I knew going into things that this night was going to be the perfect storm. First off, I love Burt's Tiki Lounge. In my particular opinion, there's nothing better than a punk show in a dive bar, and Burt's is the epitome of the dive bar. Give me a cheap beer and cover the walls in posters and I'm home. Easily doubling the good vibes, tonight Anchoress was headlining, having made their way from Vancouver, BC blowing up venue after venue on their way to burn down SLC on their first US tour. I'm not sure how to talk about Anchoress without sounding like a fanboy, so I'm just going to go for it and hope you forgive me––they're good, they're really freaking good, and I absolutely believe that this band is destined for an amazing future. I haven't stopped listening to Set Sail since I reviewed it for the upcoming June issue of SLUG, and I hope every person reading this checks it out ASAP. It's good. It's really freaking good. I'll wait here while you go buy it.
The first set of the night was The Two-Bit Band, a local punk rock trio dressed for the part and ready to warm up the crowd. Despite a couple technical difficulties and a few missed riffs, it was a solidly entertaining set. I'd like to see them when they play a little smoother, but there's not really a whole hell of a lot you can do when your gear just isn't cooperating. Highlights include a bit of amusing dissent over bassist Al Catraz's place of origin (LA by way of Columbia, I learned chatting with him after the show––a well traveled rocker, indeed), as well as drummer Dick the Kid air-drinking a beer from a stage hop-on in the middle of pounding out another song. The crowd loved them, proving once again that all is forgiven as long as you jump back in and keep the speakers pumping.
Next up was Simian Greed, a band with a fascinating name and an even more fascinating stage presence. Also featured in SLUG's January edition of Localized, this was my first time seeing them and I walked out of that venue impressed. I love their sound, particularly Dave Sanchez's unique vocal delivery, a mix of spoken word and hardcore screaming that he makes look absolutely effortless with a quiet, mostly still stage presence. Difficult to describe, although more hardcore than punk, it's not a sound that fits neatly into any particular genre, but it's captivating all the same. I'll be seeing these guys again, although I don't expect that I'll be able to describe them any better next time.
The last of the openers was a band that I've been hearing quite a bit about recently, the Salt Lake Spitfires. A little bit rockabilly, a little bit punk, and all rock and roll, these guys (and gal) had the crowd bouncing around from note one. Drunk as hell and twice as charismatic, singer David Dalby kicked serious ass as this band delivered another solid set. Unfortunately, this was also their last show with drummer Joe Bondra who is sadly moving on, but I have plenty of faith that they'll find someone to take up the sticks again and keep rocking. There's a reason they've been making waves, and I've got a feeling there's always going to be a place for good old-fashioned rock and roll. Needless to say, the crowd loved them and kept the good vibes rolling.