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The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Everything under the sun

The Moss puts on an otherworldly performance
Carley Bailey
Slowdown, Omaha held this performance on March 6, 2024, allowing The Moss to provide an unforgettable time to all who attended.

Based in the root of Salt Lake City, Utah, indie-rock band, “The Moss,” has been on a fast incline into the top alternative radio charts, earning listeners with a brilliant blend of fuzzed-out riffs and a surf-inspired atmosphere over the past few years.

This group of fun-loving, freewheeling young souls began their musical journey in 2015 after lead singer Tyke James united with guitarist Addison Sharp on the shores of Oahu, Hawaii. The two started off playing small gigs to kickstart their passion for music. After years of friendship, they officially decided to trade in beaches for the Great Salt Lake where drummer Willie Fowler and bassist Caiden Jackson joined the picture. Since the start, the band has released a total of two albums as well as various singles and EPs to gain their title in the music industry.

Their most recent unreleased single, “Alive,” sent them on a 2024 winter tour through the American West, beginning their journey in Vancouver, British Columbia, and finishing in Denver, Colorado.  

As I initially discovered them through the release of their first album, “Kentucky Derby,” The Moss’s sun-drenched instrumentals and warm vocals have sustained a permanent spot on almost every single one of my playlists since then. So, while progressively developing an ongoing adoration for their tunes, hearing that they were finally performing in my area sent me on an almost two-month frenzy of learning each and every song of theirs that I didn’t already know.

From the very moment I entered the rather small venue, I knew I was in for an emotional show. The main stage was doused in bright neon overhead lights that gave the whole setting a more euphoric undertone. The ground, engulfed by guitar chords and tacky backline equipment made the environment seem all the more raw and authentic as well. Vinery draped around the drum set up displayed the overall vibe of the band and provided a more earthy look on stage.

In support of “The Moss,” young folk-rock artist, Michael Marcagi, stood as their opening performance, enchanting the crowd with fluffy hums and the richest of vocals. Although I hadn’t previously heard much about Marcagi, I was thoroughly impressed by his gratifying stage presence and sweet disposition. Having a short selection within his artist discography, he was able to play all of his currently released songs; the old and the new. This performance allowed me to discover more about his “American Romance” EP and find a newfound appreciation for his lyrical excellence and hometown-based tunes. 

The Moss portion commenced with a roaring outcry from the crowd as the band chaotically bounced their way on stage. Not a second was wasted once they stood before us, diving directly into their most recent September released song, “The Place That Makes Me Happy.”  

Hearing Tyke’s distinctly unique voice live was truly an ethereal experience. He was able to perfectly portray the raw emotion within this song that you can’t normally hear in its original record.  From each strum of the bass to the beat of a drum, every note fit together with ease while the four played as one. It was mesmerizing hearing the slight echo of their voices combined with the sweet vibrations of instruments through the air. It was truly an experience like no other.

Transitioning swiftly through some of their more prominently known songs, such as “Storm Cloud Baby” and “Willies Song,” the fourth song they played happened to be brand new and unreleased, clearly stating that it had never before been heard by fans. It embraced more of their grunge-rock side, something I hadn’t seen as much from them, which had me really excited to see what was to come for the future of their music.

Being my most favored song out of the “Insomnia” EP, I had been most excited to hear their  2023 release of “Carousel” from the very start. The first washed-out, sparse guitar chords quite literally sent chills up my spine. The distinct feeling of an impending panic attack mixed with the bliss of romantic beachy riffs was even more strongly profound while experiencing this song firsthand. I never knew I could love a song so much more, but every single aspect of this performance had me bursting with joy.

The rest of the show traced through various fan favorites such as “Celebrate,” “Heartbreaker,” “Grand Hoodoo,” “Blink,” and “Chaparral.” As the last few notes of their break-out single, “Insomnia”, rang through the air, a crowd chant had them back on stage to play just one last song. “Dog Valley” is by far their most interactive and amusing single yet, especially when heard live. This song in particular allows the audience to partake in a back-and-forth chant with the members, making for a memorable experience each and every time.

Overall, it wasn‘t just the music that made this concert so special. The band’s stage presence was magnetic, drawing us in with their infectious energy and genuine love for performing. , sharing stories and laughs between songs, making us feel like we were all part of the show. Tyke in particular stood out to me as an extraordinary stage performer. Every chance he got, he was anywhere but the stage; simultaneously serenading the crowd while roaming the venue to get closer to his fans.

The band’s chemistry was so unreal to witness; the way they feed off of each other’s energy was indefinitely electric. Together, they exert a surge of pure bliss that I have never before felt from a concert alone. They ensured that no matter where you stood in the crowd, everyone got a front-row seat, making the experience all the more personal. Truly, they made it feel as though we were all a part of something bigger.

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About the Contributor
Carley Bailey, Staff Reporter
Carley is a senior starting up her third year on the Millard West CATalyst staff. She enjoys drawing, painting, writing, and listening to all sorts of music in her free time, when she’s not spending time with her close friends. This school year, she’s looking forward to writing plenty of entertainment and opinion pieces and hopes to return to State Journalism for the second year in a row.

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