By: Alex Wardell
Ah, Kilby Court. It had been quite some time since I last recalled the smell of campfire mixed with Aqua Net and sweat. Of course, my senses were going through some kind of psychosomatic, nostalgia fueled train ride as I ducked beneath the barn red arch. When thinking back on the space itself, which is really a woodshed converted to a garage, to an art studio, to an all age’s concert venue; a warm feeling approached my heart, like an old friend. A friend I would not invite to stay the weekend, yet nights together created memories that shaped a lot of the good parts of who I am. There is not a more cramped, acoustically challenged, charming, awkward; intimate, unique or inclusive venue in the 801. There is no other place for any performer to cultivate a base of die-hard fans. Not a single city in the world turns out harder for their favorite bands than Salt Lake.
This tour is comprised of a trio of highly developed psychedelic rock bands. Carriers were first up and I really had no idea what to expect. I was starting to get nervous as the venue began to fill with teenagers, though I am glad in my heart to know that a generational obsession with out of control rappers and rockers alike seems to be dying out. The crowd, if I should call it that, was of a generation I have not yet encountered. Smooth and melodic are the words I would use to describe the group. Transitioning a classic rock style progression with a funky distorted sound easily bringing me to try and sing along, even though I knew none of the lyrics. For groups like the three playing, lack of familiarity is no reason to not have a good time.
The entire night was an actual trip. Featuring the intricate sounds of Sun Seeker; Alex Benick beckoning the audience in an emotional shopping cart ride of cosmic dissonance. Their harmonies were absolutely perfect; I was already trying to hum along. Rodrigo was a wizard with the keys; not regarded lightly as well as Asher with the bass, taking control of the stage and the melodies, laying the track on which this tie dye train was rolling.
Duncan Fellows set up quickly before I heard a soundcheck actually. Most of what I will tell you goes like this: This group was on fire. A crowd of no more than thirty people, enthusiastic ones at that, yet Jack Malonis was laughing and jabbing the rest of the group, Tim and Davis giving it right back; hilarity. I have a feeling these gentlemen will be coming around into everyone’s playlists in the near future if that goal is what they want. Because I was a whole three feet away from the stage I was fortunate enough to talk with a lot of the members of Duncan Fellows. I could not leave that show without finding out how Colin and Mr. Trevino created that insanely intoxicating sound; insanely original riffs toned with wah and reverb, contrasted by a tapping and harmonious keyboard.
Near the end of their trippy set and rocking set, Colin took a little bit of time to thank everyone for coming out and laughed about the affable insanity which develops within oneself. The mulling sleep deprivation must be working for them because they sounded amazing. My favorite moment of the night was when Colin was amiably laughing along, helping us fight the cold of creeping in through the thin walls of Kilby, then looks at his bandmates, “this song is about breakfast;’ the small supercluster of indie pop fans were on their toes, myself following suit. My goodness, I have not skipped my foot with a pointed and sliding toe for a long time.
Somehow Duncan Fellows have captured and harnessed the themes and joyful instrumentation from the early 2000s in an enthusiastic attitude that captures a youth within yourself; involuntary dancing will ensue, do not be alarmed, just kick your feet and let the vibe carry you.