year’s Redfest is
going to “rock your socks!” So says Alice Anderson,
chairwoman of festivals for the Associated Students of the University
of Utah Presenter’s Office. This mentality maintained by
ASUU is precisely what provides excitement and anticipation for
The Presenter’s Office has made changes in this year’s
Redfest. The principal difference is that this year students will
not have to pay for any events, except the Pennywise concert. ASUU
members know that in the past, putting prices on admission has caused
controversy among students and contributed to a smaller percentage
of students who actually attended the festival.
Anderson and fellow ASUU members hope that this year’s Redfest
(no affiliation with RED Magazine) will truly establish a name for
itself. Vendors and organizations from all over the Salt Lake City
area will be hosting tables to promote themselves. Some of the more
interesting vendors include a psychic and a table selling Tibetan
food. Local bands will grace students with appearances throughout
the day and into the night, while visiting touring bands will add
a little out-of-the-area flavor. The organizers designed this year’s
Redfest to accommodate the various tastes of a diverse student body.
ASUU has taken the time to really organize an event that will appeal
to both students and local residents who don’t attend the
U. The festival began on Wednesday, Sept. 17, and will run through
Saturday. Saturday promises to provide entertainment for even the
younger generations, as it is called “Family Day,” but
ironically ends with a performance by punk band Pennywise.
The various bands performing at Redfest are what promise to arouse
the interest of all who attend. To meet nearly all musical interests,
ASUU has arranged a well-rounded lineup of performances in the effort
to rock the U’s socks off.
The ASUU established the festival 25 years ago to both celebrate
the end of school and familiarize the university students with both
each other and the various organizations that exist within the confines
of the U. Known until 2001 as Mayfest, the party consisted of days
of fun that would last through the weekend. Though Mayfest earned
itself recognition at the university, it was oddly timed for its
purpose. When the university changed to a semester-based institution,
members of ASUU realized that the festival no longer made sense
at the end of the year. This prompted the ASUU board members to
transition Mayfest into Redfest and organized the function so that
it took place at the beginning of the school year rather than the
Anderson claims that the ASUU Presenter’s Office, operated
by the student government, makes continuous efforts throughout the
year to bring the students together. Out of the 75 to 80 ASUU-organized
events throughout the school year, Redfest is “the biggest
event of the year.” Says Anderson, “It is a good way
for people here to get involved and take a break from classes.”
[this segment by Jamie
of The Solution, along with Salt Lake City-based DJ Brisk, will
bring underground hip hop to Redfest.
didn’t need to leave the safe, supporting network of friends
and fellow artists from the Los Angeles underground hip-hop scene,
yet he’s still making efforts to stretch his boundaries. “I’m
more well-known overseas—and in New York and L.A.,”
Jamal says. Traversing new ground is an understandable venture,
but Salt Lake City seems an odd place to begin the rapper’s
Jamal’s connection to the city came courtesy of DJ Brisk,
a local musician who has appeared at such venues as Suede and Harry
O’s. The two artists met during last year’s Sundance
Film Festival and immediately hit it off. Their collaboration resulted
in a single, which led to a full-length album and the formation
of The Solution. Tonight the group will perform in place of Clipse,
which canceled after the airlines canceled flights due to Hurricane
Isabel. The Solution’s appearance will feature performances
by fellow Netweight Records artists Concise Kilgore, Brisk One,
Ms. Carter and Ramases—all of whom currently reside in Salt
Lake City. [Reported by Jamie
The rap duo of brothers Malice
(Gene Thornton) and Pusha T (Terrence Thornton) will be the first
touring band to perform. Scheduled to appear at 8:00 p.m., the Virginia
natives are on the road promoting their debut album, Lord Willin’,
which was released in January. The pair has been working with friends,
fellow hip-hop group and production team The Neptunes for nearly
10 years now. After overcoming a disagreeable experience with Elektra
Records, the duo is excited to make a name for itself with Arista
Records. The pair promises to be a dynamic force within the hip-hop
world and guarantees that despite the move from New York to Virginia,
the brothers are still educated in street life and able to communicate
this through their music.
Smith will offer contemplative songwriting.
Though Elliot Smith is stingy
in his willingness to give an interview, he is sure to be a crowd
pleaser with his 8:15 p.m. performance. Smith has been producing
music on his own since he split from former band Heatmiser and released
his debut album, Roman Candle, in 1994.
Smith is perhaps most easily recognized from his Best Original Song
Oscar nomination in 1997, for “Miss Misery” from “Good
Will Hunting.” The artist’s most recent album, Figure
8, which came out in July 2002, earned rave reviews from many critics.
Smith’s performance will provide students with a pleasurable
mix of folk and indie rock.
