Last weekend a few of my friends and I all stuffed ourselves into a car and made a short but sweet weekend trip to sunny St. George, Utah. Aside from â€œthe hell of it,â€Ł the reason for our journey entailed a performance by Regal Beast at GoGo 37 and an interview for SLUGâ€™s podcast, Soundwaves From the Underground, with the venueâ€™s owner, Ryan Groskreutz.
After searching for a decent coffee shop up and down St. George Boulevard (Bean Scene is more than decent, by the way) we arrived at the venue shortly after 8 oâ€™clock Saturday night just in time to hear the local opening band, The Message. The less I say about these guys, the better. They were under-practiced basement rockers who listen to a lot of Blink 182 and Fugazi. Keep working, kids.
Following the opening act, Midnight Vitals took the stage. While these guys are currently touring with PTO, it felt like we caught them on an off night. Their dynamics werenâ€™t that dynamic and they just seemed incapable of holding my attention. Or maybe I just had too much coffee. If any of you have followed how YYBS has matured, Midnight Vitals reminded me a lot of early YYBS.
Thus far into the show the crowd still remained the dismal turnout that it was for the opening act. About 17 or 18 people spaced the floor of the venue like the 2011 Dallas Mavericks, and seemed about as excited about the music as show review readers will about basketball references. In fact, as the show progressed and got closer the headlining act, the crowd thinned out into the quiet St. George night. Immediately after Midnight Vitals, the three-piece that is PTO took the stage. The Salt Lake originals kept the trend of the night going, playing better than the band before them, and rousing the pint-sized crowd just a little bit more.
Finally, at around 10 oâ€™clock, the headlining act Regal Beast took the stage in an attempt to revive and rock some life into St. George. As soon as the Provo natives began to play, it was as if someone changed the channel from a TLC knitting special to a pay--ew WWF rage in the cage match and turned on surround sound. Regal Beast rocked the hall-way shaped venue deaf with their instrumentally laden set, letting their Telecasters and CC drums do the talking. Those who stuck around to see the entire show were redeemed for their efforts to enjoy the other bands as Regal Beast delivered a powerful and dynamic set nearly knocking the contemporary art being showcased by GoGo off the walls. To hear more about the venue and whatâ€™s going on with the music scene down south check out Episode #45 of Soundwaves From the Underground on May 14.