LIVE REVIEW: WILLOW – Salt Lake City, UT 08/06/2022

WILLOW

WILLOW played a phenomenal opening set on Machine Gun Kelly’s Utah tour date of the ‘Mainstream Sellout’ tour. Her enthusiasm for her music and her love of performing shined through during her set, and I felt the audience could have reciprocated the energy more since MGK’s fanbase is likely to know who she is due to their collaboration on his song ‘Emo Girl.’ Despite the lack of audience engagement, she was fun to watch perform, and I enjoyed her entire set. The way she interacts with not only the crowd but her band too shows a dedication to her music, as well as depicting the personal connection each of the musicians has with one another. As any serious musician knows, the personal connection between those performing together can make or break a show, and in this case, it made it all the more energetic.

She took the time to speak to the crowd on several occasions between songs, which is something that I enjoy having at concerts. Music is about connecting with the crowd, and playing as an opening act gives an artist the unique opportunity to connect with new fans, while also deepening the connection with the existing ones. Watching her performance, it was evident that she loves interacting with the audience, and pays attention to the smallest of details, such as the clothing she chooses to wear.

Machine Gun Kelly invited her back to the stage during his set to perform their song ‘Emo Girl.’ I was ecstatic to hear it live and thrilled to see WILLOW receive the proper amount of energy from the crowd. MGK is an electric, energetic, and incredible¬†performer himself, and the combination of these two artists on stage was incredibly fun to watch. The end of the song left me wanting more of this duo, so they should look into collaborating more in the future.

Venue and Audience

As I mentioned above, I wish that the audience had interacted more with this great performance. Being one of few in the crowd that was moving and excited to see her play, I felt the awkward looks from those around me. WILLOW and her band deserve so much credit for giving such an electric performance with little feedback from the crowd — that is no easy feat and demonstrates a great skill on their end. As for the venue, anyone from Salt Lake City will quickly tell you that USANA Amphitheatre is not the best venue ever. While being outdoors for a concert is spectacular and fun, this venue is usually a bit of an operational and logistical nightmare for patrons. As a fan of both performing acts, I was ecstatic to hear they’d be coming to Utah, but disappointed when I learned they’d be playing this venue. Regardless of the venue, I enjoyed the show and was excited for the opportunity to attend, and to write a review.

Merchandise

I loved the simple color schemes of the merchandise. As a fan of simple statements, I was excited about the black and white options. There was one t-shirt in specific that caught my eye in its glorious simplicity — the graphic was just handwritten lyrics. They were also selling vinyl copies of her album ‘Lately I Feel Everything.’ I did wish there were a few more options for merchandise, as there were few options to choose from her merch.

Overall rating: 8/10

I had an incredibly fun time at the Salt Lake City date of the ‘Mainstream Sellout’ tour. The main complaint I had that affected the score was the venue, which is sometimes not in the artists’ control. I wish that the crowd had given as much energy to WILLOW’s set as they did to Machine Gun Kelly’s. I would absolutely relive this concert over and over again.