Jenny Lewis May 18, 2019, The Commonwealth Room

By: Kevin Rolfe

The moment I walked into The Commonwealth Room I could feel the energy swirling throughout the venue.  The buzz of excitement and anticipation was nearly tangible. The venue was sold out, and the audience was ready for the extremely talented Jenny Lewis to take the stage.  The photographers were given their final instructions and we were escorted to the pit in front of the stage. As I walked through the doors to the main room I as big a crowd as I’ve ever seen at The Commonwealth Room.  Once into the pit, I enjoyed a brief but entertaining conversation with some of the other photographers and a couple of people resting on the railing in the front row. But then that moment we all wait for when the venue goes black to signal the start of the show.  It’s one of the least spoken about moments in a concert, but the drama and excitement it provides creates one of my favorite moments in live music.

In a darkened venue we began to hear a familiar tune. It was Tommy Tune’s 80s gem “867-5309/’ Jenny” playing through the speakers as the band started to walk on stage.  I looked to a photographer next to me and we both smiled and stated how perfect that was. Jenny later in the show joked about it suggesting it was silly. But I thought it was pretty clever.

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Colin Hay May 15, 2019 The Commonwealth Room

By: Kevin Rolfe

Photo By: Kevin Rolfe

When people think of Colin Hay, I’d imagine the first thing they think of is his band Men at Work. Understandably so.  While Men at Work only released three albums and the original lineup was only together for seven years, the band left a lasting mark on the music world, particularly in the 80’s music scene.  And who can think of Australia without their mega-hit, “Down Under” popping in their head? That being said, I have always been told just how great Hay’s solo work is, and that if he comes through town I should absolutely see him.  So I did just that. I was fortunate to finally see Colin Hay on May 15, 2019, at The Commonwealth Room in Salt Lake City.

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Kilby Court 20th Anniversary Block Party May 11, 2019

Photo By: Kevin Rolfe

It’s hard to believe, but Salt Lake City’s most iconic all-ages concert venue turns twenty.  To celebrate, local concert presenters Sartain and Saunders closed off 700 South, (the street that Kilby Court is connected to) and threw a block party.  S & S threw a wide net and brought in artists who have graced the Kilby Court stage over the past two decades. Bands like Ritt Momney and The Backseat Lovers who are up and comers in Utah and are on their way to larger success.  Then there’s a band like Picture This, who played Kilby Court for the first time at this event. They’re a band from Ireland who have sold out stadiums and arenas in their native country. But it seems it like it’s necessary for any band that wants to get noticed in Utah, they must play Kilby Court.   An artist like singer-songwriter Joshua James who has made his mark in Utah and been able to branch out to surrounding states with great success. Then there’s the band The National Parks. These guys have just exploded here in Utah and their success just keeps growing and growing. That brings us to the headliners of this festival, Death Cab for Cutie.  A band that played Kilby Court way back in 1999. And it goes without saying that they’ve had remarkable success for the past twenty years.

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Walk Off the Earth May 14, 2019, The Depot

By: Cassilyn Anderson

Photo By: Cassilyn Anderson

Walk Off the Earth kicked off the U.S. leg of their world tour on Tuesday night and Salt Lake City was lucky enough to host it. The Depot was filled from the barriers all the way to the back of the venue with people of all ages anxiously waiting for Walk off the Earth to come out. Their set began with a video of them accidentally being in Tampa instead of Salt Lake City and the race to get there on time. After the video ended, the room went dark and everyone screamed with excitement.

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Picture This May 11, 2019, Kilby Court

By: Kevin Rolfe

When I first saw that Picture This would be playing Kilby Court on May 11 I thought ‘Great.  I’m not familiar with these guys so Kilby Court will be perfect for them.’. Then I rechecked the date and realized that May 11 would be the Kilby Court 20th Anniversary Block Party.  Death Cab For Cutie, who had played the all-ages venue way back in 1999 would be headlining the festival along with many bands who started in Utah and have since gained national attention. When I learned this I thought, what a perfect situation for Picture This to get some great attention here in Utah.

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UCR Interview/ Review Carlie Hanson

May 4, 2019 The Depot

By: Kevin Rolfe

Carlie Hanson is a singer-songwriter from La Crosse Wisconson.  She is getting ready to release her first EP Junk on June 7th. Her current single “Back in my Arms” was just released in April and is getting a ton of play.  I had the opportunity to speak with Carlie the day before her show at The Depot. I really enjoyed chatting with her. Enjoy!

Photo By: Cassie Anderson

Utah Concert Review:   Hi Carlie how are you? Where are you currently?

Carlie Hanson:  Hii, Kevin! I’m good, very good. I’m in Denver right now where we’re doing a show tonight.

UCR: Well, we’re excited to have you here in Utah.

CH: We played Salt Lake City one other time and it was one of my most memorable/ favorite concerts ever. Like the crowd was just unreal. Everyone was so hype. We played in like this little garage. I think it was called Kilby Court.  

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Sabroso Taco Festival April 27, 2019 Utah State Fairpark

By Kasey Capanna

This was the first Sabroso Festival in Utah.  The show is usually based in California so I was excited to see that they were touring the Fest and bringing it to Utah.  I’d say it was a huge success. There were a lot of people at the fairgrounds. The food and drink lines were never short. I was hoping to get a taste of the tacos, but I really didn’t want to miss any of the bands or the lucha libre wrestling.  So I stayed away from the lines. The food must have been really good because one taco cart actually ran out of meat! The crowd seemed to really enjoy the festival. Here’s hoping that Sabroso Festival in Utah is a continuing tradition. Here are some photos of the bands and the festival with a brief rundown on everything that went on.  

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Flora Cash April 23, 2019, The Depot

By: Kevin Rolfe

Photo By: Kevin Rolfe

When I got the invite to review Flora Cash I did a little research about the band to get myself familiar with them leading up to the show.  I became fascinated with their history and origin. Female vocalist Shpresa Lleshaj hails from Sweden. Male vocalist and guitarist Cole Randall is from Minnesota.  Shpresa discovered some of Cole’s tracks on SoundCloud. She began commenting on the tracks and they started sharing their music back and forth. They then started conversing over Facebook Messenger, then they’d talk on the phone, which was followed by lengthy Skype collaborations.  They finally met in Minneapolis. They than headed to Sweden to begin their career as a band. This ultimately led to their marriage and the band Flora Cash was born. Flora Cash is currently supporting lovelytheband on their current Finding it Hard to Smile U.S. tour.  The tour stopped at the Depot in downtown Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 23.     

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The Faim April 16, 2019, The Depot

By: Kevin Rolfe

Photo By: Kevin Rolfe

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.

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Conan Gray April 13, 2018, Kilby Court

By: Kevin Rolfe

Photo By: Kevin Rolfe

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.  

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