Nostalgia can be a beautiful thing. And Sandy Amphitheater was full of it on August 15. The amphitheater was full of people thinking back to their youth and to the songs that made up the soundtrack of their lives back then. Many of those songs were on display during the Lost 80’s Live Tour. With a lineup including A Flock of Seagulls, Wang Chung, The Vapors, Boys Don’t Cry, The Escape Club, Real Life, and Farrington & Mann(Original Members of When in Rome UK) you get the most bang for your buck. Several bands performing some of the ’80s most iconic songs in one show. When I was stationed by the soundboard to take pictures a man stopped to chat with me. I asked him what he thought of shows like this. He thought it was great. He stated that he could see all these bands at once whereas he might not be able to see all of them if they toured individually. We also discussed that this gave these bands the opportunity to play to a larger audience then they might if they toured on their own. He shared that he had seen A Flock of Seagulls way back in the early 80s and was excited to see them again. He also stated that he had never seen When in Rome when they were first on the scene so he was excited to finally hear “The Promise” live by original vocalists Farrington & Mann.
Southern Gothic is one of my favorite literary genres. I’d argue that certain musicians fit into this genre as well, Shakey Graves among them. Never mind his playfully macabre alias, the themes of his songs touch on death and decay, murder, alcoholism, drug abuse, execution by electric chair, and the way ex-lovers haunt one another. All this, though, is presented with good humor and a (wholesomely) wicked Texas grin, side-by-side with themes of shirking the predictable life and embracing the shiftless, devil-may-care habits of a tramp. Shakey’s musical style is tricky to pin down. Clearly influenced by bluegrass, hobo folk, blues, rock, and country, it might be safest to simply say, “Americana.”
Wow, Courtney Barnett can put on a show! Last Thursday’s Twilight Series was quite the concert, with a great lineup and a large turnout. Things kicked off with Salt Lake City’s very own Choir Boy. How I have never heard of them before surprised me, because they seem to have a very large following here in Utah. Their music and performance gave me some serious 80’s electronic, synth vibes and I absolutely loved it! It was fun to watch them on stage, dance along to their music and really get in the groove of things. They’re super stylish too. I was very impressed with them and added a new band to check out on my list!
The future is now. Last night I attended a concert that I think could very well start many trends in the electronic/EDM world. Musician, DJ, and music producer Flying Lotus made a stop at the Union Event Center as part of his massive world tour. Bringing elements that I had never seen in a concert before. I wasn’t extremely familiar with his music but knew the second they handed me the 3D goggles when I walked into the venue, that I was in for a treat.
It’s impossible to hold your head steady when Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue are playing. After Jessy Wilson warmed up the crowd, Troy Andrews and his band took the stage by storm with two full drum sets, three guitars (one bass), two saxophones (tenor and baritone), two backup singers, and Troy himself alternating between the trombone, trumpet, and vocals—nothing short of epic.
O.A.R. is still killing it like it’s 1996. That’s when the rock band originally formed but you wouldn’t be able to tell, because the band is still so alive and filled with so much energy. You can see how happy they are to play, almost as if it’s their first big show, which is definitely not the case. Last Friday, Red Butte Garden was packed with fans of all ages, eager to enjoy a nice night and a good show. It definitely was a great show!
The beauty of live music is the simple fact that no live show is exactly the same. And Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real was a testament to that! Never has the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater felt more outdoors than it did on the night of August 8, 2019. Not only were we treated to one of the best shows so far in the Deer Valley Concert Series, but on this night, ‘Ol Mother Nature didn’t want to be left out of the action.
The evening began as any other might at a Deer Valley concert. Many fans showed up early, lawn chairs in one hand, picnic baskets in the other ready to wine and dine with their friends on the hill before an incredible night of music. This is one of my favorite aspects of the Deer Valley Concert series. We get to escape the warmer temperatures of the Salt Lake Valley and enjoy a cool pleasant evening with the food, drinks, and pleasant company. The atmosphere is casual in nature and the 360° views are incredible.
As we get older and we grow up, we many times attend concerts of our favorite bands to remember the “Good Ol’ Days”. And many times nostalgia fills us and we go back to that time when we were younger when we saw a particular band for the first time. There are times when we’ll go to a show for that nostalgia trip and unfortunately a band has passed their peak and we’re sadly reminded that we’re all older and that the band we’re seeing probably needs to call it a day. Then there’s The Alarm. Sometimes I wonder what it was like seeing The Alarm back in the 80s or 90s. (My first time seeing them was last year.) Could it have possibly been better than what I saw on August 8, 2019, at The Complex? There’s just no way. I think through the circumstances of Mike Peter’s life he has breathed new life in The Alarm, especially in their live shows.
I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else last Wednesday night, in Salt Lake City other than at the Summer Salt concert. The combination of good vibes, great music, and a night filled with excellent performances, I mean, what else could you want from a summer concert? Not only was Summer Salt amazing live, but their two opening bands, Dante Elephante, and Motel Radio pumped up the crowd and the energy never died down.
Dante Elephante opened up with some awesome tunes that started to get everyone in the mood, heads bobbing, feet tapping, and warmed the crowd up for what would be a killer night. Their lead singer brought everything he had to the stage, singing his heart out as he stood barefoot on stage, playing his guitar. There was so much passion in their performance and it was so much fun! Towards the end of the set, he even hopped off stage and went into the crowd, singing into the mic, as fans new and old surrounded him. The first opening band wasn’t even done with their set and everyone was already smiling and vibing.
The Backstreet Boys bought their DNA World Tour to a sold-out Vivint Smart Home Arena on Wednesday, August 7. Twenty six years after starting as a group they’re still selling out venues. You’ve got to admit, that’s pretty impressive. Now I don’t know if I’m the best person to be writing a review about a Backstreet Boys concert or not. First of all, I’m a guy. And judging by the ratio of guys to girls inside Vivint Arena, this review might be best written by a woman. I also can’t say I have ever owned a Backstreet Boys album or would call myself a regular listener to their music. But if you were in your teens or twenties in the nineties or early two thousands, which I was, the Backstreet Boys were unavoidable. My friends and I talk about how lame they were while secretly and sometimes no so secretly singing along to “Larger Than Life”. How many of you know the words to “I Want it That Way:? All of you? It’s impossible to not know the words to that song! They were huge, and their fans still love them. So while I may not be the best person to be writing this review I was the one covering this show. I was there on August 7 and I have to say I was amazed at what I saw.