Concert Reviews: December 1991
November 6, 1991
November 11, 1991
Best Kissers In The World
November 20, 1991
It’s been a busy month at DV8. In addition to these shows there have been appearances by Poi Dog Pondering, Mary’s Danish and Eleven. Next month sees Pearl Jam and Die Warzau visiting the club, among others.
The Orb worked the audience hard, playing their mixture of ambience, House and Rave music to a club full of dancing fans. Starting the show and getting the audience in the groove, D.J. Alex spun twenty minutes of his favorite dance records, mixing sonic beats with all the energy necessary to his profession as D.J. in several London clubs. Not to be outdone, co-Orb member and programmer, Thrash, danced in the wings and through the dancefloor until he took his place on the stage for the show.
The music/ambience was non-stop as songs mixed into songs with moody bridges of noise and sampled before adding those dangerous beats that got the crowd moving again. And to this the incredible psychedelic light show and the film clips that ranged from Star Trek to moon landings and you have one hell of a show, both aurally and visually.
With The Orb, the music comes first, the band taking a back seat to the grooves pumped out the P.A. Lights, sound and video took over, but Thrash and D.J. Alex looked as though they were having at least as much fun as the audience, if not more. If only the 3-D Orb glasses would show up.
Blur, England’s most shaggable band, took the stage at DV8 and took over the minds of the audience who were left to shake their heads and move their feet to the Rave-O-Rama Damon Albarn, lead vocalist and songwriter, took to the microphone with a bullhorn, alternating between singing and shouting out lyrics to the audience, while pulling antics on stage with his bandmates.
Blur has all the energy of youth and might remind one of English schoolboys on holiday, trying desperately to relieve the pent-up frustrations of sitting still for days at a time. The band probably spent more time rolling around on the floor, smashing into one another and climbing on the stage props than they did on their feet. Still, they didn’t miss a note as they played faves like “She’s So High” and “There’s No Other Way.”
Live, Blur is more funked-up and groovy than on the record, causing one audience member to remark, “It’s just more Inspirational Carpets shit,” but these four boys put on a show, complete with acid lighting and a cardboard cut-out of Elvis (the King) to back up the music.
Blur is riding high on the second wave of Rave, catching all the way to American popularity and making it a household genre of music here in the states. So sing or swim.
I’ve never seen a more diverse concert crowd than the one that showed up for the legendary Meat Puppets. From hair-flipping Sub Pop types to Yuppies to KJQ new wavers, all factions of the Salt Lake Underground braved the rain and were in attendance at the gig. Which shows the diversity and broad appeal of the Puppets.
Opening for Meat Puppets was the new Sub Pop power pop band, Best Kissers In The World, whose new EP was released the day before the show. Besides being a great band, Best Kissers have a great sense of humor which they were all too willing to try on the audience. The lead singer/guitarist quipped lines like “I smell bad: and “Utah’s the damnedest thing. I know that you know what I mean.” As well as opening their countrified rock ballad “Hungover Together” with the admonition, “This is the part where you grab anyone you want and hold ’em close, but still lean against the wall.”
Working through songs off the EP like “Goldfish Bowl,” “Vicodine” and the aforementioned “Hunger Together,” Best Kissers, delivered a great set and show a lot of promise as a new Sub Pop band.
Most Puppets played fast and tight. This incredible SST three-piece band has wowed audiences for years have built up a large following in Salt Lake, and it’s no wonder. Flanked by life size panels of Meat Puppet art, the band played foot stomping cow punk made even more intriguing by vocal harmonies and shifting rhythms, executed with precision, never missing a beat or note.
The energy level was so high the sweat was condensing on the ceiling and dropping down on the floor again. Lead guitarist Curt Kirkwood played in a frenzy, almost letting his guitar get away from him at times but still keeping enough control that his leads were in perfect synch with Cris Kirkwood’s bass and Derrick Bostrom’s drumming.
If you missed these shows, it’s time to get out of the house and get into the clubs for some great music performed by some incredible bands.
Thanks to the management and staff of DV8!
November 16, 1991
November 22, 1991
I love to seem Commonplace live. There’s not much better in Salt Lake than watching Scott Bringard hunched over his guitar, ripping out riffs, or Lara Bringard forcing out her rough vocals over the wall of sound created by the entire band.
But this show was one of the strongest yet by the band, perhaps due to time off for recording and refining their music. Commonplace played a great set of songs ranging from the older “Try As I Might” to newer, more divers material like the instrumental “Smokie” and the melodic, acoustic “Again,” which is a great showcase for Lara’s voice and her ability to cover a whole range of emotions with her voice.
“Smokie” is a hard driving tune that rivals the best of the English guitar noise bands like Lush, Swervedriver, Slowdive and Chapterhouse. With steady bass and drums, the guitars of Scott and Colin lay down heavy melodies that make noise into music, turing feedback and scratching guitar sounds into a melody line.
Commonplace built up the energy throughout their nine song set, finding the crowd wanting more, not content to be left hanging.
Opening for Commonplace were Thursday Bureau, mixing guitars with violin and male and female vocals for a softer pop sound that is still very appealing. The band has widened it’s musical territory since the first show I saw them, exploring new styles within their genre.
Sandwiched in between were Swing Bike, a new band in the Salt Lake scene made up of some former members of Da Neighbors.
