Bloggers Chronicles: The Review: Smilin' Violet @the Hotel Utah

I'm a little late on this one show review. Ok, I'm very late. I went to the Hotel Utah on Sept. 16th to see Dark Satellite. I've been very pressed for time and unfortunately, I got there way too early. The three-band show had just begun. Realizing my 45-minute window hindered me from catching the band I went to see. I was kind of bummed but catching Smilin' Violet turned out to be a total highlight.

One great thing about the Hotel Utah is the intimate setting. The band is up close like an MTV Unplugged series. I paid the cover, grabbed a beer, walked past the thick curtains, made my way down the stairs and took a seat to my immediate left. Smilin' Violet was on stage. The band looks young. The singer/rhythm guitar player was positioned center stage. His bushy hair was held in place by a baseball cap whose folded brim hid his eyes. Lead guitarist flanked stage left, bassist was set stage right and the drummer was in the back.

The music is heavy with a 90' grunge feel.  Not being able to see the singer's facial expressions as he sang with passion added a mystique to his stage presence. There's always a couple of members that stand on any given night. The drummer and the lead guitarist were two that stood out. Clearly, the drummer is on another level. His double bass work and hi hat variations were spectacular. He laid the path for the band to follow. I get the sense he's the oldest and most experienced in the band by how he conducted himself on stage.

At times, we may see a performance and say, "that reminded me of a young (insert iconic name)". I know I've made that comparison with IAMX to a young David Bowie. I couldn't help but compare the lead guitarist to a young Jerry Cantrell from Alice In Chains. He commanded the stage. I can see a bright future for him leading Smilin' Violet or any band he's a part of.
Besides the Jerry Cantrell comparison, the band does have a bit of Alice In Chains vibe to their music. While the 90's had a wide array of sounds, both good and bad. The combination of heavy grunge tones that borrowed from metal is considered the best from that era. It's something Smilin' Violet has tapped into, and I look forward to hearing their evolution. I wish them the best as they continue their journey. 
Keep up with Smilin' Violet!!!


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