This last week has been nothing short of doom and gloom. This sentiment is inspired by scenes of police abuse and militarization in Ferguson, Missouri, followed up by the deaths of iconic actors Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall. The world seems to be going to hell in a hand basket, with the greats getting one-way tickets out of here. To find some relief from these epic disasters, the path to temporary salvation seems include finding a bar to crawl into or checking out a Rock n’ Roll gig. Luckily for me, I am able to do both.
Starting out at the Jackalope with an Irish coffee, I am able kill some time before hitting the Shred Shed for tonight’s super star line up. Tonight’s headliners are The Cosmonauts, so naturally, with ears perked, I had to check these cats out. Despite being early, the festivities start a bit later than advertised, possibly to allow for more people to show up, so I take advantage of the delay to make a quick trip around the corner. After a getting our hands on some liquid enthusiasm, my mate and I return to the sound of Rocky (Beat Hotel) encouraging the small and slightly growing assortment of hip weirdoes into the Shred Shed.
Starting off tonight’s fun, Beat Hotel kicks off with a fuzzy psychedelic-infused wail that is accompanied by a healthy dose of feedback. Their performance is notable, as they blast their audience with a sort of distorted wave, enveloping those close enough to the speakers in a wall of vibrating noise. This, and the ferocity of the vocals, allow one to easily see the influence of decades of psychedelic infused garage rock. Though it may seem that everyone and their mother has a niche in this market, Beat Hotel certainly makes it their own, as they play off of a more vintage sound. Though their cool demeanor keeps the audience entertained, it is hard not to notice certain technical hiccups. Despite some initial confusion regarding some mishaps, they continue to play right through to a trickling in and much appreciative audience. Closing out, Rocky reintroduces the group saying, “Beat Hotel, New York City, Utah.” I must confess to being a bit lost on that reference.
Breakers, Salt Lakes own surf-punk group are the next group on tonight’s bill, and they set a high bar that few can reach. Blasting off into a ’70s garage-punk with a surf rock influenced frenzy, they rip through the assembled crowd with heavy guitar riffs, prominent beats and killer wails courtesy of the vocals. Their near lethal doses of rock n’ roll provides a wild and aggressive performance that is topped off by their solid stage presence.