By: Justin Hicken
Bright Night of Easy Rock Jams For A Warm Mellow Crowd: Kurt Vile and The Sadies Bring Warmth to a Chilly Salt Lake City.
Not many bands will choose to play Utah in the dead of winter. It’s very cold and it gets dark early. Additionally, there is always the risk that weather might delay a band’s arrival and impact current or upcoming shows on their tour. In fact, there have been several bands that have had to cancel or reschedule shows here in Salt Lake City due to poor weather or closed highways. On top of that, the weather could always impact whether or not the fans can or will show up.
Luckily, that wasn’t the case for Kurt Vile and the Violators and their opening act The
Led by brothers Dallas and Robert Good, The Sadies opened up the night with a nice long setof jams with a surf-rock sound. During their last song, Kurt Vile actually joined them on stage for “It’s Easy (Like Walking). Having the headliner come out and play with the opener does not happen often. So it’s pretty exciting when it happens. The audience was pretty happy to witness the event.
After a short break, Vile was back onstage with his Violators to open up their evening set with the title track of their new album “Loading Zones”. There’s usually not a lot of crowd participation or ‘sing along’ with Vile’s music. The vocals are very mellow, and Kurt doesn’t address the audience too often, but the crowd took advantage of their opportunity to yell out in unison along with the band “I park for free!” several times during the opening song.
Throughout the evening, Vile continued to mix in songs off his new record along with old favorites. “There was no format because we like it like that…” A perfect line from a nice, mellow, drawn-out 10-minute live version of “Bassackwards” sun-soaked the crowd 3 songs into the set. His subtle crowd engagement delighted the audience, and the easy going atmosphere was just what everyone needed.
The only interesting notable omission from Vile’s set that night was the biggest single off the new record, a song titled “One-Trick Ponies”. After a warm set filled extended jams and perfectly crafted songs, Vile came back out for an encore and included in it was probably theirbiggest hit “Pretty Pimpin’”. Vile received his largest ovations at this point of the show before and after this song. While this wasn’t necessarily a raucous rock show, the audience was intently engaged and the devotion for Kurt Vile was intense.
The Depot usually is an over 21 venue, but this particular night, Vile and crew decided to open up the show to all ages. There were a few youngsters in the audience who really seemed to enjoy themselves an almost sold-out venue. This show was truly a bright spot on a cold chilly winter Utah evening.
The Sadies Setlist
Leave Me Alone
God Bless the Infidels
Through Strange Eyes
Tell Her What I Said
Uncle Larry’s Breakdown
The Good Years
Ridge Runner Rag
It’s Easy (Like Walking) (With Kurt Vile)