Rise Against + The Used

Rise Against & The Used w/ Senses Fail July 26, 2022 The Lot at The Complex

Reviewed and Photographed by Jacob Moniz

Despite the heat, fans lined the street outside The Complex just in time for Senses Fail to open for The Used and Rise Against this past Tuesday. Going into this concert I was pretty excited because I haven’t seen a concert set up on the outside stage at The Complex yet. So I was intrigued to see the stage setup. To my surprise, fans filled the outside lot all the way to the entry gate. 

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Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked Ladies w/ Gin Blossoms & Toad the Wet Sprocket• June 20, 2022• Red Butte Garden Amphitheater

Reviewed and Photographed by Kevin Rolfe

I don’t know if Red Butte Garden will ever get more 90s than it did on June 20th.  Barenaked Ladies brought their Last Summer on Earth Tour to the Amphitheater but they didn’t come alone.  BNL was joined by 90s contemporaries, Gin Blossoms and Toad the Wet Sprocket.  It was a lineup of hitmakers from top to bottom.  I arrived as Toad the Wet Sprocket took the stage.  The venue was already full.  It was obvious that Red Butte patrons were excited about this whole show.  

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Tenacious D

Tenacious D w/ Puddles Pitty Party• June 17, 2022• Sandy Amphitheater

Reviewed by Kevin Rolfe

Photographed by Alisha Gregson

It was one of the more wild nights I’ve seen at Sandy Amphitheater. The mighty Tenacious D made a tour stop in the typically mild-mannered Salt Lake suburb. The powerhouse fusion of Jack Black and Kyle Gass was almost more than Sandy Amp could handle.  I don’t know how often the “D” goes on tour. I don’t know that they come to Utah too often.  The vibe inside Sandy Amp was that of great anticipation. It was a different kind of excitement. There was this feeling like “this Is going to be awesome.” But also, “I wonder just how amazingly weird it’s going to get tonight.” And it got pretty weird.  But the perfect amount.  Tenacious D mixed a cocktail of weird, hilarious, blue, and rock on that stage.  This show may have been funny. But Tenacious D came to rock. And so did theIr fans. 

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311

311 w/ Teenage Wrist• June 2, 2022• Sandy Amphitheater

Reviewed by Brittany DeMott
Photographed by Kevin Rolfe

It’s the summer and this is the summer of love and unity. 311 is on the last leg of their Spring 2022 tour and made a stop in Sandy Utah at Sandy Amphitheater. Now, this is a new location for 311 from what we are used to. They usually perform at USANA Amphitheater. I’ve been to many 311 concerts in the past and know they have an amazing turnout at each show. I couldn’t imagine seeing a smaller venue holding all these people. However, this venue being smaller made for a more intimate night. You could tell that the attendees at this show were definitely at the level of “An Excitable One”. The name 311 gave the fan base that’s been there since the beginning. The excitable ones helped get their music outside of Omaha, Nebraska – a grassroots movement- and even named their next albumGrassroots.

As I got into the venue I looked to the left and saw the merch table with a line that was probably about 311 miles long, not really, but it was long. 311 has tour shirts that look like sports jerseys and say the name of your city and state and the date that they performed. It was cool to see the multiple years worn by all different types of people. 

Teenage Wrist

Photo Credit: Brittany DeMott

Teenage Wrist, a band that brought me back to my youth. Their name is inspired by the song “Teenage Wristband” by The Twilight Singers – formed by Greg Dulli. When I heard them perform, it reminded me of the music I would load onto my pink iPod mini in high school and blast at full volume (not realizing the hearing loss I’d start experiencing as I got older). Teenage Wrist came out to perform and the crowd was there for it. They seemed to have taken kindly to this band, as did I, and really got into it. I’d imagine if they weren’t fans before, they are now. I immediately looked them up on Spotify and pulled the lyrics up and it is Brittany approved. Check them out! 

311

Without delay, 311 came out on stage and started off with “Come Original”. I think there is no better song to open with this song as it gets you hyped up immediately. When this song started you had people rushing back in to not miss the show. Fans were dancing and singing as they come into the crowd. Strangers technically, but family here. What really stood out the most in the crowd was the amount of smiles that I could see. I don’t know what it is about younger fans but they always make me want to cry because they are so unbelievably stoked to be at this concert. Shout out to all the cool parents who take their children to shows. Because there’s nothing better than going to school the next day and showing off your new shirt and bragging that you got to go to a concert.  

Photo Credit: Kevin Rolfe

I was sitting about 6 rows back from the stage but it felt like I was in the front because of the size of the venue. The stage is only about three and a half feet tall so it really feels like they’re on the same level as you and there aren’t huge gaps between the seats on the stage. “3. 11. 3 3 11.” chants would come from the crowd, a common occurrence at a 311 show. During their songs, I noticed the lighting design on stage. Lighting is such an important part of how we feel and so it is necessary that the lights fit the vibe of the song. It’s incredible what a few lights can do to a show. My favorite lights were the purple ones as they were incredibly vibrant and fit perfectly with the feeling of the evening.

The sound at Sandy Amphitheater is probably one of the best in the valley. The sound techs that work with the tour did a fantastic job making sure the sound was clear and loud enough to feel. I always rate the sound based on how much bass I can feel throughout my body. I give this one a solid 10/10. Not overpowering so it wouldn’t ruin the music, but not weak, either. I could understand the words and had my earplugs in. Sidebar: please wear your earplugs! I never did and now my television has to be up full blast. My parents call me “grandpa” and I use subtitles for everything.  Anyway, I digress.