Friday: Pedro the Lion
the Lion plays indie-rock, which past RED reviews have shown
people who look like Val Kilmer enjoy.
quite some time, Pedro the Lion has consisted solely of one person—David
Bazan. The Seattle native has been producing his own music since
splitting from former bandmates who were not cut out for life on
the road. Dedicating his time to promoting his music, Bazan has
considered his touring career a “revolving door,” constantly
inviting new musicians in to play as others exit the stage.
Bazan is scheduled to open for Elliott Smith at 7:15 p.m. Bazan
says that his performance at the U will include a longtime friend
who recently moved to Seattle to become the second member of Pedro
Raised on Christian music in a rigid home, Bazan discovered, in
his early teens, musicians such as The Beatles, The Cure and Fugazi.
These musical inspirations led Bazan to create his music, which
he describes as “indie rock.” Dedicating this winter
to building his own studio, Bazan plans on recording his fourth
CD, which will be released sometime next spring, when Pedro the
Lion is firmly intact with two members and a dedication to touring
and establishing a fan base.
will perform at the only ticketed concert at this year's Redfest.
boys are back and ready to rock the festival with their smart, politically
powerful lyrics. Set to perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday night, the
members of Pennywise will appear at the U for their second performance
since the release of their current album, From the Ashes, which
came out on Sept. 9.
The guys from Pennywise share their views in a hard-core passion
with fans who have loved them from the beginning. Though quite successful,
the band members maintain a close relationship with their fans.
In doing so, ticket prices stay low ($10 for U students, $25 for
everyone else). So get out there and rock!
Saturday: Flashlight Brown
Most recently seen touring
with the All-American Rejects, Canadian quartet Flashlight Brown
is a group of self-described uncool guys who are sure to be the
next big thing in pop-punk music. The group released its debut album,
My Degeneration., in April of this year. Tracks like “Ready
to Rock” are more about the game “Dungeons and Dragons”
than the rebel coolness that surrounds pop-punk.
The album examines the joys of possessing a low self-esteem throughout
high school. Though the members of the band may not hold themselves
too high, they are talented enough to secure the interest of Green
Day’s producer, Rob Cavallo, who gave the boys their start.
Flashlight Brown will provide a “cool” show for Utah
residents in the style that only former “Dungeons and Dragons”
players could, opening for Pennywise at 6:15 p.m.
Introspective Into Local Bands Playing Redfest
you ready to rock?
No, seriously, are you ready to rock? No, I’m serious, I really
need to know. Why? Well, in case you haven’t heard (’cause
you’re probably too busy book-learnin’ to care,), the
annual song and dance designed to get people to actually care about
the damn university continues to host a ton of local bands. “I’ve
played Redfest before. It’s a lot of fun to be outside, playing
in front of 10 people with blank faces,” says Oliver Lewis,
guitarist and vocalist of Blue Hour, without a hint of bitterness.
Here are a few hand-picked highlights.
and the Manumitions
Taking their name from God
knows where, the members of Malfeasa and the Manumitions (“Malfeasa”
meaning evil-doer and “Manumitions” meaning “our
quest for dominance”…I love these guys already) will
be playing what will be only their second or third show ever this
week at Redfest. Drummer Flora Bernard and guitarist/vocalist Tara
Shupe are fun girls to hang out and drink with on a Friday night.
What kind of music does Malfeasa and the Manumitions play? “Oh,
I don’t how you would describe…” Shupe begins,
but Bernard interrupts her with, “Rock and motherfucking roll,
my friend!” The band has only been around since “just
before the war,” Bernard says.
“We actually met through a mutual friend during a war protest,”
said Shupe. “I was going through a depression and I heard
Flora played drums. I suggested we play together one day, but at
the time, it seemed like one of those things where you never actually
expect it to ever happen.”
Although playing hooky isn’t something that Malfeasa and the
Manumitions necessarily endorse, Bernard contends that ditching
class and seeing Malfeasa might not be such a bad idea. “You’ll
learn so much more! It’ll be great.” Be sure to look
out for these up-and-comers this week.
Rezolution is the Summers
brothers—lead singer Cole and Josh on bass—and pal Chris
Swimley on drums. Influenced by Stone Temple Pilots and the Rolling
Stones, Rezolution brings its alterna-rock to the U on Thursday.
“We played Rock the Vote with Everclear last year,”
Cole Summers says. He also says that seeing Rezolution is a “no-brainer.”
“We’re high-energy, really tight and we’re not
just local anymore. We just finished a five-state tour last February
and we’re going to L.A. to record a new album this October.”
(The band finished its eponymous first album last April.)
The band played Kilby Court last Saturday, and with this mysterious
new Hollywood album, Rezolution is certainly on the verge of something.
