10,000 Blechs: Dreadful 100 Gecs Salt Lake City Show

The 100 Gecs Salt Lake City show certainly LOOKED great.

The 100 Gecs hype machine pulled into Utah April 12. While I can recommend their 2023 release 10,000 Gecs without reservation, the 100 Gecs Salt Lake City Show was a total bore.

Here’s what you didn’t miss.

100 Gecs Salt Lake City show starts strong

It was a promising beginning for the 100 Gecs Salt Lake City Show. Like on the album open, Dylan Brady and Laura Les roll onto stage with the THX sound logo deep enough to make most of the teen boys in the audience sterile. It’s a kickin’ statement, though, and they launched immediately into album opener “Dumbest Girl in the World.” Dylan in his trademark yellow wizard cloak and hat and Laura in a her less-wizardly T-shirt and jeans.

Loud can’t hide dull Gecs performance

The Gecs rolled through several other anthemic crowd-favorites like “Hollywood Baby,” “Doritos & Fritos,” “One Million Dollars” and “I Got My Tooth Removed.” The band also dipped into debut 1,000 Gecs with “Stupid Horse,” “Hand Crushed by a Mallet” and “ringtone.” Here’s the studio version of “ringtone.”

Honestly hearing both albums side-by-side, the the nu metal dorkiness of 100 Gecs sophomore album is a real improvement from the endless autotune of their debut.

100 Gecs Salt Lake City show bores fast

When the house lights came up, the 100 Gecs Salt Lake City show felt more like a bad Disney skit

Dylan and Les DJ nearly their entire show.

I guess that’s fine if the compositions are impractical to tour or the artist really wants to be in the moment. But if you’re going to DJ your show you better Beastie Boys the freaking stage. The 100 Gecs show was oddly static. They NEEDED instruments — anything — to occupy them. Dylan, in particular, was very nearly idle.

Laura Les of 100 Gecs played an actual musical instrument after about 30 minutes of rapping and singing.

Unfortunately after a half hour when someone finally handed Laura Les a guitar, the crawling and self-absorbed solo brought the show to a crashing halt.

Laura intro’d most of the songs and a couple of these were cute: “This is a song about a frog. And a floor. The song is called ‘Frog on the Floor.'” Amusing enough.

However she was also responsible for most of the inane stage banter which consisted of at least three, “SLC, how are we doin’?!!?!!” It was real Spinal Tap energy, but not ironically.

Dreadful 100 Gecs Salt Lake City show: 4 words

I can't recommend the 100 Gecs Salt Lake City show.  Just buy their sophomore album 10,000 Gecs and call it good.

Was I intensely self-aware of my age watching this all play out, behind at least three wizard-capped 14-year-olds? Yes, yes I was. But I usually am that self-conscious and I can compartmentalize with the best of them to enjoy a show.

I expected loud, dumb fun but not boredom. This night, the Gecs were dreck. I walked out after about 50 minutes.

Four words: Just buy the album.

Arlo Mckinley in Salt Lake City: Show Review

Arlo Mckinley in Salt Lake City

When I returned home to the South earlier this month, Arlo Mckinley’s third album This Mess We’re In was one of my soundtracks as I wound my way through old haunts and fond memories. Seeing Mckinley at SLC’s Urban Lounge was like a brief reunion with my peoples.

Also he brought down some serious country jams.

Mckinley in Salt Lake City for the first time

Not only was this Arlo’s first time stopping in Zion, he told the crowd it was his first voyage west of the Colorado River. And he made every minute of it. Mckinley’s music is alt country without the alt; I hate to say southern rock because that sounds so Marshall Tucker Band-y, but it’s honestly not an INAPPROPRIATE label. Arlo absolutely has a Lynyrd Skynyrd thing going, and it’s amaze.

McKinley’s ballads are good but he is strongest when the band opens up and tears into the rock riffs. He brings all the guns: four guitars, including a pedal steel and slide guitar. When the pedal kicked in on opener “We Were Alright” from 2020’s Die Western, it was positively divine.

As the show started, Mckinley looked every bit a 200 South busker in a knit cap and hoodie, which he gradually shed to maintain body temperature. He played for fully 90 minutes on Wednesday. At times the show was tight and practiced, at other times oddly raw with elongated pauses between songs while fumbling with equipment and tuning guitars. He is sweet in his absence of guile, making ribald jokes and explaining to the audience this was his last song, “unless you make me play more. I guess that’s up to you.” It was an older, more subdued audience but they got him out for an encore.

Alvvays in Salt Lake City: Show Review

Alvvays in Salt Lake City played a bang-up show Tuesday. Toronto’s rising stars played songs from their 2014 self-titled debut and more…

Arlo plays the hits + more!

Arlo Mckinley's new album, This Mess We're In

Besides “We Were Alright,” highlights from his current album included “I Wish I” and “To Die For.” He also performed a bluesy, whiskey-soaked cover of Sinéad’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” and John Prine’s “Storm Windows.” The band gradually abandoned Arlo later in the show for several solo numbers then rejoined him for closer “To Die For.”

