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Bottom line? X96 puts dynamic mix of bands onstage

Published October 7, 2011 1:14 pm

Music • Panic! at the Disco, Neon Trees, King Niko, Anberlin, Switchfoot, The Airborne Toxic Event, She Wants Revenge, Brogan Kelby, Sleeper Agent and Grouplove make great lineup.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's October, so it's time once again for Salt Lake City rock station X96's Big … Buttocks Show.

Or, Big Back End Show. Or Big Backside Show. Or Big Derriere Show. Or Big Fanny Show.

I give up. Can I use the word "Ass" in a family newspaper? I guess I will.

But, truly, "X96's Big Ass Show" is the term that best suits the name of this annual concert, which this year outdoes past years by bringing in not only headliner Panic! at the Disco, but also Neon Trees, King Niko, Anberlin, Switchfoot, The Airborne Toxic Event, She Wants Revenge, Brogan Kelby, Sleeper Agent, and Grouplove.

"This is one of the best [line-ups] we've ever had," said Todd Nuke 'Em, X96 program director. "It will be good stuff."

Nuke 'Em said X96 selects acts that are popular with their audience of Utahns. For example, Neon Trees and King Niko are home-grown rock royalty in Utah, and Salt Lake City is one of Panic! At the Disco's most commercially successful markets. "We look for what people want to see," Nuke 'Em said.

The Salt Lake Tribune talked to members of Switchfoot and Sleeper Agent to see why Utahns are eager to see their bands … and perhaps their buttocks.

Switchfoot • Of all of the bands that emerged during the post-millennium emo craze, the San Diego-based Switchfoot is one of the few still standing with a still-considerable fanbase.

"Most bands don't get to make their eighth album," said drummer Chad Butler. After years in the Christian rock scene, the band tasted mainstream success in 2003 with its album "The Beautiful Letdown," which included the omnipresent rock-radio hits "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move." The former wasn't overtly Bible-thumping, but definitely had a spiritual bent:

Dreaming about Providence

And whether mice or men have second tries

Maybe we've been livin' with our eyes half open

Maybe we're bent and broken, broken

We want more than this world's got to offer ...

And everything inside screams for second life, yeah

The band shrugs off attempts to pigeonhole them as Christian rock. "I've never wanted to be in a box," Butler said. "Music is best when it's uncaged." He was quick to add that he was "honored to be associated with the name of Christ."

Switchfoot released its most recent album, "Vice Verses," on Sept. 27, and Butler said the record is a "brother album" to 2009's "Hello Hurricane," which won the Grammy for Best Rock Gospel Album.

"It's more about the polarity of life," Butler said about the themes of "Vice Verses." "It's the tension we live in today. There's painful elements in life, but there's hope amid that. You have to acknowledge pain before you have hope."

Sleeper Agent • This is the young band's first time in Utah, said singer Alex Kandel and singer-guitarist Tony Smith, the leaders of the Kentucky-bred sextet.

All of the members hail from Bowling Green, Ky., "known for chain restaurants and caves," Smith said, and all had been members of different ensembles in the close-knit Bowling Green music community. Eventually the six came together, and played their first show in 2010.

That first show was "one of my favorite shows ever," Kandel said. "I got fired from my job from playing that show."

"[The first show] just sounded huge," Smith said. "A lot bigger than anything we had been a part of before."

The group put together an eight-song demo, which found its way into the hands of the rock band Cage the Elephant (who will be opening for Foo Fighters in Utah on Tuesday). Sleeper Agent recorded an album in July 2010, and then has been opening for Cage the Elephant since, including buzz-building showcases at this year's South by Southwest festival.

The garage-pop sound of the band is set apart from the dueting vocals of Kandel (who is a woman, if you couldn't tell from the indeterminable name) and Smith.

And they also have been setting themselves apart by one more thing.

They have been playing their asses … I mean, buttocks, off.



Twitter: @davidburger —

X96's Big Ass Show

P Featuring Panic! at the Disco, Anberlin, Switchfoot, Neon Trees, She Wants Revenge, Brogan Kelby, Sleeper Agent, Grouplove, King Niko

When • Saturday at 11 a.m.

Where • Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main St., Salt Lake City

Tickets • $20 at SmithsTix

Info • Will call tickets can be picked up at the State Street (Gallivan Alley) gate only

Online • For a tentative set schedule, visit www.sltrib.com —

Tentative Set Schedule (subject to change)

The Suicycles 12 p.m. – 12:15 p.m.

King Niko 12:20 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.

Group Love 12:55 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.

Sleeper Agent 1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Brogan Kelby 2:05 p.m. – 2:35 p.m.

She Wants Revenge 2:40 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

The Airborne Toxic Event 3:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Switchfoot 3:50 p.m. – 4:35 p.m.

Anberlin 4:40 p.m. – 5:25 p.m.

Neon Trees 5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

Panic! At The Disco 6:20 p.m. – 7:20 p.m.






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