Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fat Flake Festival Review & Red Light Updates

On Saturday, Nov. 15, I made my way over to Gallivan Plaza for the Fat Flake Festival. I was actually hopeful for this year's event since last year's show fell pretty flat. Then again, 2007 featured DJs and a cover band, so the 2008 upgrade of three live acts and the occasional DJ spots proved to be a fantastic refresher.

I came in just in time to see Junior Giant open up the stage to a hearty greeting, which is something to say in 45 degree weather.

I'll admit, I don't know Junior Giant all that well, but they definitely brought an energy to the crowd, skipping from bouncy rock song to spotlight ballad without skipping a beat. A combination of two older and two younger men (two being father and son), they had the audience shouting for seconds. They played about 30 minutes, then got interrupted by two guys for some cheap shilling, played another 45 before being ushered off by the same two men before they could formally wrap their set.

In fact, that sort of premature exit continued throughout the evening. Bummer. It's as if you walked into a really great party, and then every so often someone taps you on the shoulder to remind you that you're at their really great party, and remember not to use the upstairs bathroom.

Next up was one of my favorite acts: Salt Lake City's Cavedoll, performing live for the first time with their new guitarist Josh Emery. The electro-rockers' two 45 minute sessions played out like a greatest hits album as they cranked out songs like "Decoder" and "45 Minute Dance Party" with a new sound, one that gives singer/guitarist Camden Chamberlain room to experiment while Emery holds down extra guitar duties.

Emery sounded like he'd been a part of the band for years with songs like "On And On" and "Broken Eardrums", all keeping up with Ryan's hard hitting perfection on the kit. Not to be outdone the ladies commanded the stage just as well. The keyboardist threw her own party while attacking the keys and the bassist rocked strong in her own right. Vanessa Chamberlain took control of the stage, using it as her own playground during "Mexico" and "Tokyo". The band also broke into a great cover of Outkast's hit, "Hey Ya," and closed out the evening on the ever catchy "Tastes Like A Hurricane."

Hands down, one of the best performances I've seen all year.

I stuck around to chat it up and listen to beats courtesy of DJ Uprok and Friday Night Fallout's Roots Rawka, but bailed before The Bastard Sons Of Johnny Cash got started. I had somewhere else to be.

Just a block down the street, down and alley and around the corner with a trip down a wooden staircase... Red Light's new digs! Situated below Fice and Este on 200 South, the bookstore's new location is truly an underground paradise: old brick and minimal lighting, myriad books, clothing and music from the old store, not to mention a vinyl collection I would give my first born for.

This is the kind of look and location that some stores strive to recreate in trendy strips and shopping malls, and here's the genuine article in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City with a business that you know doesn't give a damn what you think. Makes me wonder what they've got planned next. Saturday served as a soft opening with a local bands including Wyld Wyzrdz and The Tenants Of Balthazar's Castle, with an official Grand Re-Opening on the way.
(Gavin Sheehan)


  1. CAVEDOLL IS THE WORST BAND IN UTAH. They previously held the title for most awkward group of has-never-beens unitl Guns 'N Roses released "Chinese Democracy."

  2. I love Cavedoll! I've seen them several times and they are the most solid and fun local band I've seen. And they aren't stuck up like a lot of other has-never-beens in this scene.

    Why do people take the time to hate?


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