Live: Music Picks March 20-26 



Umphrey’s McGee
With innovative fan experiences like UMBowl (the fifth happening in New York in May), in which fans dictate the show’s proceedings, Illinois prog-rock sextet Umphrey’s McGee champions crowd relations with monthly podcast highlights, covers ranging from the Charlie Brown theme song to Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” and impeccably timed light shows. If you’re that die-hard fan in the crowd yelling out “Alex’s House,” they want to and will play it, with improvisational flair. The solidly skilled musicians can seamlessly transition from rock to pop to jazz and back again, often allowing a bandmate to slide off into a soulful solo during their live performances. Expect their eighth album out this spring. The California Honey Drops will open. (Carly Fetzer)
The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 8 p.m., $20 in advance, $25 day of show,


Mr. Gnome
Cleveland, Ohio, indie-rock duo Mr. Gnome—Nicole Barille (vocals, guitar) and Sam Meister (drums, keyboard)—deliver post-punk beats and hints of goth reminiscent of Siouxsie & the Banshees. Their latest album, Madness In Miniature—released in 2011—is like listening to an apocalyptic sci-fi fairytale. The track “House of Circles” is accompanied by a must-see video featuring freedom fighters saving the world from the evil sun-eating queen. Beautiful, gory ballads such as “Run For Cover” suck you in with layered harmonies and surprise take-offs mid-song. Fans of Cat Power and Arcade Fire are likely to fall for Mr. Gnome’s experimental dark rock. Heaps & Heaps and Big Wild Wings will start the night. (Deann Armes)
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $8 in advance, $10 day of show,; limited no-fee tickets available at

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
Lukas Nelson’s reedy, powerful voice might sound uncannily like his legendary old man’s, but the music produced by the California vocal/guitarist and his three-man backing band is like nothing Willie has ever made. A groovy but hard-hitting combination of Southern-fried rock and jam-band elements—bongos, chimes—Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real play with high amounts of energy and pizzazz. To write their upcoming, as-yet-untitled full-length album, the band stayed at an isolated summer camp in the famous Topanga Canyon in California for six weeks. Maybe all the surfing and fresh air had an effect; in a press release, Nelson says the new material will be a lot more positive and hopeful than the songs on their 2012 album, Wasted. The Weekenders open on Friday night; Tony Holiday & the Velvetones open on Saturday. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
The State Room, 638 S. State, 9 p.m., $27; also March 22,; limited no-fee tickets available at

Taking Back Sunday, The Used
It’s no surprise these two hugely popular rock/post-hardcore bands were booked for two nights in Salt Lake City. They both have new music coming out, and The Used originated in Utah. Taking Back Sunday has come a long way since the Long Island, N.Y., band’s debut album, 2002’s Tell All Your Friends. Several lineup changes—including the departure of guitarist/co-vocalist Fred Mascherino in 2007—and studio albums later, Taking Back Sunday’s sixth full-length, Happiness Is, was just released March 18. The Used—founded in Orem in 2001—have polished their sound a lot since their gritty self-titled debut album; vocalist Bert McCracken’s trademark scream is absent from new single “Cry” from The Used’s upcoming new album, Imaginary Enemy, out April 1. But that doesn’t mean The Used still don’t have “Box of Sharp Objects” hidden in their sleeve. Tonight Alive and Sleepwave are also on the bill. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 6 p.m., $29.50 in advance, $34 day of show; also March 22, 7 p.m.,

Jay William Henderson, Timmy the Teeth, Brinton Jones, Isaac Russell
It’s a good rule of thumb to never miss a show featuring Jay William Henderson, but when he’s joined by fellow local acts Timmy the Teeth, Brinton Jones and Isaac Russell, that’s an absolute must-see lineup. All four artists sing with unabashed emotion and a strong sense of lyrical storytelling. This will be Jay William Henderson’s final Utah show until the end of summer at least, since he’s jetting off to Nashville for the next few months to record his highly anticipated new album, Hymns to My Amnesia. Timmy the Teeth is the folk duo of Timothy George and Jordan Clark; check out George’s incredible songwriting on his 2012 album, White Horse. The stellar talent of Brinton Jones (frontman of The Devil Whale) and Isaac Russell will complete the night. No tickets will be sold in advance, so arrive early to snag your spot. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
Velour, 135 N. University Ave., Provo, 8 p.m., $8,


Against Me!
The latest album by Gainesville, Fla., punk rockers Against Me! begins a new chapter for the band, but it also marks the turning of a particularly significant page in the life of their lead vocalist, Laura Jane Grace. Formerly known as Tom Gabel, Grace came out as transgender in 2012, and Transgender Dysphoria Blues—released in January—is the first album Against Me! has released since Grace began living as a woman. Featuring the band’s new rhythm section and contributions from punk notables like Joan Jett and Fat Mike of NOFX, the album is awe-inspiring, with Grace bravely confronting the obstacles, pain and frustrations that she’s faced as a transgender person. In tracks like “True Trans Soul Rebel” and “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” Grace’s gritty, sledgehammer-like voice tells the story of her self-discovery. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
Murray Theater, 4959 S. State, 7 p.m., $17,


The Appleseed Cast
In the past work by Lawrence, Kan., indie-rock quartet The Appleseed Cast, the lyrics often melted into the nuanced, mind-bendingly intricate instrumentation. On the band’s most recent album, 2013’s Illumination Ritual, they almost disappear altogether. But there’s so much going on in these evocatively titled songs—“North Star Ordination” and “Adriatic to Black Sea,” for example—that the ear still has plenty to absorb, such as math-rock guitar lines that weave around each other, time-signature changes, layers of synths and detail-driven percussion. Sticking the lyrics in the backseat and letting the richly textured soundscapes take the wheel makes for an album that sucks the listener into the varied moods and feelings of the music. Great Interstate and Strong Words are also on the bill. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $10 in advance, $12 day of show,; limited no-fee tickets available at

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