The annually anticipated Big Ass Show is nowhere to be found on the 2017 calendar. This is the year of the Spring Thing, the first of many summer concert series from X96 to replace the massive yearly event. Put on by the folks from the best alternative radio station in the greater Salt Lake area and held at the Downtown Gallivan Center, Spring Thing brings together the Los Angeles hometown band flor, the Manhattan-based Dreamers and New Jersey’s Bleachers together on the same stage.
At the venue, lines stretched around the block as people waited anxiously to get into the plaza to secure their spot at the front of the barricades. Once inside, people are able to get a burger, some merchandise or even a beer (for the 21-plus attendees). With most of the young crowd positioned and droplets becoming more regular and anticipation rises as the time passes, everyone was ready for music.
First up to the microphone was L.A.’s flor, an alternative indie group that brings that mellow, dreamlike sound to the crowd. With songs such as “let me in” and “heart,” this ensemble takes drums, guitar, keyboard, some effect pieces and soft vocals to present a tightly toned, well-executed, uniquely gentle performance that conveys their clear passion for music.
The second group of the evening was the makers of the popular “Sweet Disaster”: Dreamers. This three-person band consists of drummer Jacob Lee Wick, bassist Marc Nelson and lead singer and guitarist Nick Wold. Once the band gets going, they don’t stop, with tracks from their This Album Does Not Exist album, such as “Drugs,” “Wolves” and the greatly appreciated obligatory “Sweet Disaster.” This small group runs around stage, jumps off to give high-fives, or just stands still, hair-flipping and basking in the furious winds that had built up in the Downtown venue.
Last was Bleachers, who took the stage one by one from the back of house. Frontman Jack Antonoff made his appearance to enthusiastic squeals and uproarious applause. With no further delay, Bleachers dove into the music. Antonoff, with a smile and stylish blue ’80s jacket, told the audience that they are the best fans in the country and that he’s remembered Salt Lake ever since he played at Kilby Court in the early 2000s. As the energy picked up up, the lights went down down both onstage and over the city as crowds of young fans jumped up and down screaming, “I love you Jack.”
All in all, this Spring Thing was definitely an achievement and exciting new platform for X96 as a promising successor to the Big Ass Show brand. Check out X96 for more show dates, get some tickets and get YOUR ass to the next show.
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