Utah Beer Festival Bands | Music | Salt Lake City Weekly

Utah Beer Festival Bands 

The Chickens, Holy Water Buffalo, Max Pain & the Groovies

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Musicians love beer, and beer, well, loves music. It’s a heavenly match—the two elevate each other for a bubbly aural affair.

We’ve invited three of our favorite local bands—The Chickens, Holy Water Buffalo, and Max Pain & the Groovies—­­to rock & roll the thousands of craft-brew newbies and connoisseurs as they navigate their way through 88 beers.

Here’s a little introduction, and then read what sort of beer-centric yammering occured during our Q&A.

The Chickens are the funkiest thing to hit Salt Lake City since the pastrami burger. Bandleader Dan Nelson leads a mishmash of local stalwarts—from funk, rock and reggae bands—to create a cosmopolitan sound that turns from acid jazz to Afrobeat.

Holy Water Buffalo’s best asset is their passion: They grab the reins in concert and don’t relent. The Wasatch County four-piece’s tight sound is reminiscent of classic ’70s rock, with strains of gospel and psychedelic rock. One of the busiest gigging bands in the state, Holy Water Buffalo cut their teeth onstage, and that's where they shine the most.

There’s a special place in our hearts for past City Weekly Music Awards winners—including Neon Trees, Spell Talk and King Niko—and also for rowdy, jangly blues-driven rock & roll. 2012 CWMA winners Max Pain & the Groovies have it all. The frontman works to conjure the hip-shaking fervency of Jim Morrison, while the band moves between old-school Deep Purple and newer punk-blues, à la Black Lips. They’ve released a full-length album, Tortilla Gold, and a Halloween-themed EP in the past year.

City Weekly: If there were to be a beer brewed and named after you, what would its name be and what would it taste like?

The Chickens: Kjúklingur öl, and it would taste like sadness and disappointment.

Holy Water Buffalo: Holy Bottled Buffalo. It would be a stout.

Max Pain & the Groovies: Max Pain’s Incredibly Classy Cold One, and it would taste like Satan and Black Sabbath.

CW: What’s the best beer to shotgun onstage or throw at an unruly fan?

TC: Why would you want to waste beer by throwing it at someone?

MP&TG: Any malt liquor 40-ounce.

CW: What’s the best cereal beer?

TC: Guinness. It’s a good breakfast beer.

HWB: Not sure. I’m gonna go experiment with that one.

MP&TG: Murphy’s on top of Cocoa Puffs.

CW: Which beer is best for growing gorgeous rockstar hair?

TC: Tequila.

HWB: Whichever one we drink the most, because it’s working.

CW: Can anyone really tell the difference between Stella Artois and Bud?

TC: NASCAR fans.

HWB: One beer is made with pennies, the other with corn.

MP&TG: We can’t afford either.

CW: What’s your favorite local beer?

TC: Cutthroat. It seems to be what’s always in the pitchers onstage.

HWB: Squatters’ IPA. It completely blows any other IPA out of the water.

MP&TG: Polygamy Porter.

CW: Anything special planned for your set at the beer fest?

TC: We’re going to try a slimmed-down version of The Chickens.

HWB: We definitely want to sample all of the beers ... and maybe we’ll cover “99 Bottles of Beer.”

MP&TG: To drink tons of beer—but that’s nothing new.

CW: Please fill in the blanks:

TC: Today we salute you, Mr. Recording Engineer. Wearing nothing but a stained Steely Dan T-shirt and a musty smell, you’re living the real American dream. Getting paid to tell the shitty alt-rock/indie band currently residing in your studio that they “sound great.” Sure, there’s danger of depression, despondency and the ever-present headache, but your keen instincts tell you to stick to activities that involve a lot of beer and weed. And if that doesn’t work, who cares? You stopped listening an hour ago anyway. So crack open an ice-cold Bud Light, Mr. Recording Engineer. ’Cause we all know, when the going gets tough, the tough add more cowbell.

CW: Anything else beer-related that you’d like to talk about?

TC: Do we get free beer at this thing?

Gallivan Center
239 S. Main
Sunday, Aug. 26
2-7 p.m.
$15 advance/$25 day of

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