Kilby Block Party 5

Kilby Block Party • May 10-12, 2024 • Utah State Fairgrounds

Reviewed and Photographed by Logan Fang

Kilby Court Block Party: Now A Salt Lake City Tradition

This May, local concertgoers and music lovers from afar returned to the Salt Lake fairgrounds for the fifth iteration of the Kilby Block Party. This year’s music festival celebrates the 25th year of its namesake, Kilby Court. For the past five years, Kilby has brought a countless number of esteemed music icons to the festival stage, including the likes of indie titans Phoebe Bridgers, Steve Lacy, and The Strokes. As the festival continues to curate a dazzling array of artists, this year’s lineup featured performances spanning several eras of indie-rock.

In the mix were a number of up and coming artists who’ve accrued meteoric followings since becoming online sensations. With the more seasoned artists occupying slots during the evening, the block party finished each day with one headliner on the Kilby Stage. Friday ended with Vampire Weekend followed by a dual show by Death Cab for Cutie/The Postal Service on Saturday and LCD Soundsystem wrapping it up on Sunday. 

Daytime Lover:

The first act that I had the pleasure of watching was by the local SLC band Daytime Lover. The five performers commanded the stage wrangling an assemblage of tambourines, saxophones, and basses that all managed to make their way into the set. Daytime Lover embodies much of today’s indie sound with the band’s use of light instrumentation and celestial melodies. However, the artillery of instruments that the band played during the performance lent a unique sound to their music. Notably, David Payne’s contributions to the EP “Shimmer” on the saxophone offered a fuller feel to the track that you might not expect from traditional indie. Grazier’s resonant vocals were clear and crisp, lacking the hazy dreaminess that defines today’s indie-rock. Daytime Lover’s unique performance was fairly well received by block party attendees, drawing a modest yet upbeat audience to the Mountain stage. 


While the Mountain Stage was largely reserved for smaller artists, I enjoyed familiarizing myself with the unique sounds the bands there had to offer. On day three of the festival, Petey’s enthused indie-pop performance was among the most engaging sets. His act seemed to conjure a burst of renewed energy from the midday crowd who began to feel the effects of the Sunday heat. Perhaps it was his candid lyricism or ability to speak to the struggles of daily living in his song “Lean into Life” or “DON’T TELL THE BOYS” that captured the attention of the dozing Kilby goers.

Luna Li

While Petey’s performance was high-energy, Luna Li opted for a more mellow (if not detached) presence on the Mountain Stage. Her soft pop hits like “Silver into Rain” were easy listens and complimented her nonchalant persona on the stage. Her set wasn’t the most memorable but it was a refreshing break from the frenetic energy of the festival. I enjoyed tracks like “Flower (In Full Blossom)” because of how they captured Luna’s ethereal presence behind the array of instruments she played during her set.

Horse Jumper of Love

Making my way to the bigger stages on the fairground, I enjoyed a mellow performance by Horse Jumper of Love on the Kilby Stage. The band maintained a quiet intensity throughout their 45-minute set. Pausing only momentarily to address the audience between songs. As one of the defining bands of today’s slowcore genre, it’s no surprise that their slow melodies in songs like “Wink” were crowd-favorites. Drowsy tunes like “Orange Peeler” coupled with what little movements they afforded onstage made their performance feel somewhat lethargic but nonetheless visceral with their alt-rock instrumentation. 

100 Gecs

One of the most anticipated performances and well-received acts was 100 Gecs. The internet sensation duo stormed the Kilby Stage as fans thronged at the barricades sporting wizard hats and robes. Their music, dubbed “hyperpop,” has gained its notoriety among niche rap indie cliques and as a meme band known for its chaotic vocals and ear-splitting beats. As expected, the audience consisted mostly of young teens chaperoned by confused parents busy filming their rowdy children. The duo, Brady and Les, sang about Doritos and Fritos, frogs, and emoji-inscripted headstones, as their pieces descended into what seemed to be sheer musical pandemonium. 100 Gec’s electrifying set had audience members tumbling over barricades and passing out in moshes. For an otherwise low-key, indie music festival, Gec’s chaotic performance stood out from the rest.

Current Joys

Another anticipated performance on the Kilby Stage was by indie-rock band Current Joys. Facing several tech issues with bass-related complications, we were treated to an impromptu performance by lead singer Nicholas Rattigan while the crew scrambled to fix the instruments in the meantime.

Nick hovered over his guitar as he ad-libbed a couple of songs for the antsy crowd. Even the most seasoned Current Joys fans were caught off guard by the extemporaneous performance and unable to sing along to Nick’s selection of deeper cuts. Nonetheless, the beginning of the set was enjoyable despite deviating from Current Joy’s traditional slow and dreamy aesthetic given the lack of synths or drums to complete the effect. Once the bass was back into operation, Current Joys performed some of their classic hits like “New Flesh” and “A Different Age,” wrapping up with “Ghosts.” Current Joys’ sound is best described as “vintage” through Rattigan’s use of wistful guitar lines and muffled drum beats that conjure a sense of nostalgia. 

