BILLY. FUCKING. IDOL. Excuse me for being crass, but my life simultaneously began and ended in a single night this past week. As a child, I fell in love with Rebel Yell that my mom owned on cassette and I listened to it religiousy on a mustard-yellow Sony Walkman with those sport headphones. 

On Dec. 15, local radio station X96 threw their 8th Annual Nightmare Before Xmas Concert with Billy Idol and special guests Bleachers and Priory at The Complex.

Priory opened the night and played their current hits including the song “Weekend”. Bleachers (who happened to have two drummers!) blew the crowd’s socks off with their hit song “Rollercoaster.”

Billy Idol kicked off his hour long set with “Dancing with Myself.” That’s when I nearly lost my pulse. Other huge hits he played through the night included “Rebel Yell,” “White Wedding,” “Mony Mony” and surprisingly “Generation X.”

This, in my opinon, was the last epic show of 2014. Thank you to The Complex and X96 for hosting such a memorable night.

Photos by M.A.BARATTA – www.mikeybaratta.com

HEAL Utah, a nonprofit organization that battles big polluting industries on environmental protection legislation, held their 8th annual benefit dinner at The State Room with an hour long performance by The Lab Dogs, a local SLC bluegrass band. The theme for the night was simply “subert the inversion”. The local community that makes up Utah’s clean air initiative came together to discuss issues with pollution in our inversion layer.

Anyone who has survived a winter in Salt Lake City knows all too well about this major problem, but for our out-of-town readers who may be unfamiliar with what inversion is, here is a quick breakdown of the topic:

Inversion is a process where the layers of warm air near the ground and the cold air higher up in the atmosphere “invert” during the winter. This normally wouldn’t be a problem, but as a result of coal burning, wood burning, large industrial burning and car emissions, pollution collects and sits above our heads in the cold layer for most of the year. Then, during the winter, the dense cold layer gets trapped underneath the warm air layer, bringing the built-up pollution down into the air we breathe. The Wasatch Front valleys and surrounding mountains act as a bowl that keep this problem hanging around until major storm fronts come through and eventually clear out the chemical build-up.

Thursday night’s program began with a special VIP social gathering at The State Room, leading to a dinner in the main hall while The Lab Dogs played their set. Then, various members of HEAL Utah‘s staff and board of directors gave presentations on the night’s topic. They discussed the organization’s eight-year history of fighting the loopholes in state and federal regulations that allow big companies to continue polluting virtually unchecked. The presenters also discussed Heal Utah’s agenda for the 2015 fiscal year.

For more information on how to get involved in HEAL Utah’s mission or to simply donate to Heal Utah’s causes please refer to their website at HEALUtah.org.

Photos by: M.A.BARATTA / mikeybaratta.com

This past Tuesday evening, SLC had the pleasure of welcoming Sleater-Kinney, along with hip-hop opener Lizzo, at The Depot for the Riot grrl trio’s first tour in nearly a decade. Sleater-Kinney supported their newest album “No Cities to Love,” which was released earlier this year- as well as played some classic SK hits to a sold out crowd. 

Be sure to read Nick Kuzmack’s review of the show.

Photos by M.A.BARATTA || www.mikeybaratta.com