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.
A great kick-off to the month, Wolf Alice stopped in Salt Lake on the tour of their newest album, Blue Weekend. Before being offered the chance to photograph them a coworker had brought up the band to me in a discussion. I had never heard of Wolf Alice before but during this discussion, there was nothing but good things spoken about the band. After hearing all that I was excited to hear them live. A couple of hours before doors opened, I was streaming their top few songs to get an idea of the type of sound and vibe that was going to be heard from the night. I was immediately intrigued by the alternative rock sound of it all. I was curious how they were going to be live.
The Ogden Twilight Concert Series has been a huge hit for the Northern Utah music scene this summer. Surprisingly this was my first time attending a show in Ogden and I was excited. I had seen quite a few photos and videos of the previous shows at this venue. The energy of the place was beautiful and it sat right in the heart of Ogden’s downtown area.
It was a sold out show and the crowds gathered early to cap off their Saturday night with a bang! Luckily for me, I had my girlfriend and a couple of my friends who were also at this concert. It was the perfect night for the last few summer nights with friends. The venue had a cozy lounge area for sponsors of the event. It was also awesome to see the food trucks placed right inside the venue. It made grabbing a bite really convenient for the fans.
I arrived just right on time to catch RnB artist/singer/songwriter Ant Clemons. This man might be unknown to the casual concertgoers at this venue, but I was extremely excited to see Ant perform live. I grew up in the early 2000s RnB era and Ant Clemons brings that energy and soulful music into today’s current music. Ant is famously known for becoming a guest artist in Kanye West’s 2018 single “All Me.” From that point on, Clemons has been all over the music industry and has worked with Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Snoh Aalegra, Sunday Service Choir and the list goes on. He has solidified his name in the music industry and forever will be a part of many top charting albums.
Ant Clemons opened up his set with dance moves that reminded you of the early days of Usher. The younger crowd couldn’t help but get as close as they could to the barricade. Ant performed with so much charisma and energy. His band was small with a drummer and a guitarist and he mainly sang with his instrumentals. He performed his hit single “Appreciation,” with rapper 2 Chainz and Ty Dolla $ign, which made the crowd groove along with him.
Clemons checked in with the crowd to get a gauge of how they’re feeling and he mentioned how he wanted to do something different. He wanted to make a song in the moment. I was very shocked and curious about how he was gonna execute this. As an artist with his caliber, I knew he had a good plan that still seemed very interactive. He split the crowd in half. One half sang a faster tempo melody and the other half the slower part. When both halves mixed it created this rhythmic melody that lit up Ogden. He sang along with the crowd reaching high falsetto notes.
Clemons proceeded to play all of the top hits he was featured in and dancing to today’s top songs. With songs ranging from SZA, Justin Timberlake, and Kanye West, it was almost shocking to know he was a part of a bunch of songs that we listen to on a daily basis. I personally believe Kanye wouldn’t be the same artist he is now without his features and help from artists like Ant Clemons. Ant finished up his set and you can tell the crowd appreciated and enjoyed his performance. Seeing him definitely made me realize how much work goes behind the scenes in the music industry.
Before the show, I had very little information about Noah Cyrus. The only reason I knew about her is because of my girlfriend that listens to her music. I’m a huge fan of her single with Leon Bridges titled “July”. She resembles the same twang and sound of her sister Miley Cyrus. Her style of music comes with a huge background of Nashville, Tennessee. Lastly, the day before the show, I did my best to listen to her top songs. It was beautiful yet intricate and very descriptive and open about mental health issues. I have shown a lot of appreciation to songwriting in these past couple reviews and I will always show the utmost respect to someone that writes about their life and turns it into art.
When I got the invite to review Flora Cash I did a little research about the band to get myself familiar with them leading up to the show. I became fascinated with their history and origin. Female vocalist Shpresa Lleshaj hails from Sweden. Male vocalist and guitarist Cole Randall is from Minnesota. Shpresa discovered some of Cole’s tracks on SoundCloud. She began commenting on the tracks and they started sharing their music back and forth. They then started conversing over Facebook Messenger, then they’d talk on the phone, which was followed by lengthy Skype collaborations. They finally met in Minneapolis. They than headed to Sweden to begin their career as a band. This ultimately led to their marriage and the band Flora Cash was born. Flora Cash is currently supporting lovelytheband on their current Finding it Hard to Smile U.S. tour. The tour stopped at the Depot in downtown Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 23.
After seeing Noah Kahan play a sold-out show at The State Room back in October I thought I knew what was in store when I heard that he’d be supporting James Bay at The Union on March 23. Back in October, Noah put on an exceptional show. The crowd was into it, and they left more than satisfied with the evening. So I had a feeling there would be more of the same at this show. If anything, I thought perhaps it might be a bit of a letdown because Noah would be opening. I had no idea things would go like this.