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The Violent Femmes Back On The Road at The Maverik Center

June 15, 2022

The Violent Femmes made their return to Utah on the Back On The Road Tour last week with a stop at The Maverik Center along with special guests Deap Valley and Soul Asylum to help celebrate local alternative radio station X96’s 30th birthday.

Deap Valley is a rock duo from LA, comprised of guitarist and vocalist, Lindsey Troy, and Drummer, Julie Edwards. They were a fitting opener for this tour as they are a rising star in the alternative music genre which both Soul Asylum and The Violent Femmes helped pioneer.

Soul Asylum was up next and the teenager in me was waiting in anticipation for this set.  I remember singing along at the top of my lungs to their hit “Runaway Train” as a teen, which I did again at the show.  Seeing vocalist Brian Pirner perform this song live was one of the highlights of the night for me.  Seeing a band, I grew up loving perform live for the first time was a nervous experience.  On one hand you want to see them and on the other it’s been almost 30 years since then and you wonder what to expect.  I am glad to say they did a great job through the night.  Their set was scattered with new songs from their latest album Hurry Up and Wait, which Pirner joked was an ironically fitting title since the album came out in 2020 and we all had to wait to see live music again.  The majority of the set had songs from their most popular album, Grave Dancers Union.

Finally, the moment we had been waiting for arrived as Alt music pioneers The Violent Femmes took the stage.  The Setlist this night consisted of 24 of their songs which is just a small sampling of what this iconic band has to offer.  It included some of the biggest hits like Blister In The Sun, and Kiss Off. Throughout the night vocalist, Gordon Gano, and bassist, Brian Ritchie, would joke with the crowd as they moved from song to song.  This helped flow the nigh and kept the audience laughing and engaged. At one point Ritchie talked about how he had stopped over to see the choir performance which Utah is famous for and talked about how beautiful it was and how he goes and sees it every time he is in town.  He then mentioned how although that was beautiful what he was about to say next wasn’t, before he jumped right into performing Dance, Motherfucker, Dance. The set was top notch this night as The Violent Femmes show no signs of slowing down.  It’s great to see such a deserving band still going strong after 40 years and still enthralling audiences with their live performances. 

Overall, the night was a very captivating nostalgic filled night.  Seeing bands that defined your early years still going strong is a very fulfilling experience.  If you have the chance to see these bands play then please do.  Even if you didn’t grow up on their music like I did, they give one incredible performance that any music lover is sure to like. 

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