Shawn Mendes July 16, 2019, Vivint Arena

By: Kevin Rolfe

Shawn Mendes is as big a pop star as there is right now.  It’s virtually impossible to not know who he is. He has the type of fame that gets him featured on everything from Saturday Night Live to TMZ.  He’s everywhere! But on July 16th Salt Lake City had Shawn to themselves at Vivint Smart Home Arena.  

The arena was packed! I didn’t hear if it was a sellout or not, but if it wasn’t there couldn’t have been many seats left.  I walked in just as Mendes took the stage and the audience filled with mostly teen to preteen girls was deafening!  The roar subsided (slightly), and I could make out that the first song was “Lost in Japan”. I looked around at the frenzy to get a sense of the crowd and who was there.  Next to many of these rabid teenage fans were what seemed to be their parents. I would see a group of about four to five girls and there would be a couple of moms with them.  Every so often I’d see a dad in the mix. God bless them. 

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Chase Atlantic July 5, 2019, The Depot

By: Evelyn Salazar

Photo By: Evelyn Salazar

The amount of energy that Chase Atlantic brought to the stage was INSANE. Friday night, fans lined outside of The Depot, wrapping around the corner as they waited for doors to open. I had heard of Chase Atlantic before, but have never actually heard their music. But with how excited every girl and guy seemed in line, it was obvious they had a strong fan base here in SLC. I honestly had no idea what kind of music they played but was excited to find out. And oh was I surprised and also super into it! 

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UCR Interview-Christian Anthony of Chase Atlantic

Interviewed By: Kevin Rolfe

Chase Atlantic are an Australian band that personally produces, performs, and conjures up dark, rhythmic alt-pop, punctuated by rock and R&B as well. Their stylish, distinctive sound has an undeniable groove and edge that highlights their knack for catchiness and hooks. They have just released their sophomore album, PHASES.  It’s sure to hit home with fans of Post Malone, The Neighbourhood, The1975, and The Weeknd.  

Chase Atlantic will be headlining The Depot on Friday, July 5.  I had the opportunity to interview rhythm guitarist and vocalist, Christian Anthony a few weeks before the new album was released.     

Utah Concert Review: How does it feel to be finished making your new album and just waiting for it to be released?

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Weathers June 30, 2019, Kilby Court

By: Evelyn Salazar

By: Evelyn Salazar

Have you ever seen someone rocking out while using a crutch? Well, Sunday night everyone at Kilby Court did. The popular, downtown, urban venue was the chilliest spot you could be on a Sunday night. Everyone lounged around outside the venue, chatting it up and waiting for Weathers to come on! Closer to show time, the venue filled up with eager fans, lots who were rocking their Weathers merch. Once the boys came out on stage the screams did not stop! I don’t think I’ve ever heard louder screaming from a crowd at Kilby Court than I did that night. Lead singer, Cameron Boyer, hopped on stage up to the mic, rocking a crutch on his left arm. The lead singer had hurt his ankle but that did not stop him from getting on that stage and rocking out, and rocking out hard!

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The Struts June 29, 2019, The Depot

By: Kevin Rolfe

Photo By: Kevin Rolfe

So I saw The Struts last night.  I could easily save us some time and just write, “WOW!” and be done with my review.  There is just so much to say about this show so I’ll continue writing. But, WOW you guys, Wow.  The Struts played to a fired up sold-out crowd at The Depot on Saturday night. This was just the third time The Struts have played Utah.  After seeing this show I instantly regretted not having seen them the other two times.  

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RAIN-A Tribute to The Beatles June 22, 2019, Eccles Theater

By: Matt Wolf

Photo By: Matt Wolf

If you were to ask a group of people, “What band/singer do you wish you could have seen live in concert?” who would they say?  I’d imagine Elvis is one most people would mention. I would also think that Freddie Mercury with Queen would be another. For me, I would have loved to have seen Buddy Holly or perhaps Whitney Houston.  Speaking of Buddy, I’m excited for the chance to “see him” and Roy Orbison in lifelike hologram form at the “Rock ‘N’ Roll Dream Tour” this October at Eccles Theater. But of all the bands and singers and musicians around I would have to think if you asked someone who they wish they could see in concert it would be The Beatles.  Even when they were together and all the band members were alive they didn’t play live nearly as much as people would have liked. Unfortunately, John Lennon and George Harrison have passed. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr still tour on their own, but what would it be like to have seen The Beatles in concert? Well, that’s where RAIN comes in.  They put on a show that gives you as close a look as you’re ever going to get.

