Concert Review: Throwing Muses at U of U Mayfest


The muses have shined on Salt Lake, gracing us with their music and lyrical insight. Two men and two women played to an enthralled audience, held captive by their performance—one that would have willingly sent the crowd overboard, drowning in the musical tide or crushed on the rocks as these sirens sang.

Their hour-or-so long set consisted of eighteen songs spanning their recording career. Throwing Muses showed the living, breathing side of their intelligent music, mixing faster paced songs with their more lullaby-edged tunes. Tighter than ever, the band handled those shifting rhythms and complicated guitar licks with ease. Casting a spell on the Mayfest crowd, Muses were by far the highlight of the three day event. 

New bass player Fred Abong (does he look like Joey Santiago or what?) does a great job, having taken over Leslie Langston’s spot in the band. He has picked up the songs and the feel of the Muses with seemingly no trouble, making those bass lines look easy to play. Still, I miss Leslie, grooving with bass in hand.

Expectant mother Kristen Hirsch is all the more amazing, playing guitars nestled next to her unborn child, and belting out vocals with unquestionable strength. Admirable. Add to that the guitar leads and vocals of Tanya Donelly and the drum beats of David Narciso and you have an amazing show of power and poise. 

Live performances of “Cotton Mouth,” “Dragonhead,” “Soap and Water” and “Hook In Her Head” show Muses’ versatility as well as their vulnerability, and their willingness to indulge their fans in both. 

If you missed Throwing Muses, you lost out. Make an opportunity to see them live.


For more from the SLUG Archives:
Record Reviews: November 1989
Happy One Year Anniversary