concert again. We’ve been lucky to have covered Jade from the beginning and are so excited where her career is going. I have had the pleasure of reviewing Jade’s previous stops in Utah so for this tour as much as I wanted to cover the show, I thought it might be interesting to get another takes on this brilliant up and coming singer songwriter. Then just a few short months ago, I had the opportunity to Interview Aubree Schill of the band Roadie, an up and coming singer songwriter in her own right. During our interview, we discussed our mutual love for Jade Bird. A lightbulb went off. “What if I had Aubree review Jade when she comes town next?” I felt like getting the perspective of an artist who is a fan as well as on the path Jade herself trod not long ago would be the fresh take on this show I was hoping for. Well, as it turns out that’s just what happened. Here is Aubree’s account of Jade’s most recent visit to Utah. It turned out just as I hoped it would.
One of the first things I read about Jade Bird when I discovered her music was that she had “a voice that can silence the busiest bar.” At that time, I couldn’t have agreed more, but now I think this statement could be updated: “a voice that can silence a crowd of thousands.” She played for her third time ever in Salt Lake City on April 6th in front of the largest crowd I’ve personally seen her at yet. Opening for Hozier at the Union, she braved the crowd of likely around three thousand with her voice and guitar alone. And she owned it.
Utah is quickly becoming acquainted with African Folk singer J.S. Ondara. I can’t think of any artists or groups (non-home-based) who have played shows in Utah four times in a less than 13-month span, but that’s exactly what Ondara just accomplished. The fourth and final time coming last Wednesday night April 3rd at The State Room in Salt Lake City, Utah. During his first three visits, Ondara performed as a supporting act for Anderson East, The Milk Carton Kids, and The Head and The Heart. This visit was J.S.’s first as a headliner – coming off the back of his debut record, Tales of America and he knocked it out of the park.
I remember the week following P!nk’s concert in May of 2018 I had a strong feeling that I had missed something special. People were going on and on about how amazing the show was. So when it was announced shortly after the May concert that P!nk would be returning to Vivint Smart Home Arena in April of 2019 I knew I couldn’t miss this tour stop. The only problem was having to wait for pretty much a year for her to come back. But years seem to fly by and before I knew it, P!nk made her much anticipated return to Utah.
James Bay was originally scheduled to play Salt Lake City back in October. But for reasons that were unclear, he had to reschedule the U.S. leg of his Electric Light fall tour until this spring. After a long winter filled with anticipation, James made his Utah visit on Saturday night at The Union.
One perk of Bay rescheduling was he was able to bring up and coming singer-songwriter, Noah Kahan, with him on this tour. Noah has a couple of international hits, “Young Blood” and “Hurt Somebody”, which were both warmly received. He introduced his new single “Mess” to the audience and it appeared as if they already knew the song. I noticed a lot of people singing the words. Judging by the way the audience reacted towards Noah Kahan I knew we were in for a great night. The crowd cheered, clapped and sang as if Noah was the headliner. It was noticeable that Kahan was pretty fired up about the crowd reaction, calling them the “Dopest crowd ever!”.
After seeing Noah Kahan play a sold-out show at The State Room back in October I thought I knew what was in store when I heard that he’d be supporting James Bay at The Union on March 23. Back in October, Noah put on an exceptional show. The crowd was into it, and they left more than satisfied with the evening. So I had a feeling there would be more of the same at this show. If anything, I thought perhaps it might be a bit of a letdown because Noah would be opening. I had no idea things would go like this.
Exactly one year to the date of their last visit to Utah, KOLARS made their triumphant return to Salt Lake City. The band performs yearly at the Treefort Festival in Boise, Idaho, so it makes perfect sense to stop and do a show here in town on their trek up north. Last year they played Kilby Court on a rainy Thursday night. Both Lauren and Rob remembered our interview in their dressing room before the show as the rain pounded the roof of the tiny room. This year KOLARS set up shop in The Urban Lounge.