Thanks to his prompting, the crowd was able to coax him back onstage for two encores. This included the night’s highlight, a barnstorming eight-minute version of “Rushintherug.” It really showed off the power of the four guitar front including a blistering slide guitar solo and welcome graduation of driving percussion. Absolutely the top song performance I’ve seen all year. 5/5 stars would recommend.

Here is the studio version of “Rushintherug.”

Mckinley in Salt Lake City, a man of the people

If the audience was more subdued, it wasn’t hesitant to buy shots for Arlo and he wasn’t hesitant to oblige. After an hour and a half of drinking, playing and singing, Mckinley still spent time after the show shaking hands with fans and taking group photos. It really was sweet. It’s not every night you see someone willing to set aside the rock god persona to share laughs and hugs with the audience one on one.

Maybe it was my Southern bias, but I was smitten by his innocence. Look — I spend so much money on music, I NEVER buy merch. But it was Arlo’s first trip out West and I wanted to help pay for his trip home. So I bought an overpriced t-shirt, and you can too right here. Buy a shirt or a lid, definitely download This Mess We’re In and support an American original. Arlo’s upcoming tour dates after some photos.

Arlo Mckinley in Salt Lake City

Arlo Mckinley playing in Utah for the first time

Band supporting Arlo Mckinley

Arlo Mckinley and band

Arlo Mckinley's pedal steel

Arlo McKinley in Salt Lake City

Arlo Mckinley meets fans in Utah

Arlo Mckinley takes pictures with fans in Utah

Arlo Mckinley tour dates:

  • 10/27 – Garden City (Boise), ID – Visual Arts Collective
  • 10/29 – Whitefish, MT – Remington Bar
  • 10/30 – Spokane, WA – Lucky You Lounge
  • 11/3 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
  • 11/4 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern
  • 11/5 – Bend, OR – Volcanic Theatre
  • 11/8 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
  • 11/10 – Los Angeles, CA – Gold-Diggers
  • 11/11 – San Diego, CA – Voodoo Room at House of Blues
  • 11/13 – Pioneertown, CA – Pappy & Harriet’s

Alvvays in Salt Lake City: Show Review

Alvvays in Salt Lake City on Tuesday October 18

Alvvays in Salt Lake City played a bang-up show Tuesday. Toronto’s rising stars played songs from their 2014 self-titled debut and more heavily from 2017’s Anti-Socialites and their acclaimed Blue Rev, released less than two weeks ago. The supremely assured performance is everything fans both old and new at SLC’s The Depot could have wanted.

Alvvays’ Rankin and O’Hanley enthrall

First, Molly Rankin looked every bit a college graduate student in black pants, a short-sleeve top and the the piercing, blue eyes of Siberian Husky. She confidently belted out 70 minutes of Alvvays’ best arrangements Tuesday. Rankin alternated the spotlight at times with guitarist Alec O’Hanley, who orchestrated the shoegaze overtones on “Pharmacist” and a couple of RAWK GOD breakouts, notably the showstopper bridge on “Many Mirrors.” The hour plus set was tight and confident, the sound of a band come into its own.

What is Alvvays, exactly?!

Its funny reading around to see how Alvvays is described, with very little agreement. Fuzzy guitars, yes. A bit of surf, sure. Dream pop, I gueessss. But Alvvays is also one of those bands that gets crunchier live, which is exactly what I love. At the same time, Rankin on stage still digs into the pathos and emotion of “Easy On Your Own,” “Party Police” and “Belinda Says.”

Second, a note about how Alvvays defies convention. At times Tuesday they dabbled in a bit of psychedelia, demonstrated their new range in electronics on “Very Online Guy” and showed off the sheer bubblegum delight of “Adult Diversions.” Here is that 2014 studio version:

Alvvays execute like consummate rock pros

Alvvays in Salt Lake City

Critically, Alvvays possess the intangible and truly priceless gift of woah-woah lyrics, exquisitely on display Tuesday on songs like “Undertow” from Anti-Socialites. At times, Alvvays wrapped their live songs in a punky, perfectly curt dead stop. At other times, they indulged in an atmospheric, languid jam that still held the crowd’s rapt attention as on the delightful extended end to “Tom Verlaine.”

Alvvays in Salt Lake City a true pop joy

Finally, the standouts on Tuesday included not just current singles, “Earthquake” and “Easy On Your Own,” but perhaps inevitably their signature “Archie, Marry Me” from Alvvays’ debut. It carried no less punch, no less pleading, no less an exquisite picture of young love.

During the summer, take me sailing out on the Atlantic.
I won’t set my sights on other seas, there is no need to panic.
So honey take me by the hand and we can sign some papers.
Forget the invitations, floral arrangements and bread makers

Hey, hey, marry me, Archie
Hey, hey, marry me, Archie

Buy your copy of Blue Rev and some Alvvays merch from Polyvinyl. Photos of Tuesday’s show follow + tour dates as Alvvays in Salt Lake City moves further west.

