The Valley Arena @ Murray Theater

Posted August 17, 2009 in
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The Valley Arena
Murray Theater

The announcement of The Valley Arena’s return to Utah after three years called for my excited dance (which includes a hop, yell, and a bit of shake), with a preview listen of their recent release We Died.

Doors were listed to open at 6:30 at Sho, so I arrived just before 7:00 thinking I would spare myself the wait of sound checks of the opening band. The only entrance I could find with people near it was to The Murray Theater, and having never been here before, I entered in some form of a guessing game. Inside the lights were low, and there was a band on stage already. As I came to realize it was The Valley Arena I almost fell down the poorly lit stairs, thinking the walkway was a ramp, and hoping this was only a sound check. Sadly it was not, and according to the trendy “rockster” girl, I had already missed two songs.

Small devastation aside, I enjoyed the set made up of songs from the new album We Died.  The band seemed a little bummed, but my excitement returned as the guitarist Chris Stevens started in with his loose body dance moves. Reverb vocals and catchy riffs had me dancing across the floor with a full-hearted smile. Even the rising murmur of what I thought to be the out of place scene kids didn’t bother me. I just soaked it all in. LIke most sets, this one ended way too quickly. I couldn’t even hope for an encore as my little voice hardly made it past the row of faces heavily caked in neon make-up in front of me. 

As I checked out the merch table, I found out from guitarist/vocalist Warren Woodward the scheduled bands set to perform with them had all canceled, and instead of canceling the show altogether they were placed as the opener for screamo-metal band Katsumoto. So I, not the scene kids, was out of place.

Even though the rest of the show was going to be screamo, not something I normally check out, I decided to stick around to maybe broaden my musical scope. After a conversation with someone I shall call Mr. Heavily Cologned Creep, an odd flick-show of lighting, and the first song of teenage boy growling, I was done. As I walked out the security man chased after me, calling for me to come back. He gave me the warning there would be a re-entry fee if I wanted to get back in. I must say this was frightening, but nice of him to let me know. Luckily I had no desire to return.

My first time to the Murray Theater definitely left me disappointed. The atmosphere of the place wasn’t comforting, the lighting was all over the place but not where needed, and to top it off there was a man moving stage equipment around behind The Valley Arena as they performed. I found this very disrespectful, rude, and simply unprofessional for someone to do. As for the bull-shit re-entry fee all it does is change a carefree event into a trap.

So begins the wait for The Valley Arena’s return. Until then, check out their new album We Died.