Redfest is just a stepping stone for these friendly and photogenic
Starmy, a band that once
came this close to going on tour with The Strokes, may be the first
band of any merit to break out of Utah. “We played Redfest
last year, so I’m looking forward to it,” frontman Mike
Sartain says. “We put on a good live show, and big things
are happening [to the band.] We’re touring in early October
all over the place, and our new album comes out in two months. I’m
looking forward to seeing Redd Tape and Elliot Smith play. I hope
everybody comes to the show.” Be sure to check out Starmy
on the acoustic stage this Thursday afternoon.
The Red Bennies
The Red Bennies will be playing
Redfest, and RED magazine got a chance to have a monochromatic interview
via e-mail (The Bennies are just finishing up a tour of the West
Coast) with David Payne, lead singer, about his thoughts on playing
at ASUU’s event of the century. “I went to [the U] for
a semester,” said Payne “and I enjoyed seeing bands
on the way to class.” The Bennies are always hard at work
touring and recording. “The usual stuff at the usual pace…TURBO!!!”
The Red Bennies will be hawking merchandise, including T-shirts
and albums. Payne also recommends you check out Ezeetiger from San
Francisco. He plays immediately after The Red Bennies. “He
is our friend and plays great music,” said Payne.
Tape's Scott Fetzer may appear sweet and unassuming, but his
stage act is ferocious!
Redd Tape / Will Sartain
unconvinced that Redfest doesn’t boast the best of the best
in terms of local music? Look no further than Redd Tape. The band’s
debut album, Born in a Cardboard Box, rates quite high on my own
personal rock-o-meter. Scott Fetzer, Redd Tape’s lead guitarist,
is “definitely looking forward” to the annual outdoor
festival. “You’ll dance…and have a good time [at
our show.]” Lead singer Will Sartain agrees. “I’m
pretty stoked,” the bespectacled rocker from behind the Union
help desk says. “I’m excited.”
Redd Tape is currently still looking for a space to practice and
to work on any future recordings, but Sartain’s untitled solo
album comes out in October. If you thought Born in a Cardboard Box
was a bit too intense, this might be the album to look forward to.
Will Sartain is doubly excited
to be at Redfest. Not only is Redd Tape set to entertain the masses,
but Sartain will be going solo this week, performing his “a
bit more low-key than Redd Tape” solo music with fellow Redd
Tapist Sean McCarthy on keyboard and Blue Hour’s Charlie Lewis
on drums. Sartain suggests that you “skip any class you have
and come see all the awesome bands.”
Shupe and the Rubber Band
The Shupes (Ryan’s
sister Tara is in Malfeasa and the Manumitions. In case you’re
keeping score at home, that’s the Lewises, the Summerses,
the Sartains and the Shupes, all playing Redfest this week) are
probably the most rarin’ to go of all the siblings playing
Redfest. When Ryan Shupe tells you he’s excited to play Redfest
this week, and especially excited to be the last band playing Wednesday
night, you can feel his enthusiasm, even over a dying cell phone.
Shupe, guitarist and mandolinist for the band, plays folk and bluegrass
music, has fun trying to fit his group into its own little niche.
“I think we’re like the Dixie Chicks meets Dave Matthews.
Like, we’re not a jam band like the String Cheese Incident,
but we’re not as concise as, say, matchbox twenty.”
The Rubber Band’s flavor of music makes Redfest an ideal place
for them to play. “I enjoy these outdoor music festivals…and
you won’t see a band like us [at Redfest.]” Ryan Shupe
and the Rubber Band just finished its fifth album, Hey Hey Hey,
which will be sold at the festivities.
Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band is another Wednesday band. But you
can also see them play this Friday at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi
at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8.
Hour loves playing to "blank faces" at Redfest.
band that may or may not have been named after a porno flick, Blue
Hour got the invitation to play
Redfest shortly after finishing Exit Seating, its critically acclaimed
split EP with Alchemy.
Oliver Lewis’ love of playing at Redfest seems to be as genuine
as the kind of music that Blue Hour plays. Blue Hour’s sonic-melodic
experimental sound makes them a truly unique band at Redfest this
year. They may very well be the most experimental band slated to
appear. “That’s actually kind of sad if we’re
the most experimental,” said Lewis, “but I guess we
can look forward to educating the people.”
After the lesson, Blue Hour has big plans for the future. “We’re
going to make a new batch of recordings,” Greg Migley says.
Lewis confirms this: “We just bought a bunch of new recording
equipment, and we’re going to make a full-length album after
Blue Hour will play Wednesday, so in case you’ve missed them
already, be sure to keep your eye out for the next time they rock
out. And keep your other eye out for any upcoming Blue Hour recordings.