After local acts 90s Television, Major Tom & The Moonboys, and Static Replica covered a range of punk rock discography (The Strokes, Ramones, and Misfits, respectively), Starcrawler took the stage at Urban Lounge to wild applause. “Punk,” “rock,” and “Halloween” are just a few words that can be associated with the Los Angeles-based group, whose frontperson Arrow de Wilde has been known to perform in straight jackets and leave stages covered in fake blood.
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.
Have you ever seen Bastille live before? I’ve seen them one other time when they played at the UCCU Center on the campus of Utah Valley University. After that Utah County concert, I knew Bastille was a band I would always enjoy seeing live when they came to Utah. The combination of hearing their melodic indie pop style live and the energy of the band make the Bastille live show one to never miss.
Sleater-Kinney hasn’t lost their fire. The show opened with the dramatic, almost industrial “The Center Won’t Hold” with fast-flashing, panicky lights. The band insisted that the show be open to all ages which meant special restrictions on alcohol (they’re cognizant of the influence their music had on a generation of adolescents and mean for that to continue).
When I found out that Vampire Weekend was playing The Complex, I envisioned them playing in the biggest of the two rooms, The Rockwell. But it wasn’t until I arrived at the venue that I realized this show wouldn’t be taking place in either of them. I walked up to where security usually checks bags and scans their metal detectors and found that there was actually a tent in front of that gate for Will Call and that the security checkpoint was now where you enter the show. The big lot that will usually house the tour buses was now the venue where Vampire Weekend would be performing. I have to admit I was a little confused. A stage had been constructed for this show and instead of a typical concert at The Complex, we were treated to one of the last albeit unexpected outdoor concerts of the year.
Kishi Bashi’s new album, Omoiyari (which roughly translates as “empathy” or “having compassion”), is a concept album that draws inspiration from the lives and experiences of those Japanese Americans sent to internment camps in the xenophobic hysteria that swept the nation after the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. Kaoru Ishibashi traveled to the internment camps—Manzanar, Tule Lake, Heart Mountain, Jerome, Rohwer—to get a sense of the place and ordeals through physical surroundings and photographs. He reached into that history, those stories, and found a sort of aching beauty in all that sadness and injustice, as expressed by the resilience of those people whose lives were wrongfully upended. Early 2020 will see the release of a documentary about the making of Omoiyari.
Exactly ten years and one day after the release of their first album, Band Of Skulls returned to Salt Lake City to play Urban Lounge on a rainy Saturday night. Psychedelia took over the house music before the band took the stage with 1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever” cinematically blasting through the speakers. In Sean Connery’s stead appeared bassist Emma Richardson, guitarist Russel Marsden, anddrummer Julian Dorio. Dorio promptly applied the Bond vibes with a shimmer of cymbals to “Love Is All You Love,” from the group’s newest release. Church-bell chimes highlighted Richardson’s vocals as Marsden smoothly navigated the majority of the lyrics and teased the audience with a loud guitar skill that hinted the psychedelic energy was going to be converted to that of some good old rock and roll.
“We have a security question…we’re asking if everyone can take one step back.” Such was the plight of Surf Curse, whose gravitational pull was just too strong for their own good during the Salt Lake City stop of their Heaven Surrounds You tour. The room was packed enough that only when the audience detached themselves from the front of the stage did one suddenly notice the air start to recirculate, which probably only fed the unceasing cycle of near-moshing, crowd-surfing, and lyric-shouting that accompanied their set.