New band night at The Pompadour found a large crowd in anticipation of debut performances by Godthing and Foundation.
I’ve heard rumors of Godthing but was not prepared for the all out assault on my ears by this incredible band, based in Provo. Reminiscent of early Swans, Godflesh, Christian Death and with some definite tribal influences, the only word to describe this four-piece is heavy. Apparently too heavy for some as, unfortunately, the crowd thinned a bit during their performances.
Fronted by guitarist/vocalist/sometimes bassist and percussionist Kevin Kiggins, Godthing took off with a grinding roar that didn’t stop until the band finished. Mixed in were harmonies and vocals by keyboardist MisHell, throbbing bass and guitar trade-offs from Matt Call, and the steady pounding of Eli Morrison on drums and whatever else he could bang on.
Not since Nauvoo has one band made so much noise in such an appealing manner. It’s great to have some new talent in the scene.
And if you ever go see Foundation, don’t forget to wear a silly hat. That was my mistake.
November 23, 1991
Bar and Grill
The Bar and Grill was packed with fans ranging from those barely twenty-one to those well over the legal drinking age. And all were in anticipation of the reunion of one of the early eighties great power pop bands, the Buzzcocks. After nine years of silence from the band, with only some solo work from the leader, Pete Shelley, the Buzzcocks are back. Older, true. But they still have all the energy and excitement that made them so popular during the post punk apocalypse.
Opening for the Buzzcocks were the Vandals, straight from behind the Orange Curtain. With a new album out, Fear Of A Punk Planet, The Vandals have taken to the road again, playing old favorites as well as new songs.
Vandals still have their wacky sense of humor, tearing through new stuff like “Pizza Tran,” about “A Vietnamese girls that delivers pizza in Orange County,” “The Day Farrah Fawcett Died,” “Girls Turn 18 Every Day” and their spoof of “Summer Lovin” from Grease, with lines like: “Tell me more, tell me more/Did you get in her pants?” Vandals also through in their staple crowd pleasers like “Urban Struggle,” “Pat Brown,” “Lady Killer” and “Anarchy Burger.” These guys can “stomp around like a bunch of goons” and incite the audience to join them in their frivolity.
As the Buzzcocks took the stage the excitement level mounted. Pete Shelley is looking a lot like Davey Jones these days with his beatlesque haircut, white turtleneck and sixties jacket, which was the outfit for the band, sort of like those sixties pop groups that all dressed alike. But Buzzcocks played at least at 120 m.p.h. working the crowd into a frenzy with songs like “Ever Fallen in Love,” “Everyone Is Happy Nowadays” and an unforgettable encore of “Boredom,” “Fast Cars,” and their most well known song, “Orgasm Addict.”
Buzzcocks also played some new material from their recent British E.P. They still have the gusto to rock hard, playing driving songs with pop harmony, but without all the teen angst that was so appealing in the aftermath of punk rock. The boys are shopping around for an American record contract with new drummer Mike Joyce (ex-Smiths). So hopefully we’ll be hearing more from them, if not seeing more of them.
Some band reunions are unwelcome (I think you can all think of at least one band that you wish had stayed broken up), but the Buzzcocks still show all the promise they had before their untimely demise. If they’d only stuck it out.
November 8, 1991
Having been quite sometime since I have made a Special guest appearance at any of Salt Lake’s premiere gigs, I decided to drag my ugly ass out for a night of complete entertainment. Of course it would take quite a bit of beer for me to even consider showing up to one of these fucking things, especially after the Brainstorm reunion fiasco. Luckily, I found one Ream’s store that was more than willing to contribute to my delinquency, and at a helluva discount.
Right. So here I come ripped out of my gourd for one Bad Yodelers show. I’d never even heard these guys, but I’d been made aware of the blonde Yod God Terrence and his cronies. I figured it would be quite the spectacular even to watch long-haired, straight edge art losers be entertained by local superstars.
My preconceived notions regarded said bands were quickly diminished by the enthusiastic crowd that literally impressed the hell out of me. In complete rapture, I found myself slamming and stage diving amongst this wonderful crowd that more than once helped me to my feet after landing on my ass. The crowd that turned out this fateful Friday was the best bunch of kids I’ve met in ages. However an audience alone does not make a gig.
The show itself was absolutely incredible. The opening set by Trusty (Little Rock, Arkansas) was a complete shock, featuring a dual guitar assault that was unlike any other. Their energetic performance was highlighted by a frenzied audience that thoroughly enjoyed their original songs. Okay, great fucking set. What comes next? Complete cranial destruction courtesy of the Bad Yodelers. It’s about the time that a band in Utah lives up to it’s rep as one of the city’s finest.
Gentry’s guitar work is absolutely astounding, and I get the impression that he’s finally in a band worthy of his talent. Though the drummer’s name eludes me, he displayed an abundance of talent. Consistent, sold and razor sharp, Rob Sunderlage is an incredible bassist. The unfortunate announcement that this show would be his last will leave an unpaved road for his successor to follow. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the legitimate talent of Terrence D.H. I have always been skeptical of his abilities and was soundly proved wrong.
General synopsis: proof that there still is a scene and that the kids still care. The turnout was impressive, and the moral of the populace present was at an all time high. In addition to strong band performances, the air of the event was positive and gave me faith that Salt Lake still has hope.
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