Local Bands at Kilby Block Party | Music | Salt Lake City Weekly

Local Bands at Kilby Block Party 

Little Moon, Sculpture Club, Nicole Canaan, Bobo, Drusky and more

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  • Little Moon

Me, you, all your friends and even your mother (maybe especially your mother, as it's woefully placed on Mother's Day weekend for a second year in a row) have heard of the Kilby Block Party—new and improved in recent years with internationally-recognized touring acts headlining in 2022, 2023 and 2024. What started as a true, single day "block party" has grown into a three-day festival that completely infests the Utah State Fairgrounds one weekend each May. And, while it's easy to get excited over this year's heavy hitters (e.g. Interpol and LCD Soundsystem) Kilby Block Party still does an excellent job of looping in great local acts to complement an already enticing line-up. So, read on and arrive early to catch some of Utah's finest on the big stage this weekend.

Bobo (Friday, 11:45-12:10, Desert Stage): Electro-pop duo Bobo bring a vitalizing dose of sweet synthesizer to the Salt Lake City scene, reminiscent of the festival favorite Grimes and indie-pop sweethearts STRFKR. Making waves in the small but mighty—and growing!—Utah DJ and electronic scene, in addition to their stage performance, Bobo will also perform a DJ set with touring act Current Joys on May 11 at Urban Lounge.

Drusky (Friday, 11:45-12:10, Lake Stage): Happy-go-lucky Drusky is the glittering answer to Utah's indie ask. With an impressive array of singles already under their belts, this year, Drusky ushered in a pretty-in-pop album. Fittingly titled Cake & Absinthe, the group's newest endeavor directs a confectioner's green-colored gaze toward what indie music has traditionally explored best: all that is bittersweet, or with a bad aftertaste.

Daytime Lover (Friday, 12:15-12:45, Mountain Stage): Salt Lake City's dream-pop darlings resemble some of the most proficient in the genre, including pillars such as Mazzy Star and contemporaries like Weyes Blood. Welding soft-yet-blistering vocals to velvety shoegaze-inspired instrumentals, Daytime Lover remains a local fan favorite for a reason.

Boyfriend Sushi Town (Saturday, 11:45-12:10, Desert Stage): Forget the cutesy, campy name: This alt-rock outfit with a sprinkling of pop-punk influences brings a darker edge to this year's local lineup. Their most recent album release, Player, sports singles so refined that they would blend seamlessly with superstar's tracks, specifically reminiscent of Basement, and fit already for radio play on any nationally-sourced station.

Blue Rain Boots (Saturday, 11:45-12:10, Lake Stage): Just as wholesomely happy as their name sounds, Blue Rain Boots is an indie group that calls to mind a blazing blue swash of color on a day otherwise defined by its dark studded sky. Blue Rain Boots brings forth a semi-sweet array of songs that feel like coming of age in a star-studded Sundance flick, all with enough real heart to ensure against the saccharine.

Sculpture Club (Saturday, 12:15-12:45, Mountain Stage): Maybe not-so-far distanced from the trio of a similar moniker, Culture Club, Utah's Sculpture Club is certainly a sonic blast from the past in only the best way possible. From design aesthetic to outfits and stage presence to musicality, this local band embodies everything marvelous about the '80s new wave in-between scene: an ode to punk that just can't help itself when it comes to pop.

Persona 749 (Sunday, 11:45-12:10, Lake Stage): Following the battery-operated current, like Bobo, Persona 749 also incorporates elements of electronica-inspired beats to contemporary surround-sound. With post/egg punk, even ska-ish influenced tracks, Persona 749 songs sound like they would play seamlessly over a vintage found-footage space-age documentary, while simultaneously remaining modern enough to satisfy contemporary cravings.

Body of Leaves (Sunday, 11:45-12:10, Desert Stage): A four-piece alternative indie rock outfit, Body of Leaves weaves seemingly endless influences into a congruent, signature sound that differs from song to song. Some singles are slightly more leaden, leaning into a more heavy-handed repertoire, while others recall the fog-machine sports court floor of an '80s prom, playing almost but not-all-the-way new-wave hits.

26fix (Sunday, 12:15 - 12:45, Kilby Stage): A dizzy dip into pseudo-psychedelic pop, 26fix brings the beat in with a invigorating take on a newly-popular yet still very male-dominated genre. With rhythms so bouncy they certainly must be buoyant, and vocals so dreamy you'll wonder if you're still asleep, 26fix is ushering in a new era into the Salt Lake City music scene, one catchy single at a time.

Nicole Canaan (Sunday, 12:15-12:45, Mountain Stage): Nicole Canaan is a vocal tour-de-force, steadfastly exploring a desolate genre I can only really describe as apocalyptic pop. With moderate similarities to Men I Trust, Lana Del Rey and especially Jesse Jo Stark (who Canaan opened for in the fall of 2023), Canaan's refrains gracefully tip-toe the line of delicately ethereal and ruinously haunting.

Little Moon (Sunday, 12:50 -1:20, Desert Stage): It's quite simple to see why Little Moon were crowned winners of the 2023 NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert Contest: They're just that good. An artistic amalgam of indie folk, Little Moon is recognizable for their noteworthy use of nature inspired instrumentals and honeyed vocals to boot.

So, hydrate and sunscreen away—you're certainly in good musical company this weekend. And: Don't forget to call mom! Or, better yet, bring her along to see what Utah artists have to offer. It's the gift that keeps on giving, after all.

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Sophie Caligiuri

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