Face To Face (w/ The Darlings, Blitzkid & Strung Out) 06/14/11
The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
Words/Photos by Meredith
About two months ago, I found myself looking at the schedule of events coming to Salt Lake City. I saw Face to Face and Strung Out were heading this way. I was excited about this show because not only was it the first time Face to Face has toured in a while, but also I got to see Strung Out. This band has a large following here in Utah. I went to high school with a lot of people who love this band, even some who have the logo tattooed on them. When we got into The Complex(an all-ages venue), I was confused at the railing that was erected, because there were no crowd surfers the whole time, and press was not allowed into the photo area at all. Usually there isn’t a railing and we get to be right up to the stage. At least I got to stand side-stage.
I need to mention that there were two other acts that started off this night. First up, The Darlings. They were an intense punk act that seemed to keep true to the old style of punk, not the pop-confused genre that we hear now. The Darlings were impressive, and there were people in the crowd singing along as well. The Darlings had a song with guest performers from Strung Out, who joined them on stage for a Social Distortion cover of “So Far Away”. This was a delight for everyone. They were fresh for the show and did a great job, despite lumping into a one-bedroom apartment with a full crew the night they arrived in Salt Lake.
The next band up was Blitzkid. I was hooked by these guys. The front man, Goolsby, rocked his bass in ways I’ve never seen. He played it about 85 different ways, over the shoulder, under his leg, with his mouth; all while keeping perfect time and singing. The crowd was energetic and intrigued by the band’s performance. I snapped a few photos of both bands.
Next, Strung Out took the stage. By the time they started, the crowd had nearly doubled in size. It was a Tuesday night here in The Beehive State, but you’d never know it. The bar in the venue, separated from the all-ages area (of course), was full. The band was upbeat, vibrant, and for guys who’ve been rocking since 1992, they really into the show. The bassist, Chris Aiken and guitarist Jake Kiley, did several simultaneous jumps from ground level. To put it in the parlance of our times, they’ve got “mad hops”. The guys continued to amp up the crowd as they performed songs like “Matchbook”, “Support Your Troops”, “Cemetery”, and “Mind of My Own”. I was thoroughly impressed with the tenacity in which the songs were delivered, again and again. I thought I was at a Strung Out concert, not waiting for another band to play when the show finally came to an end after 14 or so songs.
After being delighted by Strung Out, Face to Face took the stage to play for the excited crowd. By this time, there was the dreaded open hole in the crowd, waiting to claim bodies from a good moshing session. The band played songs from the new album, “Laugh Now, Laugh Later”. They also regaled us with classics from their long list of tunes including “Blind” and “Bombs Away”. In my mind, no Face to Face concert would be complete without hearing “Disconnected” of course, and we were all very glad to hear it being jammed out near the end of the set of about 20 songs. By this time, I’d wandered into the bar area, and happened to end up hanging out with Jake Kiley from Strung Out. My man friend, a longtime and obsessive fan, even bought him a beer. It was his personal quest to meet each member of SO that led us to a drink and nice chat with Mr. Kiley and his photos with everyone but Jason Cruz (oh well). If you’re looking for a summer night with original punk rockers, sing-along songs, and a damn good time, hit up this tour. Complete sets of all show photos can be viewed here: