It was a night of musical pioneers at The Union on April 23, 2023. Industrial Metal legends, Ministry returned to Salt Lake City with New Wave Icon, Gary Numan. Upon first hearing of this lineup, some might wonder if the matchup of these two is the right fit. But I can assure anyone curious that this was an excellent fit. Most of the fans walking into The Union Events Center donned all black. But there were some who went all out for the concert. I Saw huge mohawks, platform boots, sequin skirts, you name it. People were ready for this show. I had never seen either artist. Gary Numan was supposed to play in Utah this past winter but I believe his show was canceled due to weather. I was excited to see what was in store for me.
Howard Jones w/ Midge Ure• June 28, 2022• Red Butte Garden
Reviewed and Photographed by Kevin Rolfe
It was a night for 80s icons at Red Butte Garden Amphitheater. Legendary synth-pop star, Howard Jones played to an adoring sold out audience on a beautiful Tuesday evening in Salt Lake City. He was joined by the “Voice of Ultravox”, Midge Ure. An icon in his own right. Howard Jones has such a strong fanbase here in Utah. He’s played here so many times over the years and people come back every time he tours through. I remember one year he was a support act for Barenaked Ladies. He added his own solo date the next day because there was such a clamoring from his fans to see him in more than a shortened set. He’s also played shows up at Park City’s Egyptian Theater with just him and a piano. Those shows always sell out. There is a connection between Jones and Utah that I can’t totally explain. But it’s there and both parties embrace it.
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark• May 16, 2022• The Union
Reviewed and Photographed by Kevin Rolfe
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, or OMD as they’re often called celebrated 40 years as a band with their Souvenirs Greatest Hits Tour. The tour comes a couple years after the actual anniversary, but like so many other tours or anniversary celebrations, the original tour was pushed back due to the worldwide pandemic. It was worth the wait, OMD never disappoints! The Monday night concert felt like a Saturday night. If the Union Events Center wasn’t sold out, it was maybe a couple of tickets away. The venue was filled and fans who have seen OMD over these 40 years were eager for the show to begin.
It’s starting to feel a little different up at Red Butte Garden lately. The temperature is getting a little cooler, and the wind is whipping a little more. Fall is near. What isn’t different is the continued excellence in the quality of the bands and their performances. The 2021 Red Butte Garden Outdoor Concert Series has been fantastic so far and with the shows, they have lined up to finish out the series, it’s only going to get better. The home stretch started on Thursday, September 2 with 80s and New Wave icons, Squeeze. With Colin Hay of Men at Work fame supporting. While these two bands may have made their mark in the great era of 80s music, neither has slowed down by any means.
When I saw that Berlin, OMD, and the B-52’s were going to tour together to celebrate the B-52’s 40th anniversary I was really excited. I also thought this was such a random collection of great bands from the 80s. Being from the same decade is really where their similarities stop. But maybe that was enough because the show at Red Butte Garden Amphitheater totally worked! It was one of my favorite concerts of the whole summer.
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.
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.
If you had told me thirty years ago that I would be covering a New Kids on the Block concert I would never have believed you. For starters, I don’t think thirty years younger me would have known that I’d be covering concerts at all. He also probably thought there was no way he’d ever be caught going to an NKOTB show. What boy in his early teens is going to like a group that is taking all the attention away from him and his other guy friends. Now if you told me thirty years ago that I would be going to a New Kids on the Block concert and liking it, well I would have just called you a liar. But I went to the NKOTB Mixtape Tour at Vivint Arena and left extremely entertained! There is something to be said about putting on a quality show. The New Kids invited some artists from their hay day to join them on the tour. Salt-N-Pepa, Naughty By Nature, Tiffany and Debbie Gibson filled out the Mixtape Tour lineup. The combination of these 80s superstars filled the evening with nostalgia and a really good time.