10 great concerts coming to Utah in January and February
There will surely be more concerts announced in the coming weeks. As things stand right now, though, here are 10 concerts coming to Utah that’ll be worth the price of admission.
Booker T. Jones: Saturday at The State Room
The legendary frontman for Booker T. & the M.G.’s visits Salt Lake City — I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2018. A master songwriter, producer and organ player, Booker T. is a towering figure in contemporary music. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine how soul music would sound without his indelible imprint. He hasn’t leaned on past glories, either, putting out excellent collaboration albums in 2011 and 2013. Seriously, give those albums a listen. We are not worthy.
Noble Bodies: Jan. 16 at the Urban Lounge
The side project for Neon Trees drummer Elaine Bradley features Bradley on drums and co-lead vocals. It’s worth mentioning that this isn’t anything like Neon Trees. Bradley and her Noble Bodies bandmates Bryce Taylor (guitar, vocals) and Chris Bennett (bass) have concocted a potent tribute to melodic hardcore, math-rock and ’90s emo. The band’s September concert at Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo showed they aren’t just a studio band. These folks can really play, and their chemistry is undeniable.
The Drifters: Feb. 1-4 at Egyptian Theatre
Booker T. and The Drifters in the same winter? I don’t know what Utah did to deserve it. The doo-wop kings play multiple nights at Park City’s Egyptian Theatre, where they’ll resurrect classics like “This Magic Moment,” “Under the Boardwalk” and many more. People throw the word “magical” around quite a bit (myself included), but yeah, this show will be just that.
The Killers: Feb. 6 at Vivint Smart Home Arena
It’s always a big deal when The Killers play here — lead singer Brandon Flowers is Mormon and once lived in Juab County — but the band’s Feb. 6 visit looks to be particularly special. Provo resident Robbie Connolly, known for his work in the local band Fictionist, recently joined The Killers on their world tour as a backing musician. The hometown kid has done good.
Big Boi: Feb. 6 at Park City Live
Few MCs carry the gravitas of Big Boi, who with Andre 3000 propelled Outkast into hip-hop superstardom. His new solo album, “Boomiverse,” contains some killer songs. It also includes a slew of guest appearances from folks like Snoop Dogg and Adam Levine. I assume those guests won’t be at this Park City show, but Big Boi’s presence is more than enough.
Diet Cig: Feb. 8 at Kilby Court
Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman delivered one of the more seething pop-punk LPs of 2017 with Diet Cig’s “Swear I’m Good at This,” the duo’s first full-length release. That album snarls and sweats in a really thrilling way. The intimate, DIY-vibey Kilby Court is a perfect venue for a band like this. If you need to let loose, this’ll be a good one.
Cake: Feb. 16 at the Eccles Theater
After the Las Vegas shooting in October, Cake postponed its Las Vegas show and the one that preceded it, at Salt Lake City’s Eccles Theater. Luckily, that postponed show is fast approaching. A new Cake album has been rumored for a few years — the band hasn’t released one since 2011’s “Showroom of Compassion” — but Cake has plenty of material for this Eccles show. We’re just glad they came back.
Margo Price: Feb. 23 at The State Room
The country music singer-songwriter has been one of the genre’s most acclaimed figures this year. Price’s new album, “All American Made,” is her second in as many years, and is included on numerous “Best Of” lists this month. On this album, Rolling Stone magazine’s Jonathan Bernstein said Price “shifts her focus outwards at a heartland ravaged by sexism and poverty,” delivering one of the most political country records in years.
Miguel: Feb. 26 at The Complex
Music itself isn’t capable of getting someone pregnant, but Miguel’s music gets pretty close. The progressive R&B crooner is back this month with a new album, “War & Leisure,” and it delivers the kind of sultry jams we’ve come to expect from him. The torch once carried by folks like Prince and D’Angelo has been passed. It’s in good hands.
Palm: Feb. 27 at Kilby Court
Palm’s newest release, the 2017 EP “Shadow Experts,” took me on a ride unlike any other this year. Its mix of math-rock, post-punk and avant garde art-rock made my head spin in the best way. NPR described it thusly: “jagged edges and complex, interlocking pieces ... that demands — and rewards — your full attention.”