The Cinco de Mayo Concert at the Great Saltair featured two stages, one indoors and one outside, so at almost any point in the concert you could walk in or out of Saltair and hear a different band.
The stage inside featured Drowning Men, Middle Class Rut and Flogging Molly, while the outdoor stage featured Brogan Kelby, New Medicine, Drive A, 10 years and -- the band I came to see -- Hollywood Undead.
As a concert venue, the Great Saltair has an interesting past, opening its doors for the first time in 1893. Since then Saltair has been destroyed three times in devastating fires, the first in 1925, the second in 1931 and, finally, the third in 1970, an arson fire that completely burned down the resort.
The current Saltair was constructed in 1981 from the remains of an Air Force aircraft hangar, and is located about one mile west of its precursor.
During the May 5 concert, I stayed outside, because personally, I had never heard of any of the bands playing inside (sorry Flogging Molly fans, I know there are a lot of you). The outdoor show was long and loud, the crowd getting slightly larger with each band that went on stage.
Brogan Kelby was a local band from Utah, and to my surprise they were pretty good. Then came New Medicine from Minneapolis, playing songs from their debut album "Race You to the Bottom"; Drive A from Los Angeles; 10 Years from Knoxville, Tenn., and finally, Hollywood Undead.
This band released their second studio album, "American Tragedy," on April 5. Before that time, Hollywood Undead was more of a comic relief group than a band, catching more fans with their quirky lyrics rather than their music. Now they are more like an actual band, with more rock-sounding songs and catchy high-energy choruses, but at the same time, they've still got their original style that they had on their debut album, "Swan Songs."
Sometime in early 2010, the band announced that lead vocalist "Duce" had been voted out of the band, and had been replaced with touring member Daniel Murillo, who was a contestant on the ninth season of "American Idol." Not long after, Murillo joined the band as a permanent member.
Before Hollywood Undead came on stage, it was dark outside and a mass crowd of hundreds of people were waiting for the headliner. Then suddenly the group's coveted "Dove and Grenade" symbol began dancing across the back of the stage in two places via light projectors. The crowd screamed in unison as the six members of Hollywood Undead took the stage, opening with "Undead" from "Swan Songs."
All the members were wearing masks with a stunning amount of quality to them, three of which lit up in the night.
I was surprised to see how well Daniel Murillo covered their old material. I knew he was good, but from my unique musical perspective, he exceeds their former vocalist in almost every way.
Every song the band played the crowd responded to with a lot of energy, and a multitude of people singing along. They performed all four singles from "American Tragedy" -- "Hear Me Now," "Comin' in Hot," "Been to Hell" and "Coming Back Down." But overall, they sang more tracks from "Swan Songs" than from the new album.
In between songs there were occasions for the band to make the crowd laugh, and they jumped on that opportunity at almost every break. They are great entertainers. I quickly learned that they know what they're doing when they put on a show, so if you liked their first or second album, or both, then you'd be crazy after reading this article not to see them live next time they come to Utah. Trust me, it's worth the cost of the ticket.
Alex Esplin is a junior at Dorius Academy. He enjoys writing short stories and is working on a novel. He plays guitar and also sings for a local band. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.