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All Hail the Silence June 25, 2019, Red Butte Garden

Photo By: Allister Ann

By Kevin Rolfe

Being the opening band in a concert can be a pretty different experience.  Being the opening act at Red Butte Garden can be a really different experience.  Red Butte Garden is a beautiful venue. But it’s different. Many of the tickets for their concerts are sold in a season ticket package.  So a lot of the audience just goes to everything on the schedule whether they like the artist or not. These are generally the people who talk the entire evening then leave the show halfway through the headliners set.  You’re also allowed to bring food and drinks with you so many people will pack a cooler and wine and dine while the opener is on stage. And as enjoyable as that is, I always feel for the band on stage who is performing and trying to get their music out there while most likely feeling ignored. 

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Aly & AJ June 15, 2019, The Complex

By: Evelyn Salazar

Photo By: Evelyn Salazar

Bring on the nostalgia!

Saturday, June 15, 2019, Salt Lake City was blessed with the appearance of the sister, pop- duo Aly & AJ. Fans of all ages anxiously waited outside The Complex hours before doors opened, so they could snag a good spot. The iconic sister duo came back from a 10-year hiatus from music last year, and just released their new EP Sanctuary last month. For a lot of fans, this would be their first time seeing the girls live because of their 10 year break. It was amazing to see young kids to grown adults in line. If you were a Disney Channel kid like I was, then you know just how amazing Aly & AJ are! They were a huge part of my childhood, with their catchy songs and unforgettable music videos that would play during commercial breaks. When I think of them, it takes me back to simpler days in the 2000’s era. They remind me of summer breaks and my pre-teen bedroom, covered in posters from those teen magazines! So I was excited to hear them perform live too!

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Parachute June 1, 2019, The Depot

By: Cassilyn Anderson

Photo By: Cassilyn Anderson

On Saturday, June 1st, Parachute made their Utah tour stop at The Depot in Downtown Salt Lake City! I personally have loved Parachute since I was 15 years old.  I had never seen them before so I was stoked to finally get to see the Charlottesville Virginia based band for the first time in concert. I love their upbeat and fun style of music.  I couldn’t wait to see what type of show they would put on.

The Depot has always been one of my favorite venues so I’m always excited when I find out a band is performing there.  It was a great fit for this show! As for attendance, I felt like the room was completely packed from front to back. I was surprised when I heard that The Depot wasn’t sold out.  I heard the same thing when I coverd Walk Off the Earth. It was so packed in there I don’t know how it wasn’t a sellout!

Photo By: Cassilyn Anderson

Parachute performed beautifully throughout the night and brought so much energy. One of my favorite songs from Parachute is “Can’t Help”.  I might be biased but to me, that was the best song of the night. They also played other popular songs like “Jennie”, “Something to Believe In”, and “Kiss Me Slowly”.  Each and every one of those performances were insanely good! The crowd seemed to be having a good time. There was a good mix of teenagers and adults and it seemed like everyone danced and sang the night away.

My favorite part of the show was hearing how highly lead singer, Will Anderson spoke of Salt Lake City. He mentioned that there was a different energy from any other show. Anderson expressed how he was always so excited to perform in Salt Lake every year because it has been his favorite for many years.

Photo By: Cassilyn Anderson

As I mentioned, The Depot was a fantastic venue to host this concert. They do very well with sound and the lighting looks great in there.  When the sound and lighting are it makes for a really fun atmosphere to be in. You never want to leave! Unfortunately, once Parachute came out and played “Lonely With Me” for their encore, it was time to go.  The Depot will forever be one of my favorite venues to attend.

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NEEDTOBREATHE May 22, 2019, Eccles Theater

By: Kevin Rolfe

The first time I ever heard NEEDTOBREATHE was from a YouTube video of them performing one of my favorite Christmas songs “Go Tell it On the Mountain”.  I absolutely loved that version and I watched that video dozens of times over the Holiday Season. So when I saw a few months back that they would be playing Utah I knew I wanted to cover their concert.  I just had a good feeling that I’d be entertained by their live show. I had never even heard any of their original music. When I googled the band to get a little background I saw a lot coming up about NEEDTOBREATHE being a “Christian Rock” band or articles written about “Are they or aren’t they Christian Rock”.  Nothing against Christian Rock but it comes with the stigma that “It’s not really rock”, or it is watered down because of its subject matter. Whether that’s true or not is a debate for another day. I only wondered what type of concert I would be going to. Would it be a more traditional concert like the ones I’m used to going to?  Or would it be a concert with a lot of preachin’ both in the music and the spoken word? I did see an article in Rolling Stone where NEEDTOBREATHE stated that they don’t put labels on their music and because it can be limiting. They feared that they had been passed over by people who may have enjoyed their music because of being labeled a Christian Rock band.  So I told myself before going that I would be open-minded to whatever I was going to see and make my decision after the concert was over.

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