The Art of the Spo

Saturday’s show at Gold Blood Collective… it was a fun, invigorating, but interesting night for me. I felt withdrawn and on the outside of this show for a few reasons. The first of which was, I hit my head on a drawer (pronounced “DROOR,” in my accent) earlier in the day and definitely wasn’t going at 100%. Secondly, it was a show that I helped to align a bill with a venue. So, I was kinda just a liaison to the show. I met the dudes from California Queens before it on The Spo Show and they felt like I played a big hand in it happening, but really it was Matt Skaggs and The Cold Year that were the brains of the night. He and they lined up the bands and even local artists to display their work. They even helped to get a great write up about this art display aspect of the show in City Weekly. Check that out HERE. So, it was fun to be less of the creator and more of the facilitator and producer.

Gold Blood Collective is a crazy place. These DIY, all ages venues are so prevalent in SLC. You really don’t see these spaces succeed in other places because of the lack of alcohol. It reminds me of what Out of the Blue Art Gallery in Cambridge, MA did before they got caught in a sexual abuse scandal. Before that though, they were a DIY, all ages art gallery that had shows on the fucking regular. It really had become more of a venue than an art gallery and was prospering in being that. In SLC, that is so common though. I’d say for two reasons, 1) it’s cheaper and more cost effective and 2) going to shows without alcohol is part of growing up in a community dictated by Mormon views. It’s crazy, but I definitely remember going to the VFW shows that I put on and drinking and smoking at them. There were specifically straight edge kids, of course, but that was an outlier. So, I hooked this sweet punk, alcohol free, screen printing-by-day // venue-by-night, venue, The Gold Blood Collective with Skaggs and The Cold Year.

I knew I wasn’t the guy running the show at a moment when the venue was young in it’s bitter & awkward, florescent light and it’s uncomfortable lack of house music during the load in. The room was asked what the set order was by a member of California Queens. Skaggs announced the order in an objectively true way. I was triggered by the moment from years of having to be that guy in that situation. It wasn’t a terrible trigger, but someone’s gotta be that guy and it stresses me out.

But, I felt the most on the outside of social circles outside when I was literally outside and I watched friends of the bands enjoy cigarettes and each other’s anecdotes. Like, I interjected here and there and made myself present, but you know what I mean. Like, these people all knew each other. That is what a scene is created by; people who know people that know people who know people that play music… together. Good shows are when those 5 degrees of separation hang out together and watch local bands. And then something crazy happened…

At the beginning of load in this guy and two girls that were to say the least scantily clad walked by the venue toward Piper Down, SLC’s local Irish pub. I don’t know if they were more drunk or more naked… the answer soon came.

In the pre-show hang when house music was finally filling the room up and gearing the attendees up for the first band the threesome returned walking this time away from Piper Down. It appeared that one of the ladies dresses had malfunctioned. I think I know who stopped them, but that doesn’t matter, but someone made an innocent comment toward the sexy passerbys knowing very well that that would stop them in their tracks… and, it did.

And minutes later after the wardrobe malfunction was addressed by everyone… after all, it was a tad nipply out that night… burrr… The threesome was dancing a, must I say, beautifully choreographed rendition that they had specially prepared for this on the sidewalk performance of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas.” It was… well, only topped by the male’s even more sensual serenade of, I don’t know, something he thought he was singing well. So, it was at this moment that I was watching groups of friends interact with a small group of friends that were totally separate from them in all ways. It was like a social science project that had not gone wrong, but felt like it was wrong. I mean, it all looked consensual, but again, it just didn’t feel good.

Then the show happened. It was real fun. The young, I don’t give-a-fuckers of, California Queens started the night off with a bang. They really are just that, fun, unadulterated rock n’ roll by guys that just became adults…

The Cold Year then tore the roof down, which was scary because before the show, Mitch, The Cold Year’s bassist, pointed out a sword in the rafters of the Gold Blood Collective. They were shredding so hard that it worried me that this sword might fall from the raters and kill the scene 😉 No, but really, this band writes catchy, heart wrenching songs that make you feel, but then think. This led nicely into the grooving, rock n’ roll supplied steadily by Unholy Ghosts.


Lead dude, Taylor Millet, locally known tattoo artist, “Sailor Taylor” and crazy party thrower crushes it with dual VOX amps with Jaron playing the role of Patrick Carney, both of which are rocking out in cloaks in front of an unawkward, super cool fluorescently lit cross… as opposed to the awkward fluorescents earlier in the night during load in. It was cool. And, in regards to the dual amp fullness situation that they have, I love it. It’s full riff rock. No Bass Needed… Straight forthright bassism. It’s wrong, but felt so good.

So, the awkward florescent lights went back on, and I got the bands paid by the venue, and Skaggs got me home. On the way out, The dudes from California Queens further thanked me as I again thanked Skaggs for at that moment them getting my PA system and I a ride to Suite J, a mile away. Matt and Emma, thanks again!

The whole bill was fantastic. Like I’d mentioned in the beginning, my head was messed up, but once again, rock n’ roll helped to provide the adrenaline that I needed to feel like everything has a place and purpose… even me 😉

Helping to make a show happen is like being an obstetrician. With some babies you gotta push a little harder, and others you just need to catch them… haha. That’s disgusting. Anyways, maybe you understand that. This coming weekend I have a similar situation where I’ve helped the awesome dudes from Beach Death do a show, which is, I believe, their yearly Holiday Party entitled, “Beachmas.” It’s this Saturday at Kilby Court. It’s gonna be a really sick event. You should check it out and if you want cheaper tickets hit me up via facebook. I however, that night will be in Park City rocking with my dudes, Scenic Byway. Maybe I’ll leave that for another blog, but anyways, see a show this Saturday, Salt Lake… you too, Boston and fuck it, even Portland and New York… all of America. See a show this Saturday!

BEACHMAS: SATURDAY DECEMBER 21st @ KILBY COURT EVENT PAGE

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