Alvvays in Salt Lake City

Molly Rankin and Alec O'Hanley of Alvvays in Salt Lake City

Molly Rankin and Alec O'Hanley of Alvvays in Salt Lake City

Avayys' Kerri MacLellan, Sheridan Riley and Abbey Blackwell

Molly Rankin and Alec O'Hanley of Alvvays in Salt Lake City

Alvvays in Salt Lake City

Alvvays played Salt Lake City on October 18

Always in Salt Lake City

Molly Rankin and Alec O'Hanley of Alvvays in Salt Lake City

Molly Rankin of Alvvays in Salt Lake City

Alvvays tour dates:

  • 10/19 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory $
  • 10/20 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom $
  • 10/21 – Eugene, OR @ McDonald Theatre $
  • 10/22 – Seattle, WA @ The Moore Theatre $
  • 10/24 – Arcata, CA @ Arcata Theatre Lounge $
  • 10/26 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore $
  • 10/27 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore $
  • 10/28 – Pomona, CA – Glass House $ [Just Added)
  • 10/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern $
  • 10/30 – San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park $ [SOLD OUT]
  • 11/02 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater $
  • 11/04 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall – Downstairs $
  • 11/05 – Dallas, TX @ The Studio at The Factory $
  • 11/07 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse $
  • 11/08 – Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works $
  • 11/09 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel $
  • 11/11 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club $ [SOLD OUT]
  • 11/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall $
  • 11/15 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall $
  • 11/16 – New York, NY @ Kings Theater $
  • 11/18 – Boston, MA @ Roadrunner $

Wet Leg in Salt Lake City: Show Review

Neon sign from Wet Leg in Salt Lake City concert

Wet Leg played an abbreviated, at times joyous and thumping show at The Depot Tuesday night. When you have Wet Leg in Salt Lake City on a Tuesday night it means they’re not going to bring the house down for an hour. And they didn’t. But in the short time they played, the band showed the spark that will place their terrific, loopy post punk debut at the top of many Best Of lists this year.

Wet Leg starts slowly, quickly shift gears

To begin, forgive Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers if they’re still getting accustomed to stardom. The duo are famously from the Isle of Wight, which few of us could find on a map of the UK. It’s been less than a year since their American debut at the Mercury Lounge last December.

Wet Leg began their Salt Lake show a bit tentatively. Even with the crowd’s ceaseless bouncing on “Being in Love” and “Wet Dream,” it was a hesitant start from stage. It wasn’t until the second song that Rhian offered a shy wave to someone on the front row. Her conversation on stage was limited to feckless chit chat…less banter than a text thread (“How are things?” U good?”) One memorable line was her appreciation for escaping England, “a country that is fake mourning.”

When “Supermarket” kicked in with it’s brilliant hi-ee-ai-ee-ai-ee-ai-ee-igh’s, the band hit its stride and matched the Depot’s energy with their own. Nearly every Wet Leg song is pop gold and Rhian played the dynamic well. The set included audience sing-a-longs, indie handclaps and an extended mob yowl on “Ur Mum.” And I do mean extended. As in, cathartic and existential. Likewise, the show’s culminating moments came during the band’s Call and Response to the audience during “Supermarket” and “Oh no.”

Rhian was at times strong and confident, at other times quaint in her appreciation. It’s easy to miss what a lovely voice she has until she’s solo with a guitar. When she was crooning tonight on their unreleased “Obvious,” it was a real highlight.

Wet Leg in Salt Lake City, but only for a moment

Rhian Teasdale from the Wet Leg in Salt Lake City show

Despite the slow start and the forced stage chatter, Wet Leg had the audience from the first pounding guitar lines of “Being in Love.” The sound was booming. I’ve been to a lot of venues, including once before at The Depot where I saw Elbow play The Seldom Seen Kid. Wet Leg was playing a small venue but believe me, it has a remarkable sound system. Despite the sound and growing energy, it was a perfunctory set even by “Tuesday night in Salt Lake City” standards. Wet Leg wrapped in scarcely 40 minutes.

Maybe we’ll be treated to lengthier performances for their completed second album.

Edit September 14: Just a few hours before taking the stage in Salt Lake City, Wet Leg posted an explanation to their Facebook page about cancelled tour dates in Denver and New Mexico. Perhaps it should be no surprise–a year of touring, interviews, TV and newfound world fame had driven band members to exhaustion.

When they stepped foot on stage at The Depot, it was their return to the limelight after a brief reprieve for their physical and mental health. A few hiccups and moments of trepidation make more sense in that light. I support 100% any person’s need to prioritize their wellbeing. Read more from the socials.

Here is the studio version of Tuesday’s highlight “Supermarket,” + a few photos to follow. I promise to work on my phone’s night mode.

Buy Wet Leg from Domino Recording Company.

Rhian Teasdale fronting Wet Leg

Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers from the Wet Leg in Salt Lake City concert

Amp and Wet Leg sign

Set list for Wet Leg in Salt Lake City show