Nickelback• Brantley Gilbert• Josh Ross• July 6, 2023• USANA Amphitheatre
Reviewed and Photographed by Josilyn Wakkuri Lybbert
USANA Amphitheatre was the fullest I’ve ever seen it on Thursday, July 6, 2023! Nickelback, Brantley Gilbert, and Josh Ross drew in the masses for the Get Rollin’ Tour! I noticed how diverse the crowd was as they filed in. From quite young to old, some dressed in Western wear, others dressed in all black, the multitude and variety of people made me think that this was a show not to miss!
An Evening With CAKE•June 25, 2023• Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
Reviewed and Photographed by Kevin Rolfe
Red Butte Garden is such a significant part of the summer concert experience here in Utah. With the green grass covered with lawn chairs and picnic baskets, to the beautifully curated gardens surrounding the venue, this has always been one of the essential places to be for hot summer nights in Utah. While there had already been a couple of concerts at Red Butte, this felt like the first official summer concert. It has to have been one of the hottest days so far. The heat didn’t keep anyone away as the garden amphitheater was packed for one of many of this season’s sold-out shows. On this night, the evening of June 25, 2023, Alternative Rock Band, CAKE was the headlining band.
I had no idea what to expect when I was headed to Metro Music Hall to cover the band Chiiild. For one, I had never been to the venue and for two, I had never heard Chiiild’s music before, so it was bound to be a night of surprises! Once I got in I was astounded by how cool and hip the venue was. It was a bar, so 21 and over only, and it had some really cool vibes going on! In the back was a merch booth set up for the bands, along one side was a huge bar area with bottles and bottles along the wall and along the other side was a good amount of nice, private booths that were elevated off the ground. Towards the front of the room was a large stage. I was very taken aback by the venue. I thought it was really cool.
Southern Gothic is one of my favorite literary genres. I’d argue that certain musicians fit into this genre as well, Shakey Graves among them. Never mind his playfully macabre alias, the themes of his songs touch on death and decay, murder, alcoholism, drug abuse, execution by electric chair, and the way ex-lovers haunt one another. All this, though, is presented with good humor and a (wholesomely) wicked Texas grin, side-by-side with themes of shirking the predictable life and embracing the shiftless, devil-may-care habits of a tramp. Shakey’s musical style is tricky to pin down. Clearly influenced by bluegrass, hobo folk, blues, rock, and country, it might be safest to simply say, “Americana.”
Wow, Courtney Barnett can put on a show! Last Thursday’s Twilight Series was quite the concert, with a great lineup and a large turnout. Things kicked off with Salt Lake City’s very own Choir Boy. How I have never heard of them before surprised me, because they seem to have a very large following here in Utah. Their music and performance gave me some serious 80’s electronic, synth vibes and I absolutely loved it! It was fun to watch them on stage, dance along to their music and really get in the groove of things. They’re super stylish too. I was very impressed with them and added a new band to check out on my list!
Back in 2010 Corey Fox, owner of Velour Live Music Gallery and singer-songwriter, Joshua James put together the first Fork Fest. It’s an event that is still talked about to this day. Now in 2019, the Harrington Center for the Arts got involved and brought back this amazing festival that spotlights the best local talent in Utah.
This event could easily, and perhaps should be called Velour Fest because these bands have all graced the stage at one point or another of the iconic Utah County venue and champion for musicians in the area. There were 28 bands on the lineup, each of them at varying stages of their musical career. I’ve seen local music all over this great nation of ours. I’m continually in awe of the talent pool here in Utah. If you heard that any one of these bands were signed (whatever that means nowadays) and were heading on a nationwide headlining tour you wouldn’t be surprised. There is not only an embarrassment of riches when it comes to music talent here in Utah, but there is real professionalism in their approach to their music. Many of them started at an open mic night or a battle of the bands. But when they stepped on to one of the three Fork Fest stages they looked like seasoned veterans.
Exactly one year to the date of their last visit to Utah, KOLARS made their triumphant return to Salt Lake City. The band performs yearly at the Treefort Festival in Boise, Idaho, so it makes perfect sense to stop and do a show here in town on their trek up north. Last year they played Kilby Court on a rainy Thursday night. Both Lauren and Rob remembered our interview in their dressing room before the show as the rain pounded the roof of the tiny room. This year KOLARS set up shop in The Urban Lounge.