Live Music Picks: November 23-29 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Live Music Picks: November 23-29 

Katy Perry, Purity Ring, Jarabe de Palo, Billy Joel and more

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FRIDAY 11/24
Katy Perry, Purity Ring
OMG! Can you imagine going to a concert on Black Friday? Not just any concert, but one by one of today's biggest pop stars at Salt Lake's biggest arena? Yeah, after an early morning battling hostile Walmart Morlocks for cheap shit, or even mashing the refresh button on cyber-deals, I wouldn't venture into another, larger crowd, where the annoying noise is louder. Just kiddin', KP fans. Kinda. I tried to hate her, 'cause some songs—like the melodramatic, precious "Firework"—suck. But I gotta admit that I don't throw rocks at the radio when I hear "Teenage Dream," "California Gurls" or "Hot N Cold." So I get it, to a point. I mean, Perry's new joint Witness (Capitol) seems like bids to demonstrate depth, but she's not deep. She's best when she's all about fun, and Witness is a total snooze. But it's cool if you like it, or you just wanna go hear the old jams. As for me, I'll hit the Record Store Day events and spend the night listening to better music. (Randy Harward) Vivint Smart Home Arena, 301 W. South Temple, 7:30 p.m., $47-$148, all ages, vivintarena.com

 

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  • LIVEPICT.COM via Wikimedia

Jarabe de Palo
Yeah, yeah, more rock en Español. But this time it's from Spain! That's where the language originated, and it's spoken a bit different there. Like with a slight lisp, little phonetic differences and less machismo. That's singer-songwriter-bandleader Pau Donés for ya: He's Spain's Chris Martin, fronting its Coldplay—at least on the new piano-heavy album, 50 Palos (Tronco). On other albums, like 2015's Tour Americano, the dude and the rest of his band rock. It might be like a '90s alternative rock band or Springsteen-esque heartland rock or alt-country or just a solid, straight-up band of rockeros. But if you browse through JdP's discography on Spotify, you'll hear even more variety (spaghetti-Western blues, anyone?) but also a consistent sound; a through-line that ensures, no matter the genre, a Jarabe de Palo song always sounds like Jarabe de Palo—which, by the way, means "stick (or tree) syrup." Since Mrs. Butterworth's doesn't make that flavor, let's just decide that he means the songs are sweet and tend to get stuck in your head. (RH) Liquid Joe's, 1249 E. 3300 South, 7 p.m., $35 presale; $45 day of show, 21+, liquidjoes.net

 

JENNIFER STENGLEIN
  • Jennifer Stenglein

SUNDAY 11/26
Angus & Julia Stone
What do a couple of Aussies know about snow? It doesn't actually matter, because "Snow" from Snow (Capitol) only mentions snow once, and the song sounds like it was made for basking on grainier ground cover—like a beach, maybe in the fall, when it's still sunny but also kinda cold, so you gotta snuggle up with somebody to keep warm. Then you fall asleep and traipse into A&J Stone's soft-focus dreamworld, where their sleepy but peppy songs, which sound like Mazzy Star on meds, are the breeze in your hair. It's not so bad there, dwelling in dreams that feel real, while Angus and Julia's voices talk to you like anything from your conscience to ghosts. Except when you realize that these deceptively tranquil songs have only put a gauzy filter on your reality, ameliorating the hell out of your humdrum day-to-day—which suddenly seems as good as, or better than, the fantasy. (RH) Park City Live, 427 Main, Park City, 8 p.m. (doors), $30-$65, 21+, parkcitylive.net

 

JED PEARSON
  • Jed Pearson

WEDNESDAY 11/29
Fleetwood Mac Tribute feat. The Bookends, Morgan Snow, Michelle Moonshine, Sam Smith
There are a few musical power couples in town. Rick Gerber (Badfeather, Rick Gerber & the Nightcaps, Pig Eon) and Gillian Chase (Le Voir) are one of the best, and they sound great together in their duo The Bookends. Tonight's gonna be a little different, as Gerber's buddies in the Nightcaps back the pair paying tribute to one of the greatest rock bands in history, Fleetwood Mac. And isn't it interesting to picture Gerber and Chase (which would be a great name for the duo if The Bookends didn't already imply a partnership of mutual and equal effort) as one of the two couples in that legendary band? You know, minus the infighting and melodrama. Sure, strife made Mac's Rumours a certified classic, fueling "Go Your Own Way" and "The Chain." But that doesn't mean a happy couple can't render those tunes accurately and faithfully, maybe even with a slightly new and unintended spin. But before they do, singer-songwriters Morgan Snow, Michelle Moonshine and Sam Smith take a crack at tracks from the Mac canon. In individual sets, though—they ain't no musical power triad. (RH) The Hog Wallow, 3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, 8:30 p.m., $7, 21+, thehogwallow.com

 

EVERETT FITZPATRICK
  • Everett Fitzpatrick

The Frights, Vundabar, Hockey Dad
A trio of surf bands from various locales, even though it's a bit out of season for the musical genre, is always fun. Poway, Calif., trio The Frights is the closest to what you might think of as surf's local turf, and they throw garage rock's roughness and a punkish raw energy into their songs. The title of their latest album, You Are Going to Hate This (Dangerbird, 2016), is only half-winking. Vundabar vaults out of Boston, a city not usually noted for surf bands, but certainly as a music mecca in general. They opened last year's Copenhagen Beer Festival, actually held in Beantown, with the likes of Yo La Tengo. Last but not least, Hockey Dad hails from Windang, New South Wales, Australia. Astride a highly surfable peninsula, they show their stateside-savvy with their moniker's oblique Simpsons reference. It might not be summer, but tonight for a couple of hours you can pretend. (Brian Staker) Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m., $15, all ages, kilbycourt.com

 

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WEDNESDAY 11/29
Billy Joel
Billy Joel hasn't performed solo in Salt Lake City in a decade; the last time he rolled his grand piano through town was with Elton John on their last Face-to-Face tour. Between bookend face-to-face sets where they dueted on each other's songs, John came out looking like someone's BeDazzled™ mother-in-law and performed a bath bomb of once-powerful, now over-exfoliated songs (but, thankfully, none of that Lion King dreck). Then Joel came out and put some good ol' rock 'n' roll stank on the proceedings. The set was perfectly sequenced, with rockers, mid-tempo numbers and ballads forming sublime emotional peaks and valleys. He told stories of pre-tour rehearsals in SLC, and an oral sex joke that received a hilariously mixed reaction. If I'm being fair, he played his share of schmaltz ("River of Dreams," the odious "We Didn't Start the Fire"), but he finished strong with "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" and "Only the Good Die Young." But those joint sets ruined some of Joel's songs, where he traded verses with John on "Just the Way You Are," "My Life," "Uptown Girl" and "You May Be Right"—all of which need to be voiced only by Joel's earnest New York croon. That's what you're getting tonight, along with songs conspicuously missing from those tours, several audience-choice numbers and random, sometimes surprising, cover snippets. (Randy Harward) Vivint Smart Home Arena, 301 W. South Temple, 8 p.m., $49-$150, all ages, vivintarena.com

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