YUNGBLUD•Jean Dawson•Sophie Powers•August 3, 2023• The Complex
Reviewed and Photographed by Max Taylor
On August 3rd, 2023, the Doncaster, England legend, Dominic Richard Harrison – more famously known as YUNGBLUD – performed at The Complex in Salt Lake City, Utah. This show has been long anticipated by Utah YUNGBLUD fans. Considering the last time he made an appearance here was his sold-out show at The Complex in 2019(certainly not without trying though). The cancellation of shows in 2020, a giant snowstorm that got them stuck between Denver and Salt Lake in 2022, and other scheduling conflicts only added to the excitement, buzz, and anticipation to see the young rockstar return to the Beehive State.
Tai Verdes w/ renforshort• May 14, 2022• The Complex
Reviewed and Photographed by Tomo Crestani
With his first visit to Salt Lake City, Tai Verdes played a sold-out show at The Complex on his HDTV Tour. There was a packed venue well before the opening artist took the stage. I was very impressed with the turnout for this show. Upon entering the room Tai would be playing in, I noticed a large number of people wearing merchandise from Tai that was not currently being sold at the show. It is always fun to see a strong fanbase. Although there was a large number of people wearing merchandise not bought at the show, I did notice a lot of people also wearing the tour merchandise. He had a hoodie that looked like clouds in the sky, which was a fan favorite for sure.
There is no doubt in my mind that the best way to start a week is with a concert. To top it all off is with a rock concert. That is exactly what I signed myself up for this last Sunday with The Warning headlining at The Complex. I hadn’t heard of either Devora or The Warning previously but I’m never opposed to hearing new artists. Especially if my first time hearing them would be live.
On April 20th, IDLES visited The Complex for a show in between Coachella sets and rocked the house! Upon arrival, I noticed the crowd was very chill compared to other events. They seemed to be there just for a good time. Not a lot of hurry to get to the front of the crowd or save spots. Although it was a big room, The Complex began to fill up very quickly.
With this show being my first time covering a show at The Union Event Center I was heavily anticipating going to this show. On April 11th The Story So Far kicked off their full US tour for spring 2022. TSSF has been one of my favorite bands of all time and this was my first time being able to see them live due to COVID and previous issues with being able to get to their shows. So to say I was excited was an understatement. Not to mention how stacked the lineup was! It was just a perfect night for pop-punk listeners. Unfortunately, the weather got worse as the night started. So I, unfortunately, missed the first 3 songs from Microwave.
After months of touring, Tate McRae finished off her North America Tour in Salt Lake City. She visited The Complex in the Grand room. I arrived about 30 minutes before doors were supposed to open. The line was already very long. Although it was mostly females waiting for the show, I did spot a surprising amount of male attendees waiting in the rain. It was very impressive to see so many devoted fans waiting in the poor weather for so long.
It wasn’t hard to tell what kind of show you were walking into on the evening of St. Patrick’s Day. The patched jean jackets, piercings, and tattoos were uncountable outside as circle jerks summoned the old punks and the new generation of the straight edge population of Salt Lake to The Complex. The crowd, ready to start the pit and buzzing with excitement filtered in. With a mad dash to the merch booth blocking the door. This dedication to the scene and vibe of old-school punk was held through the night.
On Tuesday, March 15, 2022, fans packed into The Complex for a rocking night of music delivered by Daughtry along with openers Lyell and Tremonti. The excitement was apparent before ever even entering the venue!
Underoath w/ Spiritbox, Bad Omens, & Stray From the Path • March 4, 2022 • The Complex
Reviewed and Photographed by Vanessa Holt
It’s been what feels like a long wait, since the release of Underoath’s latest album, Voyeurist. The full-length run of their North American tour was announced in August of 2021 and officially kicked off in February of this year. The tour lineup started as Underoath, Every Time I Die, and Spiritbox. Then due to drastic changes earlier this year that Every Time I Die endured, the lineup took a quick change. And Bad Omens and Stray From The Path were added. There was no doubt that there was heartbreak not being able to see Every Time I Die who’s been a band for so long on tour with Underoath. But there also wasn’t going to be any type of disappointment for the two new bands. I’m always excited to attend any shows but there was something about this one specifically with this lineup that had me anticipating it for days.
Stray From the Path
Stray From the Path kicked off the night. They are one of the best bands to open up for anyone. Their music falls under the hardcore genre meaning the entire set is nothing but moshpits and circle pits. I’ve only seen the band play in smaller venues like In The Venue and The Loading Dock where fans had the chance to stage dive. Being on the Rockwell side of The Complex prevented them from doing so. But that didn’t stop fans from giving it their all.
Many of their songs address controversial topics which can cause a quick conversation amongst people. But it has never been in the way of Stray From the Path forcing their opinions onto someone. They reminded others that shows are supposed to be a safe place where everyone is welcome. They played a few of their older songs such as “Badge & A Bullet” and “The House Always Wins” along with a few of their newer ones such as “Fortune Teller” off their last album, Internal Atomics, and their newest single, “Guillotine”. The single was released just two days before they joined the Voyeurist tour. Having it on the setlist that soon after the release was great to hear. Stray From The Path had only been on the tour for a few days but vocalist Drew Dijorio thought it was one of the top 3 shows so far.
