Dirty Heads • Drisk • January 27, 2024 • The Marquis Park City
Reviewed and Photographed by Mike Ferguson
Dirty Heads put on a killer show on Saturday night! When I first heard that Dirty Heads was coming to play during the Sundance Film Festival, I was pretty excited and then a little surprised when I heard they were coming. Especially since they had just come to play in Utah only 6 months prior. But that did not stop them from bringing all of the energy and excitement that they always bring to their shows.
The Marquis PC
I had never been to this venue before. With Sundance happening, I was not entirely sure what to expect for traffic and parking. But I was able to find some parking not too far from the venue with little trouble. I arrived at the venue on Park City Main Street around 7:45 for an 8 pm door time. The venue staff mentioned that there were some initial technical issues as the doors did not open until around 8:20. However, once inside, we were all greeted by a friendly and welcoming staff. All of whom were awesome and happy to help keep us organized and get us into the venue. The venue itself is all open concept with all GA aside from the balcony which had some reserved tables and more standing room. Being a relatively small venue, it provided a great atmosphere for a smaller, more intimate concert setting
Once in the venue, we all gathered in the pit area anxiously awaiting the concert to begin. After a brief delay with setup, the opening DJ who goes mononymously by the name of Drisk went on. He was a great warm-up act playing hits from the likes of Bob Marley, Beastie Boys, Dr Dre, and Sublime. It was fun seeing the crowd get into it and let loose getting ready for Dirty Heads to take the stage. Drisk played for about an hour and once his set was over, the main show took place.
Right around 9:45, Dirty Heads came onto the stage. The crowd erupted at the sight of Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell and Jared “Dirty J” Watson walking onto the stage waving to everyone. The show opened with one of their latest hits, Heavy Water from the album Midnight Control. It was a perfect song to get everyone moving and having a great time. From there, the hits and electricity just kept coming from the stage the entire night. After Heavy Water, they transitioned into one of their heavy hip-hop-influenced songs with Medusa and we were off and running! Throughout the course of the night, I could see the fun they were having on the stage, able to see that these guys truly enjoy doing the thing they love; playing music in front of their adoring fans.
As they moved through their set, you could see them being playful with each other and the crowd with some light banter with each other and cracking jokes as well. The songs they played, I felt like, were a good mix of songs from their 8 studio albums spanning 16 years of their music. Playing hits like “Lay Me Down”, “Oxygen”, and “My Sweet Summer”, to their acoustic hit “Sloth’s Revenge (Goonies)”, and some even deeper cuts like “El Dorado”, “John Linen”, and “Silence”. But none of their songs got the entire crowd more into it than their smash hit “Vacation” did. It was an absolute joy to watch everyone react to the setlist they came up with.
This was my first Dirty Heads concert since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and I will say that I had completely forgotten how incredibly talented their percussionist Jon Olazabal really is. This man is an absolute gem! The band is so great as a whole, but his talent and skill with all the percussion instruments just add an extra element that, I feel, not many other bands have.
The vibe of the crowd could not be described any other way than “electric”. Dancing and singing along to every word of every song. I enjoyed myself as well. There is nothing like a reggae concert to bring more people together. Running into some old friends and making new ones, every single person in the venue was there to have a great time, and I was happy to be a part of it.
After about 90 minutes of set time, they left the stage for a brief intermission before coming back for their two-song encore. In the encore, they played “Sloth’s Revenge” and “Island Glow” to wrap up the show. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy these choices, as did I. If you have never been to a Dirty Heads concert in the past, I would definitely recommend one in the future. These guys know how to put on an incredible show. Every time it is a party.