As I watched the show, I noticed how 311 interacts with the crew. You can tell this is more than a work relationship. You can see that this crew and 311 are actually an entire family. I have recognized a few of the crew members that have been with them for years and you just don’t see retention like that these days. An extremely special “Thank you” goes to the entire tour crew. Without you all, this show wouldn’t be half of what you have made it into. We appreciate the band but we also appreciate the crew who brings the band to us! Thank you on behalf of the fans! 

The stage sits on a hill and is south-facing. This means the performers are not blinded by the sunset, yet we get to enjoy a sunset and a show. A 2 for 1! And what better song to play at sunset than their cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong”. Throughout the show we got to witness guitar solos by Nick Hexum and Tim Mahoney, P-Nut’s bass solo, and the incredible and notable drum solo by Chad Sexton. We know when we get the drum solo that this will lead to an all-band drum sesh, known as “Applied Science”. Each time I see this set I’ve noticed they incorporate more instruments and visuals to it.

 I overheard someone saying “That means they have 3 songs left!” That someone was right on, they must come here often. They ended the show with “Creatures (For A While)” and said their goodbyes to the fans. If you’re new here, they aren’t done. They’ll be back in just a moment so don’t leave! The band returned to the stage and the screams intensifed. They play the last two songs, “Omaha Stylee” and the hit “Down”. “Down” was their first #1 single to hit the Billboard Alternative Song Chart and is dedicated specifically to those old-school fans, The Excitable Ones. Everyone gave it all that they had to rock out to this. There was headbanging, dancing, jumping, the whole enchilada. This ending was the perfect beginning to a “Never Ending Summer”. Thank you, 311!

Photo Credit: Kevin Rolfe

Rex Orange County

Rex Orange Country• June 11, 2022• The Great Saltair

Midway through his Who Cares? Tour, British star Rex Orange County stopped in Utah, this time in Magna at The Great Saltair. Although he has visited Salt Lake in previous years, the turnout for this concert was more than he could have imagined. This was also my first time being to a show with no opening artist. Rex decided to come on the tour solo. Capitalizing on his popularity was not a bad idea in my opinion. 

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Dean Lewis

Dean Lewis w/ Forest Blakk May 31, 2022 The Depot

Reviewed and Photographed by Alisha Gregson

It didn’t take long for Australian pop musician Dean Lewis to sell out every ticket for his Salt Lake City stop on his Sad Boi Tour. When I arrived at The Depot on May 30th, I was not at all surprised to see a line trailing down the street and around the corner. His fan base consisted of mostly young girls in their teens and twenties. They were excited for the chance to watch him perform.

I walked into the venue and made my way to the photo pit. Once I got in the pit I had the opportunity to talk to a few of the fans in the front row. I noticed most of the fans in the front were all holding identical Dean Lewis totes bags. They told me they had purchased VIP tickets. Those totes were just one of the many perks that came with them. Inside the bags, the fans received a poster, a guitar pick, and a couple of other items.

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Freddie Gibbs

Freddie Gibbs w/ Redveil & MIKE• April 27, 2022• The Complex

Reviewed and Photographed by Tomo Crestani

With an exciting new album in the works, legendary rapper Freddie Gibbs visited The Complex in Salt Lake City. Having sold out weeks before the show, there were many people outside the box office who had been scammed with fake tickets. The venue handled it very well in helping those fans find a way to attend the show or get their money back. That was basically the only negative thing I saw happen at the show. (Which is obviously not the artist’s or venue’s fault.)  Although not featured in the previous 2 shows, Freddie brought along a second opener for this show. The two openers featured in Salt Lake were Redveil and MIKE. Having had the opportunity to listen to all three artists before the show, I was excited to see how they performed each song. 

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The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips w/ The Particle Kid• April 26, 2022• The Union

Reviewed and Photographed by Alisha Gregson

Photo Credit: Alisha Gregson

On Tuesday, April 26th, Psychedelic Rock band The Flaming Lips brought their colorful show to The Union Event Center in Salt Lake City. I was familiar with a couple of their songs. In preparation for the night I checked out a few videos from their past concerts. With the research I did, I knew that this concert would be one of a kind.

I arrived at 7:00 just as the doors were about to open. Outside stood a line of excited fans ready to be entertained. I was however surprised to see that the crowd for the night was much smaller than I expected. The band often plays to a sold-out audience, including their previous sold-out shows at the Ogden Twilight Concert Series. My guess is that many local fans may have actually traveled to Denver to catch their show the night before. Denver is known for having a bigger psychedelic scene. Or possibly fans are expecting them to return to Ogden Twilight, which is unfortunately not the case this year.

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The Warning

The Warning w/ Devora• April 24, 2022• The Complex

Reviewed and Photographed by Vanessa Holt

There is no doubt in my mind that the best way to start a week is with a concert. To top it all off is with a rock concert. That is exactly what I signed myself up for this last Sunday with The Warning headlining at The Complex. I hadn’t heard of either Devora or The Warning previously but I’m never opposed to hearing new artists. Especially if my first time hearing them would be live. 

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Journey w/ TOTO

Journey Freedom Tour w/ TOTO•March 24, 2022•Vivint Arena

Reviewed and Photographed by Kevin Rolfe

Preceding their album of the same name, Journey’s Freedom Tour is underway. It should come as no surprise that Vivint Arena in downtown Salt Lake City was packed for the rock n roll hall of famers. I can’t think of a Journey concert whether it be out at USANA Amphitheatre or here at Vivint Arena that wasn’t overflowing with fans. Journey is one of the most beloved bands in Utah.  People of all ages have taken to their music, and their concerts show it. With every song, I could hear the echo of the crowd’s collective voice singing along.  These guys have been doing it for years.  They’re true professionals.  I can’t imagine playing to an engaged audience like the one on Thursday, March 24 could ever get old.  

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