Hamiton Leithauser @ The State Room in Salt Lake City.
Tell you what, I braved some terrible road conditions and 15 miles on the freeway behind a barricade of snowplows on 1-15 to get to this show. If YBB were here, he’d tell me I should have taken 89 from Ogden, and that at least I didn’t have to go all the way to the Maverick center in Murray. But what he doesn’t know is that 89 was shut down due to an accident, and that the plows didn’t show up until just after 89 merges with I-15 in Farmington.
First off, I met my drummer bud from the ol’ band at Curry Fried Chicken, just down the street from the venue. Damned good curried crispy fried chicken, but I went with my favorite. The Chicken Shawarma wrap. Holy shit is that delicious, I used to order it like once a week when I worked a block away at the frame shop.
Over our food, we discussed a couple that had just left the restaurant on a first date. It apparently already wasn’t going well for him when he decided to ask
“do you like to cuddle?”
Rostam wasn’t there. I don’t think he was ever really planning to be, but it would have been fun. Hamilton’s band was perfectly suitable, but not a selling point, a four piece, but could’ve used a fifth, someone dedicated to lead guitar.
Opened with my favorite track ‘In a Blackout’, which I’ll be honest, I wish they held out. Leithauser’s vocals weren’t quite warmed up yet. And he didn’t quite nail those powerful high notes like I’ve seen in other performances.
When he did get warmed up, boy did he deliver! it was when he broke into ‘I use the SAAAME VOICE! I ALWAYS HAVE!’ That I was reminded exactly why he’s one of indie-rocks best front men. More blaring trumpet than chilling viola, but it gets the blood movin, and isn’t without soul. His formidable height doesn’t hurt.
Overall great show. He was better served with his bigger band when he played solo here in Ogden(!), but his vocals can carry the show, no problem.
3 outta 5 lemons