Rex Orange County rolled into Salt Lake City, Wednesday night for a show at Union Event Center. He wasn’t the only one that traveled for the show, walking the line leading up to the venue I found people that crossed state lines coming from Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. The line stretched across two square blocks, with the event staff stating people had been lining up since 1:00 pm for the event where doors opened at 7:00 pm.
Excitement filled the room for the sold-out concert. With no opener, fans were yelling and dancing to the song ‘Mo Bamba,’ making videos doing TikTok dances, and eventually chanting “REX, REX, REX” continuously in anticipation for the artist to take the stage.
Screams echoed across the concert hall as Rex Orange County took the stage with his band in front of a beautiful blue sky, cloudy day backdrop looking similar to the default computer wallpaper. Seated at a keyboard, the artist started playing ’10/10′ from his new album ‘Pony.’ Although he began on the keyboard, Rex bounced around the stage with a mic singing with the crowd lyrics from the song “I’m livin’ again, yeah, I’m livin’, I’m livin’ again.”
Despite the time the crowd had waited in line, and inside the venue, after doors opened, there was still high energy. An energy the artist mentioned after his second song. He thanked fans for their enthusiasm and asked if everyone could take two steps back but still maintain that energy. The energy was so high that the venue had staff front row spraying the crowd with water bottles and fanning the patrons to keep the group cool.
As a live act, Rex Orange County was impressive. I heard multiple times people say, “Wow, I always love Rex, but he is even better live.” Part of that was because of the incredible band with him. The five-piece band played guitar, bass, saxophone, drums, and trumpet at times. Blending the keyboard and guitar playing rotation of Rex Orange County, with his smooth vocals, created an electric experience.
One of the highlights with the band was when they played ‘Television/So Far So Good.’ The song which started low turned into a full-on sing along with the crowd singing “What about me?” and exchanging lyrics with the artist. It was a beautiful moment as the artist sang about wanting to be happy by the end of that song. A song that is full of hard emotions, when played live at this show left the crowd feeling many fun and positive emotions.
After a few more songs, a curtain draped, and the band members became silhouettes soon fading off stage as Rex Orange County began a solo set. The artist played five songs, including a cover of Alicia Keys’ ‘No One.’
The curtain lifted, and the band returned to the stage, this time in front of a different backdrop. What was a cloudy and blue sky was now a starry night with a giant inflatable silver Pony. Confetti shot from the stage, and it was a beautiful example of this journey that Rex Orange County took the crowd on that night. A full day of emotions, there were upbeat and happy rhythms and the slow toned sad songs. Rex Orange County is vulnerable and relatable in his lyrics, and the crowd loves it. There is a certain give and take to his live show, and he curates an incredible crowd that loves him, and for a good reason.