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Show-goin' Again 

Recent highlights from a return to live music.

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ERIN MOORE
  • Erin Moore

After more than a year of missing live, in-person shows, I've started going back to them—almost against my will. Now the only challenge left to navigate is how to say "no" to things I don't want to go to without having the pandemic as an excuse. Here is a short round-up of the places I've visited and the music I've enjoyed thus far as a fully vaxxed-up Salt Laker.

Pop-up Between a Car Wash and a Construction Site. I feel like I missed the major CDC announcement that informed fully vaxxed people that they could safely resume their maskless, un-distanced lives—because suddenly, everyone was everywhere without masks. Such was my behind-the-times state of mind when I stumbled into an outdoor birthday bash for a sort-of friend, an occasion that I had reflexively expected to be just a small gaggle of people on the sidewalk, enjoying some music, since it was around the same area Boozetique was hosting socially-distanced sidewalk shows last summer.

But this event turned out to be behind Boozetique, in the pocket of asphalt between the car wash at 300 East & 300 South and a fenced off construction site, where a crane soared overhead in the twilight. There were clusters of maskless people I knew, and they all made big pauses before moving in to hug me. I wasn't technically ready for this and, had I known that those clusters would blossom into a burbling crush of people, I may not have gone.

I'm glad I did. Opening act Jill Whit played songs from her pretty new album that I reviewed here in City Weekly a few weeks ago, while nearby a performance artist in a white suit and a horrendous mask dragged someone in a gorilla suit around by a chain, and the gorilla spray-painted the white suit from behind. After Whit it was Red Bennies, one of SLC's oldest and noisiest bands. During their set, the cops showed up, so they ushered the crowd forward towards their mic stands and played as quietly as they could (which is not very) until the cops were assured that we had permission from the car wash owners to be there.

As I grew good and drunk off of free box wine that was perched buffet-style on the edge of someone's Jeep, the night was polished off by a set from Calvin Lee. That set turned out a response from the crowd that would have been impressive for a local band even before the pandemic: they made everyone dance, and with a prominent saxophone feature, too. I spent the set waving around a wooden hand I'd won from a man dressed up as a wizard who was watching over a table with a spinning wheel-of-prizes. Though it was the strangest way I could have been thrown back into live music enjoyment, I now see a lot more potential in lonely cement patches around town. I hope others do, too.

Hazy, Lazy Days at TF. Ever since getting vaccinated, the thing I've craved the most is a sunny patio, a beer and music—and luckily for me, SLC is full of local breweries and bars that offer just those things. After a particularly industrious Sunday of working in a cafe, I asked my boyfriend as he got done with his own work if he'd want to visit TF Brewing, to enjoy sun, patio and their Slow Pour Sunday Series, which features several of SLC's hottest DJs pulled out of the night and into the laze of the daytime. He said yes, and we ventured over to the place, where the patio was less packed than the bar, and the air was filled with bumping, funky basslines from the shaded vinyl booth. We ordered TF's excellent Belgian Wit with Chamomile, my boyfriend leaned into the shade and I into the sun, and we both relaxed into the sound of sticky, mid-day vinyl. Slow Pour Sundays happen every Sunday from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.

A Kilby Reunion. As I slowly wake from the pandemic-caused social slumber that was the last year, I find that every evening feels like the end of a long, tiresome week, and the idea of being social is not very appealing. I'll admit that in the end, I had to be peer-pressured by friends into going to Josaleigh Pollett's latest show, at Kilby Court on June 12. I forgot that sometimes there are shows that like, everyone is going to, and every conversation with every person you know leads back to, "So are you going to that show on Saturday?" The answer always slowly morphs from "maybe" into "yes."

That was what brought me out to Kilby on a hot evening, my first time there since God-knows-when in early 2020. There are some comfy new benches to accommodate outside hanging, a nice improvement on the between-set standing dilemma. This show—taking place in June after the lifting of the venue's capacity limits—was packed, an unsurprising fact given Pollett's local popularity. She even led her crowd in a sing-along part, and all obliged. Despite being only 5'6", I shimmied to the front and sat on the ground to listen to her introspective balladry, because I'd forgotten how to juggle the discomfort of blocking someone else's view. Such is re-learning the etiquette of show-going.

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About The Author

Erin Moore

Erin Moore

Bio:
Erin Moore is City Weekly's music editor. Email tips to: music@cityweekly.net.

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