The Union Event Center
Salt Lake City, Utah
May 12th, 2023
By Molly McCoy
Friday May 12th, Half Alive brought their Conditions of Punk tour to The Union Salt Lake City. With a line wrapping around the block fans were eager to get inside. Once on stage it was announced that this was the biggest headline show they’ve played thus far, and it definitely would be a night filled with energy, singing and dancing.
The night began with Dev Lemons who announced to the crowd that this was her first ever tour and how Utah stuck out to her, for the many flavored soda shops we have. She had great interaction with the crowd throughout her set, and made lots of jokes about the sad nature of a lot of her songs. Her song “Think About It” was my favorite and it is featured on her new EP that comes out in a couple weeks. Overall Dev Lemons set brought a lot of fun energy to the stage and it will be exciting to see where she goes from here.
Next up was Tessa Violet, I saw Tessa open for another band in 2019 so I was pretty excited to see her perform again. Right off the bat Tessa brought some incredible energy to the stage and connected with the crowd instantly. She won the hearts of fans as she proclaimed that Salt Lake is everyone’s favorite spot to tour in because the crowds are always so much fun and so energetic. As her set continued she joked “Bad Ideas, the name of the song, the name of my last album and the current theme of my life.” Fans got a good laugh out of that as she continued to wow the audience with her bright stage outfit and dancing. It was obvious that her two band mates enjoyed every second of the show as well as they smiled their way through every song and all three of them had a few choreographed dances together within their set. Before starting their last song “You’re Not My Friend” which was definitely a favorite by the crowd’s reaction, Tessa mentioned that she would be returning to Salt Lake this summer for her very own headline show. Needless to say I know fans are already anticipating her return.
The time between Tessa’s set and Half Alive was filled with buzzing from the crowd as the stage crew set things up for the band. Soon enough the lights dimmed and fans roared as two people came out and unrolled a sheet. Then there was one spotlight and a shadow as lead singer Josh Taylor started singing “Tip Toes”. Fans were singing along from the very first note, the song changed seamlessly as the sheet stayed up and Josh went from standing to sitting at the piano. Halfway through the second song the sheet came down and fans roared again as they could finally see the stage set up. Half Alive broke their set up into 5 segments, the intro, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring for a total of 26 songs.
As the show went on I was mesmerized the entire time of the choreographed dancers that would come and go throughout the set. Half Alive used a lot of back light throughout their show to highlight shadows and especially the shadows of Josh, the lead singers, Jordan Johnson and Aidan Carberry as they all danced in a very cinematic way. While I loved how this show was designed and the flow of it, my one wish is that there would have been more dancing in the first 3 songs so I could have captured it on camera. During the “Fall” portion of the set, the band invited Tessa Violet back on stage to sing “Never Been Better”. The “Winter” portion of their set was more acoustic which I thought was fitting. I really liked the acoustic versions of their songs as it really isolated the vocals and listeners could really hear Josh’s range and depth
as he sang. One thing that stuck out to me from the beginning but was more evident in the winter portion was the emotion that you can hear but also see as he sings.
Half Alive had great crowd involvement throughout the show, from joking with fans about if they knew the movie “Tarzan” before playing a cover of Phil Collins song “Strangers Like Me” to giving a fan in the crowd a telephone and having a conversation with them during the song “Call Back” fans were devouring every second of their show. Before moving on to the final season which was “Spring” Josh gave a heartfelt speech to the crowd, encouraging fans to think about why they came to the show, and to embrace the feelings they had while being there. He cleverly added that everyone should take a moment and think about what they want for the next season in their lives. Following that he sang one of the bands widely popular song “Still Feel” the crowd participated eagerly and cheered even louder after it was announced there were still two more songs after that one.
It goes without saying that Salt Lake City is full of Half Alive fans and they are all eagerly awaiting for the band’s return. While Salt Lake was one of their final few stops they still have a few shows left on this tour. Half Alive is definitely a band you won’t want to miss as they not only put on a great concert but with eye catching choreography, incredible stage design and lighting their shows will please any crowd as there are so many elements to love.