The Best of Utah Music second band showcase went down at 50 West Club on Saturday night, and it was a raucous end to this year's competition. The Ladells, Secret Abilities, Dark Seas, Static Waves and The Strike took to the stage, bringing an eclectic mix of music to an audience that came ready to rage.
And with that, the 2015 Best of Utah Music has come to an end! Thanks to everyone who participated, and make sure to check out the March 5 issue of City Weekly
to find out who has been declared the Band of the Year, Rapper of the Year and DJ of the Year.
This Provo punk group didn't even make through the first song of their set before frontman Max Punck whipped out his now-signature hammer and swung it around as he ran through the audience. With plenty of high-energy songs, lots of stage antics and even a tribute to Leonard Limoy, The Ladells' performance oozed punk-rock attitude and chaos from beginning to end.
Secret Abilities were the band to put the most effort into the visual element of their performance, with an elaborate Secret Prom theme that included formal wear for the band, a banner and balloons. But no one's prom ever had music as cool as what Secret Abilities performed, which was a surf-y, guitar-driven brand of pop-punk—featuring bold vocals from dual lead vocalists Davin Abegg and Tink Safeer—that was a blast to listen to.
Speaking of surf, Dark Seas kept that surf vibe going with a laid-back, guitar-heavy set that was warmly received by the huge crowd of fans who came out to support the band.
The highlight of Provo synth-pop band Static Waves' set was concluding song "Prisoners," which featured a ridiculously catchy chorus (that the audience enthusiastically sang along to), lots of synths and an epic guitar solo.
By the time Provo funk-rock band The Strike took the stage, it was past midnight, so it was a welcome jolt to the audience's sleepy senses when the band started their performance with a bang. Simultaneously, everyone from the three-man horn section to charismatic frontman Chris Kelly launched into a high-powered performance that had the front row of fans dancing like crazy. The band kept that energy up by showing off some group dance moves and even taking a running lap around the audience, but they slowed things down for the final song, which allowed Kelly to showcase his smooth R&B-style voice.
All photos by Dom Darling