Plain White T’s w/ Brother. January 29, 2022 • Cox Performing Arts Center St. George, Utah
Reviewed and Photographed by Lexi Wild
I first heard about Plain White T’s coming to St. George back in December and I was so stoked! Northern Utah has plenty of concerts. I’d say year-round. Southern Utah doesn’t get a lot of love in that department. To say that the people of St. George were just as excited as I was is an understatement. As I pulled into the parking lot at the Cox Performing Arts Center at Dixie State University fifteen minutes before the concert started, I realized how packed it was going to be due to the lack of parking. As I picked up my tickets and headed in to snap photos, I barely managed to get past the crowded merch table lines. Walking by I heard so much excitement and buzzing. People anxiously waiting to get their merch in time to see the opening band.
I was so thrilled when I saw that Brother. was going to be joining the Plain White T’s! I had the pleasure of seeing them for the first time at the Superboom Festival back in October of last year. Since then, they have dropped a new album, “Volume III” which I’ve listened to several times since its release. I’ve continued to follow them on Spotify and was ready to see them live again.
For those that aren’t familiar with Brother, they are an Indie Band from Salt Lake City Utah, composed of Chuck Emery, Nathan Standage, Erika Goodwin, Scott Knutson, and Elias Pratt. I would describe their music as a mix of soft melancholy lyrics combined with a cool electric sound.
One of the songs that stuck with me after they played it live was “ We’re (Not) Alone” Although the lyrics were a little somber, I think the instrumental aspect of it balanced it out and gave it a more optimistic feel to it. An audience favorite was a single called “1985”. It received a big round of applause afterward. Their single “Oxidate” even garnered a standing ovation.
As I looked around those in attendance, people of all ages seemed to be collectively enjoying the music. I haven’t been to many concerts, so I thought it was interesting to see them play through their whole set with the house lights on. Oddly, it made it feel a bit more personal knowing that they were able to see everyone. I believe the lead singer Chuck even commented that he could see his 8th-grade shop teacher in the crowd.
Overall, I was so glad to be able to see them live and photograph them again! Afterward, during intermission, the audience was buzzing and I even saw some pull out their phones to look them up. I hope to see Brother back in Southern Utah again!
PLAIN WHITE T’S
Plain White T’s is a rock band that formed in Illinois in 1997 currently consisting of Tom Higgenson, Tim G. Lopez, Mike Retondo, and De’Mar Randell Hamilton. Many of their hits spanned throughout the early 2000s and 2010s and were the soundtrack to a good portion of my childhood. They started with “Our Time Now” which immediately set the tone and put people onto their feet and transitioned nicely into their hit “1 2 3 4 “.
When they played their song “Take Me Away” they commented that “It takes us back to our punk rock days” and by looking around at all the headbanging going on in the crowd, it took the audience back as well. There were groups of people scattered amongst those seated. They were living their best life and dancing to their heart’s content.
Later on, they played the song “Your Body”. They told the audience if anyone was on a date to get up and sway with them to this song, some of which happily obliged. Soon the audience pulled out their flashlights and swayed along to the song. I wish I was able to get a photo of the band’s view of the lights. Because even from where I was seated it looked remarkable to see everyone in unison.
They have such a large range of fans. When asking the audience questions about who’s been to their concert before, someone had answered that they had seen them fifteen years ago. There was a dedicated group of fans in the front that was spotted and recognized by the band. This was their third Plain White T’s concert this week! Not to mention there were fans of all seasons of life, old and new rocking out together.
A couple of my absolute favorite songs, along with the majority of those attending, was “Rhythm of Love” and “Hey there Delilah”. The whole night I was anxiously awaiting with others to see when they would play them. We reached the end of the night. Still, neither song had been played. The crowd was collectively chanting and cheering for them to come back after their exit from the stage. After minutes of the crowd on their feet cheering and begging for more, Tom Higgenson walked out, grabbed his guitar, and led us in “Hey there Delilah” by himself. Just after it was over the rest of the band came out and finished off the night with “Rhythm of Love” which was a perfect way to end the night, pure joy was radiating from the crowd.