Modest Mouse September 27, 2021, Sandy Amphitheater
By Tiffany Mull
Modest Mouse created the perfect soundtrack for the slow-motion apocalypse we’ve been living for decades. They’ve always been unafraid to explore the darker aspects of life with uncanny lyrics from a deep, artistically informed well. Their catalog is stuffed with lines littered with treats for literary nerds: allusions to Bukowski, Woolf, Fitzgerald, Sandlin, McCarthy, and more I’m sure I haven’t picked up on yet. It’s lit rock at its finest.
The recent cold front brought in so much smoke and bad air from the Oregon and California fires over the weekend. Despite that, things were fairly clear at the Sandy Amphitheater for the great Melissa Etheridge. There was a slight haze covering the mountains, but the air was significantly better than it had been the few days prior. The temperature was perfect. It was totally warm without being too hot.
Depending on which song you’re listening to, you could call it country with a bluesy, folksy twist. You could call it alt-rock with a country cadence. Gothic bluegrass? Americana? It doesn’t matter. Shakey Graves isn’t bound by, or dependent on, genre. Like a true artist, he pulls technique from anywhere that suits him. The result is unique, catchy, and refreshing.
It was a perfect night for a concert and for King & Country did not disappoint. It was another sold-out show at the Sandy Amphitheater. This summer they have had a great run of shows and they’re packing the place.
“How many of you been to a drag show?” There were lots of cheers and clapping. “If you haven’t been to a drag show, I recommend you go. But be sure you tip them. If you don’t tip them, they get really pissed off. You don’t want a drag queen pissed at you, trust me. Thanks Gem is a drag queen from Canada, and she used to be pissed at me. We’re friends now, but she makes me tell everyone that she has a Venmo. See? I’m still scared of her.”
“We’d like to thank the Sandy Amphitheatre for allowing us to help open back up this venue.” voiced Taylor Meier, frontman for the folk-rock group Caamp. “This is really special and we’re so happy to be here.”
Sandy Amphitheater Reopens!
It truly was a perfect summer night for an outdoor show, and thanks to the aggressive efforts of growing-ever-popular bands Caamp and Trampled By Turtles, it happened – A sold-out show at the Sandy Amphitheatre in the middle of July.
It wasn’t really a concert, at least not in the traditional sense. September 19th at the Sandy Amphitheater was more of a musical celebration devoted to Brian Wilson while he primarily sat and soaked in the experience. It certainly wasn’t for everybody. Those who went expecting to experience the Mike Love incarnation of the Beach Boys sporting Bahama shirts while playing their pop classics like, “Be True to Your School” may have left disappointed. Yet from the moment Brian Wilson scuffled onto the stage with the support of his walker and took his seat at the piano where he played a few notes and struggled to sing along to his amazing band, those who went to celebrate the harmonies and instrumental creativity Brian has given the world through his extraordinary gifts were given a special treat, a moment never to be forgotten.
True, the show opened up with a few classics such as, “California Girls,” “I Get Around,” and “Help Me, Rhonda,” but a bulk of the concert was devoted to some of the lesser known songs from the Beach Boys late 60’s material that at the time of their original release failed to gain widespread appreciation by an American audience. The band performed “Darlin’” from the 1967 album Wild Honey before turning to four straight songs from the 1968 album Friends.
Despite Brian’s physical difficulties, performing these live renditions truly showcased his incredible brilliance. Hearing the music live leaves little doubt as to why Wilson is rightfully considered one of the greatest musical geniuses of the modern era.
This was the Brian Wilson “Something Great From 68 Tour,” yet the band treated Sandy to a rare performance of “Salt Lake City,” which was obviously, given the setting, a fun experience. Unfortunately, some of those expecting a Mike Love type Beach Boys concert left early while the band explored the lesser known music primarily from the 1971 album Surf’s Up, including, “Feel Flows,” “Long Promised Road,” “Till I Die,” “Lookin’ at Tomorrow,” and of course, the album’s title track. These songs were clearly not the Beach Boys’ material some came to experience, but for devoted fans, the setlist truly showcased some of Brian’s finest material.