On Saturday, an enthusiastic crowd welcomed Amber Bain, better known as The Japanese House, to the Complex in Salt Lake City. Bain’s debut album “Good at Falling” was released in March of 2019, although she released four EPs between 2015-2017. This was her second visit to Salt Lake this year, showcasing the new indie-pop tracks as well as “Something has to Change”, the lead single off her upcoming EP, this time around.
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.
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.
*This review contains mild spoilers. The main reveals in the show won’t be divulged but if you want to go into the production without knowing anything, please read this review once you’ve seen Miss Saigon.*
The New National Tour of Cameron Mackintosh’s revival of Boublil and Schönberg’s (Les Misérables) musical, Miss Saigon made its Utah premiere last night (Oct. 15) at the beautiful Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City. When the Eccles Theater was being discussed and then constructed one of the reasons for building the theater was to be able to house some of the larger scale musicals that the newly renovated Capitol Theater is unable to fit on its 106 year old stage. Miss Saigon is definitely a large scale musical, both with a 42 person cast and a set design that takes every bit of the stage.
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.
Robert Plant. When you just read that name, how many things came to mind? Led Zeppelin, of course. How about, legend, rock star, songwriter, singer, amazing singer, legendary rock star singer of Led Zeppelin?! In just writing his name, so many thoughts instantly come to fly through my brain. You can’t see his name without instantly hearing his voice. Just in the short time you’ve been reading this, how many Zeppelin songs have run through your mind? Now imagine getting to see this man in concert and getting to hear that voice in person. Right? Crazy! Then imagine trying to write down the experience to share with everyone. Not so easy, is it? I gotta be honest with you fine readers, this review was one of the hardest for me to write. Robert Plant is just so massively huge in Rock music lore. How do my words do this show justice? I’m not sure if they will, but you’ll definitely get a sense of just how epic the evening was. It was one I won’t soon forget.
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.