Concert-goers trickled onto West Center Street in front of the NuSkin building in Provo as rain clouds threatened to shower the outdoor concert. But as the weather cleared up, the excitement was tangible for Provo’s first Rooftop Concert of the summer. Families, teenage hipsters and Provo’s signature college kids all flooded Center Street to listen to Mimi Knowles, The Aces, and, most awaited, The Str!ke. I even spotted someone with neon pink hair – now that’s a party in Provo.
The hip-hop artist started the set with “Sway”, a high energy rap that got the crowd dancing. Knowles catered to the young crowd with a personalized Snapchat filter and a song titled “Love my BAE.” Knowles and his band performed their remix of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” with their own style of hip-hop mixed with a strong brass section of saxophone, trumpet and trombone.
Knowles knocked out some impressive vocals for how much he danced around the stage. This act was proof that guys (and a girl) in hoodies and snapbacks can definitely crank out some cool sounds.
This female group took the stage with lead singer Cristal Ramirez rocking a bright blue guitar and a jumpsuit a la Coachella. The Aces played their rock songs like “Shed your Skin” and “Volcanic Love” with plenty of synchronized head-banging and girl power.
Ramirez and the band added their rock vibe to a cover of 311’s mellow tune “Amber”. The crowd cheered when Ramirez introduced The Aces’ hit, “I Don’t Wanna Know”, an anthem made interesting by Ramirez’s deep, soulful voice.
The band closed the set with their new single “Stuck,” which had more upbeat pop elements that got the crowd moving again.
It was clear from the deafening cheer that erupted when The Strike took the stage that this act was the main event. Lead singer Chris Crabb was a strong presence in his funky white suit with blue elbow patches. Crabb has so much energy that there’s no doubt he was once a hyperactive child, and it definitely makes him a great performer who can put on a rocking show.
The atmosphere turned electric when the band busted out their hit “Warriors.” This song showed off The Strike’s unique sound that includes rock, jazz, funk, and techno pop influences, and the crowd loved it.
There’s a reason why The Strike is a repeat favorite at the Rooftop Concerts. This band knows how to make a crowd let loose and have fun. Crabb introduced their new single “Dancing is a Human Right” with a declaration that “we have a right to dance without anyone judging us for how uncoordinated we are!” That was a big hit with this motley crew of hesitant dancers, and the dance party went wild as Crabb let his band (including a saxophone player decked out in denim and leather) rock some solos for the last half of the song.
The Strike slowed things down with a cover of Beyonce’s “1 + 1”, and Crabb showed that he could belt out a love ballad with some real feeling. The band preceded their last song with a crowd selfie in true Provo fashion. They echoed the previous acts’ statements about the unique nature of the Rooftop Concerts.
“Provo is so special,” Crabb said. “Not every city has this, so let’s give it up for the Rooftop team.”
The Strike puts heart into their music, and they really connected with the crowd because of that. The band ended with their latest hit “Atom Bomb”, and the first Rooftop Concert of the summer went out with a bang.