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

One of the more surprising performances that I watched on the Kilby Stage was by Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Upon first listening to their records you’d expect a much more mellow indie performance from the New Zealand band. But listening to them live proved to be a wholly different experience as their set teetered more on the side of rock featuring heavy baselines and extended guitar jam solos. In “Necessary Evil,” audience members jumped to the rhythmic melody of the neo-funk turned R&B track that almost everybody knew by heart. At the end of the set, Unknown Mortal Orchestra played their dance-inducing single “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone,” a throwback to their earlier hits from their formative years. 

Death Cab For Cutie

At the end of Day 2, Kilby goers were prepared for the double headliner Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service. As soon as Death Cab swaggered onto stage in their customary all black outfits, the band opened the set with the timeless classic, “The New Year.” Selections from Transatlanticism also appeared throughout the set which concluded with a 15-minute intermission before The Postal Service took the stage donning contrasting all white outfits. After the break, lead singer Ben Gibbard returned to the stage with vocalist and guitarist Jenny Lewis. Duets between the two singers on songs like “Nothing Better” were met with cheers from the crowd. The Postal Service concluded Day 2 of the festival with a cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” in front of the buzzing audience. 

The Postal Service

Peach Pit

Like the Kilby stage, the Lake stage featured some of the most established artists in the lineup. Among them, Vancouver-based band Peach Pit stole the show for me. The sheer diversity in their set with upbeat pop tracks like “Vickie” and funky guitar solos in “Alright Aphrodite” made for an entertaining performance. The band navigated between slow, sentimental tunes like “Tommy’s Party” and head-banging tracks like “Drop the Guillotine,” finishing with their most popular hit “Shampoo Bottles.” 

Yves Tumor

Similar to 100 Gecs or any other mosh-pit-inducing band, indie-rock artist Yves Tumor brought a chaotic energy to the Lake stage. Yves’s experimental vocals and distorted instrumentation on songs like “Gospel For A New Century” had the audience once again falling over barricades and initiating several crowd surfs much to the dismay of security. His punk-rock aesthetic coupled with the disorienting visuals playing in the background intensified the set’s grungy feel—a vibe you might not expect by just listening to his records. 


Despite the more modest attendance on Day 3 of the block party, there was a substantial turnout for the indie band Dayglow. The band performed several anticipated pieces like “Can I Call You Tonight?” and inspiring anthems like “Run the World!!!” Dayglow’s music captures the essence of today’s indie, with distant, foggy vocals, and beachy guitar riffs. It only seemed appropriate that several beach balls bounced across the audience during the set. The band’s performance was wholesome and warm, delivered with a kind carefree youthfulness which made it enjoyable. 

TV Girl

Another internet sensation who took to the Lake stage was TV Girl. The band’s oddly eerie music combines elements of electronic dance and heavy overtones of indie pop, producing smash hits that have grown popular across online platforms like Tik-Tok. Throughout the set, TV Girl’s lead singer would tap out beats on an electronic drum pad while sampled vocals of old audio clips played over the sound system. Strangely, the effect is catchy.

After acquiring a formidable online presence for their unique sound, TV Girl’s hits like “Lover’s Rock” and “Cigarettes Out the Window” drew chronically online teens and young indie lovers to their music. Despite the nearly rabid crowd demanding the band to perform “Lover’s Rock,” lead singer Brad Petering maintained a nonchalant and playful attitude throughout the set. The extensive performance featured 15 tracks with varying degrees of popularity. In light of the antsy crowd, TV Girl reserved their two most popular songs for last. 


The penultimate act featured the 90’s band Interpol on the Lake Stage. Compared to TV Girl’s audience or those of other online sensations, Interpol’s audience was composed of a dedicated hoard of middle-age fans. Their 13-song setlist included hits like “Pioneer to the Falls” and “Slow Hands.” Similar to their precisely curated song selection, Interpol’s performance was sharp and refined. And likewise every detail from their black, formal attire to the concert lighting seemed to be just as crisp. It’s enjoyable to see a well-established band like Interpol show their masterful control over each aspect of the concert experience. 

LCD Soundsystem

The final performance concluding this year’s installment of the Kilby Block Party was by LCD Soundsystem. The preparation alone in readying the stage for the set was extensive. The operation crew arranged several keyboards, cymbals, and guitars on stage for the nine person band, finishing with one large disco ball overhead. The best way to describe the experience of watching LCD Soundsystem live is dynamic as members scuttle between instruments, taking turns playing the crash symbol, singing the vocals, and and playing the keyboard.

While the band breezed through several of their plaintive classics, a sense of nostalgia seemed to wash over the crowd. Their performance was the perfect end to a sweltering three-day festival which appropriately concluded with LCD’s “All My Friends.” Thus, as the Kilby Block Party continues to expand and garner greater attention at a national level, I’m excited to see the talent and names it’ll attract to Salt Lake City in the future.

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