That infamous line from the NBC comedy 30 Rock helped give Utah County dance-rock band Shark Speed its name. And since that day more than three years ago, the band has been rocking the Utah County music scene with house shows, festivals and frequent venue performances, as well as occasional shows in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
Come say goodbye (or possibly hello and then goodbye) to Shark Speed Friday night at 8 p.m. at Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo as the band plays its last show (for now). The Protons, Hot Parents and APT will open the party.
Two of Shark Speed’s founding members and brothers, Joe and Jared Christensen, are graduating from school and moving to Kansas City, Missouri, to pursue other endeavors.
Shark Speed released its debut album Sea Sick Music in January 2009 and its follow-up four-song Education EP a year later. Both albums are incredibly well put together and thought out, and do an exceptional job capturing the energy and intensity of the band’s songs. The only thing that can top their recorded music is their even more energetic and heartfelt live performances.
Both of the band’s albums were recorded at Flying Blanket Recordings in Mesa, Ariz., the same studio where bands like The Format and Dear and the Headlights have recorded.
Since the beginning, Shark Speed has done things independently. Both albums were recorded on the band’s own budget; the band booked its own shows, bought a van to tour in and has taken to the streets to flier the old-fashioned way, nailing posters to lampposts and anything else they can get a staple in.
I met Shark Speed in January 2009 and have been a fan ever since. I’ve interviewed them several times, been to countless shoes, bought several t-shirts and may or may not have been seen sporting a shark fin hat at one of their shows. Shark Speed CDs are in rotation constantly, their posters line the walls of my home and they even played our wedding house party last month, where I sang “Pretend” with the band. They’ve been my favorite local Utah County band for years, and they’ve become even greater friends.
“Already, as far as this band has gone, it’s a success for us,” Shark Speed guitarist Joe Christensen told me once during an interview. “I don’t think we really expected it to go as far as it has. By far this has been the most successful band I think all of us have been in. Even the album alone is a landmark.”
“Shark Speed was one of the first local bands that gave me a reason to stay invested in our local scene,” said Kaneischa Johnson, longtime Shark Speed fan and PR director for Velour. “Aside from just being a group of some of the nicest dudes I know, they have always put more than 100 percent into the band, making great music, and playing shows. What's better is that they are easily one of my favorite bands. I've always enjoyed getting crazy with the front of the crowd at their shows.”
In another interview I did a few years ago, Christensen told me what some of the bands’ goals were for the future.
“I think the main goal would be to keep putting out our music and keep on having fun at it,” he told me. “When it comes down to it, through arguments or little bickering, it’s always good to remind each other, ‘Let’s make this memorable. Let’s just have a good time because it’s not going to last forever.’”
Unfortunately, truer words haven’t been spoken. Come say goodbye to Shark Speed Friday night and join in the celebration. Shark fins, shark hats and shark gummy candies are encouraged.