Monday, September 29, 2008


With promises of cold weather approaching, it was time for me to get in all of the last minute warm weather outdoor festivities that I could before it was too late. So I hauled my big ass out to the X96 Big Ass Show on September 27. Held at Usana Amphitheater, instead of its usual Utah State Fairpark stomping grounds, I was curious how the new set up would fly. I’ve only been to Usana one other time about six years ago.

The band roster included 12 headlining acts—including Yellowcard, Hawthorne Heights, Head Automatica, and Lostprophets—most of which I have never heard of, but that could just be my age showing. Perhaps I’m getting a little too nostalgic. If memory serves, past Big Ass Shows seemed to include an impressive lineup of bands that surpassed the amount showing for this year. Generally this included four stages with music going at all times. This year seemed to be lacking that completely.

I arrived in time to catch Local H. Once they started, I had some hope that this would be a pretty amped up show with a bevy of bands going on, but mid-set, I looked out into the crowd and thought that maybe it is time to lower the Ritalin dosage in today’s youth. During a very energetic set the band was met by a crowd of kids standing in a zombie stance, not even bobbing back and forth. You could tell that the band was not even that into it and they mentioned that they will be back in November, probably to a more welcoming crowd I hope.

Even security looked bored at this point, their eyes practically begging for just something to happen. Local H ended far too quickly and being overdressed for the seasonal the trickery of fall; I was overheating and headed out to look for a beer while waiting for the next band to show up onstage.

Ironically, the concert was sponsored by Budweiser, which meant I was able to purchase a frothy beverage for a harrowing $8 a pop (which leads me to believe that maybe it is about time that Budweiser started sponsoring me). At this point I didn’t mind though. I just needed something to take me up a couple notches for the next band that came up.

Ludo came on, and again it may just be my age showing, but it was just your average clich├ęd pop/punk. Some bands think if they say “fuck” enough it will get the crowd riled up and it did wake up a few audience members, but the set was too predictable. That is until they led the crowd into a confusing sing along to the Star Spangled Banner. Maybe that Bud was worth every penny?

Part of going to a concert and enjoying it however, is being able to get up close by the stage. Something about our wristbands got many a languid headshakes "no” from security, though the area in front of the stage was only 1/3 full. This kept me at a far distance from being able to witness anything but dots onstage. That feeling of being left out began to burn less when Ten Years went on, making it seem like that amount of time that they were playing. This was really beginning to feel like the Half-Assed Show to me.

I wandered off in a frenzied search for another stage in hopes that we had at least one local band playing somewhere. Lo and behold, off in the corner of the amphitheater performed our homegrown musicians The Elizabethan Report. This is where the show began to pick up for me, though I came to find out it was a little late in the game.

The band that was up went on to give a quick lecture on not smoking and dived right into their set. I realized if I didn’t watch the overzealous singer too much that this band was really good. Not only that, it was a sigh of relief to be over by these stages because you could get up close, and every single person over there was dancing and enjoying the show to the fullest extent possible. Right as I was noting to my friend that they were very reminiscent of the Talking Heads, they went into a rousing cover of Psycho Killer. It was very impressively done for a group of young kids, leading me to be suspicious that they were from Provo.

I searched high and low and could not find a roster at all for the local bands that were playing, which was disappointing because I was far more interested in this stage than I was at anything else going on around me. After speaking with the band, I found out they actually are from Provo. That place is an untapped well of amazing music that too rarely leaks down to SLC.

I was quite excited to see what other non-roster surprises that the Live & Local stage had to offer me, but when I left momentarily and came back, they were taking the stage down. At this point my interest had waned and I half-listened to the last band, Trap,t go up before sneaking my way out of the Usana Amphitheater, stepping over tired looking teens laying on the lawn. Maybe next year the ball that seemed to be dropped on this show will be picked up again, because this was one of the festival shows that I have really loved in days past, but this year it just didn’t quite cut it. I did get a sweet farmer’s tan out of the deal though.
(Dominique LaJeunesse)


  1. Excellent review, as usual.

    This is coming from a guy sitting on his big ass reading it. :)

  2. You should have stayed for the only band worth seeing. Jack's Mannequin played a pretty good set. Their new album is awesome btw.

  3. Oh my oh my! This is already LONG over due. We were one of the local bands that played there--read our blog entitled "Big Ass-hole Show" to see our take. This comment is to not only thank you for the blog post, but also for the water that one of your staff brought to our stage during our set. Seriously we were dying up there and you all saved our lives! CW Foreva!

  4. THE HALF ASS SHOW - for sure !!!

    Definatly the worst show out there ! THE X96 STAFF IS OLD and have definatly lost there touch ! Poor Arti Fufkin trying so hard to get the kids to laugh? His act is old and he is creepy - He would be better off playing with his billions of cats - Radio from Hell ... ya krunk kill and vagina they were ready for bed at the beggining of the show ... ( i'm sick of their redundant show too ) Todd Nukem .... he looked like a stress ball , not to mention the uncool atire he was wearing my 13 year old wears stuff like that ! He's suppose to be the boss right ? He just needs to keep writing creepy books , he is an old man pretending to be cool it creeps me out to see pictures of him with young kids? He is far off the beating path , the station iteslf has declined since he became "the boss" .
    Back to the show The bands looked like they were miserable , there were no kids in the first ever " GA " area , the tickets were not worth the money what soever even the "ga " tickets ...concessions were too expensive ya i won't even go there . the local stage was about the closest thing to a real concert . but the sound system was horrible they got a freebie for sure ..... their expert sales people landed them "horrible sound" The harder they try the worse off . The last what...? five six seven big ass shows have been slightly similar , whoever the boss before definatly should come back ! X96 used to be cool , I'm sure they have lost alot of listeners recently . OLD OLD OLD


  6. My kids called me to come pick them up an hour from dropping them off ! They obviously didn't like it .


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