Concert Review: Black Flak and the Nightmare Fighters, The Sardines, and Saylo

By Chris Whitehead

There was a little something for everyone last Friday at Gezzo Hall. Ranging from contemporary pop to cinematic post-rock, the lineup was nothing if not eclectic, and the crowd was certainly excited about it (both opening bands played an extra song at their enthusiastic request).
Cottonwood Heights band Saylo kicked things off with “La Bella Danza,” from their recently released City Lights EP, and had the room dancing by song 2. They proceeded to treat the audience to a set of bright, undeniably catchy tunes, and set the stage (pun intended) for the energy that was present throughout the rest of the show.
Next were indie-rockers The Sardines, from Heber, UT. Equal parts rowdy and laid-back, they kept the party going with wide-open guitar jams and a tight rhythm section. The Sardines are sure to scratch that rock-and-roll itch you’ve been feeling with standout tracks “Brigham’s Song,” “Rain,” and “Cheap Talk.” For a taste, listen to their demo, Early Daze.
Orem band Black Flak and the Nightmare Fighters closed the show and took us to a decidedly darker place, both sonically and visually, with a heavy dose of distortion and mood lighting. Contrasted with Saylo and The Sardines, they brought about a drastic, though certainly not unwelcome, change of pace with an immersive musical experience, complete with cryptic samples, sound effects, and sirens. This is music fit for an apocalypse; music better lived-in for a time than merely listened to. Be sure to check out their debut album, Once We Knew the World Well.
Each group is still cutting its teeth (Saylo have been around a short three months, The Sardines were playing with a brand-new lineup, and Black Flak and the Nightmare Fighters were playing their very first show together), but despite being relative newcomers, there is no shortage of talent among them. None of these bands are to be missed.

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