LANY w/ Surfaces and Annika Bennett September 17, 2022 USANA Amphitheatre
Reviewed and Photographed by Tomo Crestani
With all the anticipation and hype, USANA Amphitheater hosted a sold out show of 20,000 people for LANY and support. Bringing along Surfaces and Annika Bennett, the venue was absolutely packed. I had never seen so many people in one place. The atmosphere was truly special.
USANA did an amazing job at making sure this event ran smoothly. The entire staff seemed to know exactly what they were doing. I didn’t see a single person who wasn’t willing to help or point you in the right direction. This is always something that makes every concert so much better. Having security and staff be kind and helpful can make the biggest difference. I also noticed how they seemed to start conversations with the fans in attendance in between sets. The immediate connection with those making sure the event is safe makes everyone in attendance more inclined to follow rules and keep everyone around them safe.
The sound quality was incredible at USANA. I managed to make my way back to the back fence to see if I could still hear the music clearly, and I was not disappointed. It was very impressive how much fun was still being had at the very back of the venue. I expected to barely be able to hear. The lighting was equally as impressive, really bringing the entire show to life.
First on stage was Annika Bennett. Annika is a more relaxed artist that relies on her vocal ability. She is clearly very talented. She broke character and laughed in the middle of a couple of songs just because she was having so much fun on stage. Given it was surely the most people she had ever played for, it seemed like she was living a dream. I love watching young artists have moments where they seem to realize they are making it in the toughest industry.
Having never heard of Annika, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I ended up really enjoying her music and have been listening to her since the show. She is a good artist to put on as you drive or in the background as you work. She brings a very happy vibe and has incredible songwriting and lyrical quality in her music. Annika was very genuine throughout her performance and expressed her gratitude to the crowd multiple times throughout her set. As she ended her set, she blew kisses to the venue and walked off to a loud applause.
Next on stage was Surfaces. I was very excited to hear them perform as I have listened to a lot of their music before. They have a very large following here in Utah. Given that this was the biggest show I have been to, I was still surprised to see so many people I knew at this show. It seemed like literally everyone was there. Surfaces and LANY both have developed a very strong fan base in Utah.
Surfaces played a longer set than Annika and almost played every song I knew of theirs. I loved the amount of crowd interaction from lead singer Forrest Frank. He jumped into the crowd multiple times while performing, including one moment where he crowd surfed laying on his back as he sang. It was the first time I had seen an artist sing while crowd surfing. He also grabbed the hands of all the people reaching out throughout his entire set.
Forrest Frank and Colin Padalecki make an explosive pair on stage anywhere they go, but they really brought a lot of energy to USANA. It helps that Surfaces have written a few songs that seem to go viral almost immediately. My personal favorite is “Heaven Falls/Fall on me”. I have always listened to this song and it was really fun to hear it live. They performed it with so much emotion. As their set ended it seemed so short, but I then checked the time and realized they had been playing for 45 minutes. That is always a sign you are at a good concert.
Finally, as the sun went down LANY made their way to the stage. Paul Jason Klein and Jake Clifford Goss walked onto the stage holding hands and lifting them in the air to the massive applause. The cheering was unreal. It was so loud it was shaking my camera lens. It was incredible to watch Paul Jason Klein take in the crazy atmosphere of his biggest show to date. As he explained that this was the biggest show he had ever played, he became a little emotional and expressed his love to everyone in attendance.
LANY have many songs that were instant classics, and they played every single one of them. The most special moment for me was listening to them perform “Congrats”. They invited a special guest on stage named Garrett Casto. Garrett is a TikTok star based in Orem, Utah. As the chorus dropped in the song, Garrett did a backflip off the drum set and landed right on the beat. It was super cool to see LANY involve a local creator. I also appreciated them bringing on a second special guest when they introduced Bazzi to the crowd. Bazzi had just released an album the day before and had a song featuring LANY. They performed their new song together as the crowd went crazy. Bazzi was an incredible performer. I was so excited when they brought him onto the stage.
As the night came to a close, LANY had an unforgettable moment with all 20,000 people holding their phone lights up. They closed out the concert with a couple of encore songs and stated that they wanted to be back in Salt Lake as soon as possible.
Overall I would recommend any of these three artists. Annika Bennett is a talented young artist that I see becoming a much bigger deal after this tour. Surfaces will continue to grow as they have gained so much popularity so quickly. LANY are stamping their name as one of the best out there. They clearly are doing something right with the following and fan base they have built. USANA is a venue that I would highly recommend you visit when you get the chance. The amount of people that pack into the venue for every show is truly amazing. It is something everyone needs to try.