My niece knows that I review and photograph concerts. For at least two years, probably more, she has been telling me that I need to cover Melanie Martinez when she comes to town. Other times I’d visit her she would ask me if I knew when Melanie was going to play here. I have had my eye out for this tour for some time. I’m sure you could imagine how exciting it was to finally tell my niece that Melanie Martinez would finally be returning to Utah on her Portals Tour. Martinez has not been here since 2019. I would imagine the pandemic had something to do with that. Judging by the size and enthusiasm of the crowd at the Sandy Amphitheater, my niece wasn’t the only one excited about seeing this concert.
Mt. Joy w/ Wilderado• August 16, 2022• Sandy Amphitheater
Reviewed and Photographed by Kevin Rolfe
Sometimes I’ll get excited about a show simply based on what I hear from other people. I heard so many people telling me that they were excited for Mt. Joy at Sandy Amphitheater with Wilderado. This would be the first time I saw Mt. Joy I wasn’t sure what to expect. A number of people who’s opinion I respect told me I would for sure enjoy it. So I showed up with no expectations, only to have a good time. And that I did.
Collective Soul and Switchfoot w/ Jade Jackson• August 15, 2022• Sandy Amphitheater
Reviewed and Photographed by Justin Lagman
There is something special about concerts on a warm beautiful summer night. It was even more special for rock music fans. They got not 1, but 2 well known alt-rock bands that have been at the forefront of rock music for a very long time now. Collective Soul is celebrating their 30th anniversary with an extended tour featuring San Diego-based Grammy winners, Switchfoot. It seems like summer has flown by. We’ re trying to squeeze in all the summer activities before the weather cools down. This is my first time photographing a concert at Sandy Amphitheater. There is always something special about checking off another box on my list of Utah concert venues.
Indie singer-songwriter, Regina Spektor played a two-night residency at the Sandy Amphitheater. I was privileged to attend night two, the Wednesday night sold-out show. Sandy Amphitheater is facing north to south with trees lining up the west side of the venue. This is a perfect setup because, despite the warm summer’s eve (I wrote that for the Kenny Rogers fans), the sun was blocked by the trees, and most of the amphitheater was shaded. I really enjoy walking into a concert venue and seeing the look on people’s faces. It’s the first indicator of whether this will be a good crowd and a good show. Sometimes crowds want to be social, be seen, and strangely enough, can make the music secondary. That was not the case with this crowd.
Fleet Foxes w/ Tim Bernardes• June 27, 2022• Sandy Amphitheater
Reviewed and Photographed by Alisha Gregson
On Monday, June 27th, Fleet Foxes played the 1st show of their 2022 tour at the Sandy Amphitheater. I have been a long-time fan of Fleet Foxes. This was a concert I had been looking forward to for a while. This is the band’s first tour in four years. Many have been eagerly waiting for them to return to the stage. It would also be the first opportunity to watch them perform songs from their 2020 album Shore. The Seattle-based folk band is known for putting on an excellent show. Expectations were high as the crowd gathered to take their seats for the sold out concert.
Third Eye Blind w/ Taking Back Sunday and Hockey Dad• June 25, 2022• Sandy Amphitheater
Reviewed and Photographed by Alisha Gregson
A crowd full of 90’s alternative music lovers all gathered together at the Sandy Amphitheater on Saturday, June 25th. Third Eye Blind has always been known to attract a large crowd. I was not surprised that the show was sold out. Many in attendance were eager to reconnect with one of their favorite bands from their past. They hoped to hear those nostalgic favorites including “How’s It Going To Be,” and “Semi-Charmed Life”. There were also those in the crowd who have never stopped playing their music, or following the band’s journey. There were even some young new fans. Regardless if they came to hear the band they fell in love with in the 90s, or if they had recently discovered Third Eye Blind, I don’t think a single person left disappointed.
Tenacious D w/ Puddles Pitty Party• June 17, 2022• Sandy Amphitheater
Reviewed by Kevin Rolfe
Photographed by Alisha Gregson
It was one of the more wild nights I’ve seen at Sandy Amphitheater. The mighty Tenacious D made a tour stop in the typically mild-mannered Salt Lake suburb. The powerhouse fusion of Jack Black and Kyle Gass was almost more than Sandy Amp could handle. I don’t know how often the “D” goes on tour. I don’t know that they come to Utah too often. The vibe inside Sandy Amp was that of great anticipation. It was a different kind of excitement. There was this feeling like “this Is going to be awesome.” But also, “I wonder just how amazingly weird it’s going to get tonight.” And it got pretty weird. But the perfect amount. Tenacious D mixed a cocktail of weird, hilarious, blue, and rock on that stage. This show may have been funny. But Tenacious D came to rock. And so did theIr fans.
Seeing Tash Sultana live is more than just a concert. It’s an all-encompassing experience. Sultana is the only one on stage. But you would never know it by the layers upon layers of music that are coming out of the speakers and into the stands. There was a vibrant energy throughout the audience and it was clear that the people there were expecting a fun night. The line for merch was lengthy but shortened just in time for Tash Sultana to take the stage. I like the way Sandy Amphitheater set up the merch booth. The line forms on the hill so people can actually watch the show from a distance as they wait to buy a shirt.
