Considering we have a holiday smack-dab in the middle of the week, there is a remarkable amount of great live music happening up and down the Wasatch Front this week.
Here are a few tips to get you through that day off on Wednesday, July 4:
The B-52s and Squeeze, Red Butte Garden, Monday, 7 p.m., sold out
I was surprised when this show became one of the first of Red Butte Garden’s summer concert series to sell out, but happily so. In the B-52s, you have one of the best live bands still kicking around from that first burst of what would become “alternative” rock. You might think of the Athens, Georgia, crew as a Top 40 powerhouse from their Cosmic Thing comeback era, but they were weirdo college-rock a good decade before that, delivering tasty dance-rock jams like “Quiche Lorraine,” “Private Idaho” and “Rock Lobster.” I saw them just a couple of years ago, and they sounded great. Joining them is Squeeze, a band I saw probably 20 plus years ago at the old Palladium in Sugar House. I put the hyper-literate Brit rockers right up there with some of their peers from the late ’70s and early ’80s, folks like Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe, thanks to tunes like “Black Coffee in Bed” and “Annie, Get Your Gun.” This is a show I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced. At this point, you’ll have to get tix online or from a scalper, but it will be worth it.
Fitz and the Tantrums, The Depot, Tuesday, 8 p.m., $20
The joining of indie-rock with retro-soul is a movement I can totally get behind, if only because the sound of bands like Fitz and the Tantrums force indie-rock kids to move their butt a little and dance. There’s no denying the sound of this Los Angeles crew that’s only been together since 2008. In those few years, they’ve quickly become a touring favorite, and this all-ages show on the eve of a holiday should be as explosive as any fireworks shows going down around town. Royal Teeth open the show.
The Beach Boys, Lavell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Wednesday, 8 p.m., $25-$120
Rarely will you find me suggesting a trip into an insane mass of tens of thousands of people gathering to watch fireworks at the end of a day-long so-called “Freedom Festival,” but that’s exactly what I’m doing because of the presence of the Beach Boys on the top of the bill at this year’s Stadium of Fire in Provo. Yes, The Beach Boys have been to Utah many times through the years, but this year’s tour is something special thanks to the presence of the band’s resident genius, Brian Wilson, who is back on the road with the band to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The band also released a new album this year, That’s Why God Made the Radio, that is far better than any 50th anniversary album has a right to, so a trip to Provo for a little classic rock ‘n’ roll and fireworks might not be the worst idea for your midweek holiday.
Dan Nailen has written about music, arts and culture in and around Salt Lake City for Salt Lake magazine, The Salt Lake Tribune and Salt Lake City Weekly since 1998. He's currently a contributor to saltlakemagazine.com, and you can find more of his work at SLCene.com.