Michigander•Abby Holiday• April 7, 2023• Kilby Court
Reviewed and Photographed by Alisha Gregson
I am always impressed by how exciting the concerts at Kilby Court are. While it is one of Utah’s smallest music venues, I have noticed there’s something special about the fans who gather there. Kilby draws a crowd of some of the area’s biggest music fanatics, and the energy they bring cannot be beaten. It’s even better when it’s a sold show. Like the one I had the opportunity to attend on Friday, April 7th.
Indie sing-songwriter Jason Singer, who goes by the moniker of Michigander, remembered just how much energy fans brought to his last show at Kilby Court a couple of years ago. He told the crowd it had been the most exciting show of that tour. He expected Friday night’s concert to be the best night of his current tour.
Joining him was Nashville-based singer-songwriter Abby Holliday, who impressed the crowd with her powerful vocals. Blue Rain Boots, a local band who also opened for Michigander at his last Kilby Court visit, returned to open for him once again. Unfortunately, I arrived just as Blue Rain Boots finished their last song. As I overheard people in the crowd rave about how amazing they were, I felt disappointed that I had missed out.
It didn’t take Abby Holliday long to win over the crowd at Kilby Court. Her songs were raw and emotional, and her voice was captivating. Her set had a moody vibe, and her songs were energetic and filled with synth. Some of her songs even included occasional auto-tuning. Her set wasn’t very long, and I am sure the audience would have been happy to hear more, but she did an excellent job getting everyone excited for the headliner.
Michigander and his bandmates, Aaron Senor (drums), Jake LeMond (guitar), and Connor Robertson (Bass) confidently took their places on the stage in front of their eager audience. The crowd filled the room, with fans spilling out of the doors. Others remained outside, watching through a large window. Michigander started his set strong with “Stay Out of It,” an upbeat and catchy single from his latest EP. The indie pop-rock song hooked the crowd from the first note, setting the tone for the rest of the evening.
Between each song, Michigander interacted with the crowd, answering questions and carrying on casual conversation. As they worked their way through their 13-song set list, I loved seeing how many fans were singing along with every word. “Reds,” a song from their 2019 EP Where Do We Go From Here brought some 80’s vibes with the perfect amount of synth to keep the fans swaying along.
Michigander told the crowd that although it was Friday, the band would still be playing “Saturday,” from their latest EP Everything Will Be Ok Eventually EP. This slower song reminded me of one of my favorite bands, The Lumineers. It was a beautiful song that showed off his incredible vocals. I loved the next song “The Other Way,” just as much, and was again reminded of another of my favorite bands. This one had some Weezer vibes and was probably my favorite of the set.
The band members walked off stage leaving Michigander standing alone with an acoustic guitar to sing “Cannonball.” His solo performance was flawless and he followed it up by expressing his gratitude to the audience. His words were genuine and heartfelt, and his strong connection with his fans was undeniable. He announced his next song would be “Nineties,” the first song he ever released. Although I would bet the majority of the members in the audience weren’t lucky enough to experience the actual nineties, they seemed to love the song just as much as I did.
With the other band members back on stage, they played a few more songs before finishing the night with “Superglue,” another song from his latest EP. Last September while filming a music video for “Superglue,” Michigander slipped and fell, breaking his leg in three places. His injury forced him to postpone his tour, but it seems as though he’s made an excellent recovery.
Michigander put on an excellent show that left everyone impressed. At the end of the night, he received energetic applause from the crowd as well as a flower bouquet from a fan near the front. I loved every minute of the concert, and I look forward to the next time Michigander returns to Utah.