St Paul and the Borken Bones•Maggie Rose•November 17, 2023•Capitol Theatre
Reviewed and Photographed by Mike Ferguson
On Friday, November 17th, St Paul and the Broken Bones brought the house down at the Capitol Theater! Now, I will be fair, this was the first show of theirs I’ve been to, but they definitely know how to put on a show!
The night opened with Maggie Rose and her band and they were so much fun! They had such a great vibe and energy about them.
Hailing from the Potomac, Maggie has an incredible and powerful singing voice. And with the fun outfits and the band’s interactions with each other, you could see that they were truly having fun on the stage. The venue did seem to have a minor technical difficulty at one point while the band was playing and Maggie’s mic was cutting in and out. However, the crowd was very understanding and enthusiastic with her and the band as well, singing along with most of the songs and getting truly warmed up and into the concert experience through her hit song What Are We Fighting For.
St Paul and the Broken Bones
Because this was my first concert seeing St Paul and the Broken Bones, I will say that I was not quite sure what to expect. But when their set started at 9:15, the room went quiet. You could almost hear a pin drop. Then their walk out music started with some heavy metal riffs, the crowd erupted! Such a great stage presence for them and a great way to open the show. Right away, I knew it was going to be an incredible experience. About 3 songs into the set, they started playing the song Half the City but with some minor changes to the lyrics. There was one point where frontman Paul Janeway said that he “populated Salt Lake City” and I could see the crowd lighting up and loving that.
Now, if you’re not quite familiar with St. Paul and the Broken Bones, they are a Birmingham, Alabama, soul band that has gone on the record saying that they are fans of a lot of music from the 60s and 70s, because of the authenticity of the performances on the records. Especially in this day and age when things are super glossy and overproduced. And throughout the entirety of their concert, you could definitely hear, see, and feel that through their music, their performance and overall presence on stage. Additionally, with the way they interacted with each other and the crowd, cracking several jokes with each other, making playful banter on stage, and getting each other and the crowd to laugh and smile, you could see that they thoroughly enjoyed being genuine and loved the chance they had to perform for such a lively crowd.
Through their style of music, you could clearly hear some of the influences they had. I would almost say that they stylized the funk and soul music of the likes of James Brown, Little Richard, and maybe even a little bit of Marvin Gaye, but made it their own. With fun songs like Flow With It, GotItBad, and Wolf In Rabbit’s Clothes, it’s hard to not just want to get up and dance.
The lights and set they used at the Capitol Theater were absolutely incredible. At one point they brought out a small backdrop with some laser lights that created a rainbow effect on it while covering Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, which I thought was a great compliment to such an iconic song.
About halfway through the show, Paul left the stage with Amari (saxophone) and Chad (trombone) leaving Browan (guitar), Jesse (bass), Kevin (drums), Al (keys), and Allen (trumpet) to play about a 7 minute jam session and shortly after that, Amari came back onto the stage and started jamming with them. Now, I will say, I have heard some saxophone solos, but this one takes the cake for best one I have ever heard hands down. Their passion and soul really comes through their instruments. That was such an awesome experience! Everyone was thrilled to hear their incredible talents!
Overall, the night was a smash hit amongst fans and, it would seem, the band as well. Going into the night, I would say I was a casual fan of St Paul and the Broken Bones, only hearing a few of their songs here and there. I didn’t know a good majority of the songs that they played. But after this concert, getting to experience them first hand – and live! – I will definitely have to take a bit of a deeper dive into their catalog and get to know them much, much better. I enjoyed every part of this show, from start to finish, and I will definitely be making an effort to see them again the next time they come through and visit Utah.