311 w/ Teenage Wrist• June 2, 2022• Sandy Amphitheater
Reviewed by Brittany DeMott Photographed by Kevin Rolfe
It’s the summer and this is the summer of love and unity. 311 is on the last leg of their Spring 2022 tour and made a stop in Sandy Utah at Sandy Amphitheater. Now, this is a new location for 311 from what we are used to. They usually perform at USANA Amphitheater. I’ve been to many 311 concerts in the past and know they have an amazing turnout at each show. I couldn’t imagine seeing a smaller venue holding all these people. However, this venue being smaller made for a more intimate night. You could tell that the attendees at this show were definitely at the level of “An Excitable One”. The name 311 gave the fan base that’s been there since the beginning. The excitable ones helped get their music outside of Omaha, Nebraska – a grassroots movement- and even named their next albumGrassroots.
As I got into the venue I looked to the left and saw the merch table with a line that was probably about 311 miles long, not really, but it was long. 311 has tour shirts that look like sports jerseys and say the name of your city and state and the date that they performed. It was cool to see the multiple years worn by all different types of people.
Teenage Wrist, a band that brought me back to my youth. Their name is inspired by the song “Teenage Wristband” by The Twilight Singers – formed by Greg Dulli. When I heard them perform, it reminded me of the music I would load onto my pink iPod mini in high school and blast at full volume (not realizing the hearing loss I’d start experiencing as I got older). Teenage Wrist came out to perform and the crowd was there for it. They seemed to have taken kindly to this band, as did I, and really got into it. I’d imagine if they weren’t fans before, they are now. I immediately looked them up on Spotify and pulled the lyrics up and it is Brittany approved. Check them out!
Without delay, 311 came out on stage and started off with “Come Original”. I think there is no better song to open with this song as it gets you hyped up immediately. When this song started you had people rushing back in to not miss the show. Fans were dancing and singing as they come into the crowd. Strangers technically, but family here. What really stood out the most in the crowd was the amount of smiles that I could see. I don’t know what it is about younger fans but they always make me want to cry because they are so unbelievably stoked to be at this concert. Shout out to all the cool parents who take their children to shows. Because there’s nothing better than going to school the next day and showing off your new shirt and bragging that you got to go to a concert.
I was sitting about 6 rows back from the stage but it felt like I was in the front because of the size of the venue. The stage is only about three and a half feet tall so it really feels like they’re on the same level as you and there aren’t huge gaps between the seats on the stage. “3. 11. 3 3 11.” chants would come from the crowd, a common occurrence at a 311 show. During their songs, I noticed the lighting design on stage. Lighting is such an important part of how we feel and so it is necessary that the lights fit the vibe of the song. It’s incredible what a few lights can do to a show. My favorite lights were the purple ones as they were incredibly vibrant and fit perfectly with the feeling of the evening.
The sound at Sandy Amphitheater is probably one of the best in the valley. The sound techs that work with the tour did a fantastic job making sure the sound was clear and loud enough to feel. I always rate the sound based on how much bass I can feel throughout my body. I give this one a solid 10/10. Not overpowering so it wouldn’t ruin the music, but not weak, either. I could understand the words and had my earplugs in. Sidebar: please wear your earplugs! I never did and now my television has to be up full blast. My parents call me “grandpa” and I use subtitles for everything. Anyway, I digress.
As I watched the show, I noticed how 311 interacts with the crew. You can tell this is more than a work relationship. You can see that this crew and 311 are actually an entire family. I have recognized a few of the crew members that have been with them for years and you just don’t see retention like that these days. An extremely special “Thank you” goes to the entire tour crew. Without you all, this show wouldn’t be half of what you have made it into. We appreciate the band but we also appreciate the crew who brings the band to us! Thank you on behalf of the fans!
The stage sits on a hill and is south-facing. This means the performers are not blinded by the sunset, yet we get to enjoy a sunset and a show. A 2 for 1! And what better song to play at sunset than their cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong”. Throughout the show we got to witness guitar solos by Nick Hexum and Tim Mahoney, P-Nut’s bass solo, and the incredible and notable drum solo by Chad Sexton. We know when we get the drum solo that this will lead to an all-band drum sesh, known as “Applied Science”. Each time I see this set I’ve noticed they incorporate more instruments and visuals to it.
I overheard someone saying “That means they have 3 songs left!” That someone was right on, they must come here often. They ended the show with “Creatures (For A While)” and said their goodbyes to the fans. If you’re new here, they aren’t done. They’ll be back in just a moment so don’t leave! The band returned to the stage and the screams intensifed. They play the last two songs, “Omaha Stylee” and the hit “Down”. “Down” was their first #1 single to hit the Billboard Alternative Song Chart and is dedicated specifically to those old-school fans, The Excitable Ones. Everyone gave it all that they had to rock out to this. There was headbanging, dancing, jumping, the whole enchilada. This ending was the perfect beginning to a “Never Ending Summer”. Thank you, 311!
Ben Rector w/ Jake Scott, Stephen Day & Jordy Searcy• May 19, 2022• Sandy Amphitheater
Reviewed and Photographed by Josilyn Wakkuri Lybbert
Ben Rector fans braved a windy, chilly night at the Sandy Amphitheater on May 19, 2022. But I think that any one of them would say it was worth it! The show was the second date that Ben Rector, along with Jake Scott, Stephen Day, and Jordy Searcy, played in Utah this week. This date was the first show to sell out on The Joy of Music Tour, and it sold out quickly. So that should give a hint at the excitement and anticipation around this concert!