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Failure + Swervedriver in SLC

Failure + Swervedriver in SLC
June 01, 2019 02:43PM
Way back on April 15, during this board's down time, I had the pleasure to see Failure and Swervedriver in Salt Lake City. I was in town for work and had the night free. This won't be an extensive review. I should have written a detailed review of the show right after it happened, but I had given up hope on the board coming back by that point.

First, the venue--The Urban Lounge. It was a dump. Might have been cool to see a local band plugging away on any given night, but it was simply too small to handle the volume of these bands. Taking the advice of (Toland or Delvin, can't remember), I brought ear plugs, which were needed. The club was long and narrow, but the stage faced the width of the room, not the length. The sound just bounded right back to the stage. This was not a good thing.

Swervedriver was on first. They played 12 songs, but they could have played double that and I wouldn't have been bored for a second. I was totally impressed. I was familiar with all but two songs, including 5 or so from their new album which I think is amazing. Adam Franklin is not the most engaging front man, and he tends to sing flat live, but the playing was top notch. I loved every song, but the real highlight was "Deep Seat" from their debut. That song never gets old. They closed with "Duel" as I might have figured, and when I heard the opening riff, I new their set was unfortunately over. The song ended, Franklin tipped his hat (literally), and they were gone.

Failure were awesome. Much slicker and dynamic on stage than Swervedriver, but they suffered from the poor sound of the club. The bass was SO overwhelming that it drowned out the guitar most of the time. Being that many of Failure's songs feature HEAVY bass (such as "Distorted Fields") it was unfortunate. But unlike Adam Franklin, Ken Andrews sings on key and has a powerful voice. He sounded fantastic. And the drummer Kellii Scott was incredible. They played a longer set, the highlight being "Heliotropic" which was pretty intense. I should also mention the cool light show....it was like a mini theater/arena show in a dingy club.

All in all, a great night. I came a way with a new appreciation for Swervedriver and I've been listening to them almost non-stop since mid-April. I had a chance to see this same show earlier on the tour in Orlando, but that's a tough drive on a week night for me so I passed. I wish I would have since it was in a much nicer venue, but I had no way of knowing it at the time. Live and learn.
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