I’m a pretty big fan of Bad Omens. This was going to be my first time seeing them live, and they didn’t disappoint in the slightest. The band’s setlist consisted of a majority of their newer songs off of their latest album, The Death of Peace of Mind. Which has become one of my few albums of the year. The first four songs were their singles off the album; “THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND”, “ARTIFICIAL SUICIDE”, “Like A Villian”, and “What Do You Want From Me”?The singles were a clear insight of how new this era of Bad Omens is, while they still kept to the heavier elements. Meaning we still got to hear his deep and low unclean vocals, which gave me chills hearing live. They incorporated newer sounds that fit so well for the band.
Before starting each track, the lights would dim and a recorded track would play before the band started on the next song. During “ARTIFICAL SUICIDE” vocalist, Noah Sebastian stepped out in a ski mask. It made his presence even more intimidating with a black trenchcoat. The entire execution of it all made it one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. For the fans who’ve known Bad Omens for some time, they played a few older songs like, “Never Know” and “Limits” which the majority of the crowd was singing along to. They saved the best for last, “Dethrone”. Sebastian had one question before starting, “Are you ready to go crazy? I want to see you all lose it in the circle pit.”. I believe it’s one of their heaviest songs to date. The circle pit was one of the biggest I’ve seen that lasted the whole song.
There are no words to express how much I was looking forward to seeing Spiritbox perform. This tour was one of the first US tours they’ve been on. Everyone I’ve known has told me that Spiritbox puts on an unbelievable performance and vocalist Courtney LaPlante’s vocals are some of the best to hear live. The entire crowd had shown up with the same amount of excitement to see the band. It felt like everyone in the crowd was singing along to their songs. The majority were off of their latest album, Eternal Blue. When people first hear Spiritbox on any streaming service, some think that all the unclean vocals are covered by someone else in the band. Everyone ends up blown away once they learn it’s all done by LaPlante herself.
She had one of the strongest and most intimidating stage presence I’ve ever seen. While most vocalists wander the stage constantly bouncing around back and forth, a lot of her time was spent at the mic stand when headbanging during intros or breakdowns, every second was still captivating. They ended the set with “Eternal Blue”, which is one of my favorite tracks. It has fewer vocals and more instrumental. Before starting the song LaPlante had stated, “Feel whatever you need to during this song, let the emotions take over and I’ll feel it too.”. The energy in the entire room had calmed. It was a peaceful moment to enjoy being in that room surrounded by other fans and listening to this amazing song.
Everyone was singing but it wasn’t the type of song to be screaming lyrics at the top of your lungs. Our voices seemed to blend so well with LaPlante’s. For those who came to the show and had never heard of Spiritbox before, they left as fans. There was no doubt that when the time comes that Spiritbox does a US headlining tour there is going to be a major turnout.
I haven’t seen Underoath since 2018 on their last headlining tour. It’s been long overdue and many fans were unsure if we would ever get to see them again. I was impressed with this tour specifically because it had as much fan interaction as possible. Despite being high up on the stage, vocalist, Spencer Chamberlain hopped down onto the speakers to get as close as possible. Parts of their setlist were picked by fans. Including one of their encore songs, “Thorn” that won on a Twitter vote. “We are so happy to be back in Salt Lake City. Thank you for showing up and selling out the show,” Chamberlain stated. “We’re happy to be here with our friends, Stray From The Path who we’ve known for 10 years. And our new friends in Spiritbox and Bad Omens.”
Underoath has been in the scene for quite some time. Every time I’ve managed to see them whether it was a headlining tour, opening for a band, or playing a short set on a festival lineup, the energy the band of six brings to the stage is crazy. Even from the back, drummer Aaron Gilipsie gives it his all. Chamberlain on the early half of their set, “our guitarist, James Smith got food poisoning last night and he’s not feeling too good, give him a round of applause!” The crowd cheered him on. “We had one of our techs Andy learn the songs last minute in case he couldn’t do it. I know you’re not feeling good James but you’re killing it.” Chamberlain exclaimed.
His encouraging words to his bandmate were true. For someone who spent a lot of their day not feeling the greatest he still put on a good show. When they stepped out for their encore and asked whether or not we wanted one or two songs, someone from the crowd asked for three. Chamberlain joked, “James has food poisoning! This guy is trying to kill him by asking for three songs.” While the tour was announced after their album came out, most bands would play the album front to back. But it was the perfect mix of their newer songs and older songs to satisfy all fans across the board. Leaving that night a ton of fans were raving about how this is one of the best shows of the year.
With the snow pouring outside, it was immediately apparent that this was not going to be a normal concert. The security rushed us inside where everyone was waiting in line in The Grand Room of The Complex. Confusion and excitement filled the room with the sound of the end of a soundcheck coming from inside that night’s venue, as the band threw together what we would later learn to be a miracle set.