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X-96 BASh goes on, despite

X-96 BASh SHOW, Salt Palace Convention Center, Saturday.

Neither rain nor cold nor chance of light snow could stop the annual X-96 BASh from going on as planned Saturday. The only difference was that for the first time the show was moved indoors.

Anticipating the wet weekend weather, organizers moved the daylong festival, which included three music stages, a mini-skate park, food and merchandise vendors, a rock wall and mechanical bull, from its traditional home at the Utah State Fairpark to inside the Salt Palace Convention Center.

The change in venue didn't seem to affect the crowd as several thousand people, mostly high school to college-age kids, still showed up. What seemed to suffer the most, however, was the sound quality. Bands that played early were especially affected as there weren't as many people to absorb the sound.

The soaring musical theater-trained voice of Schoolyard Heroes' Ryann Donnelly almost knocked people out as it bounced off the concrete floor and steel girders of the low ceiling of the Salt Palace's main exhibit hall.

The sound quality improved slightly for Madina Lake from Chicago and Philadelphia's The Starting Line, who got a bigger audience and more people jumping around. Cold War Kids put on a good set with its unique blend of blues laced alternative rock. But for the most part the audience, full of energetic teens wanting to crowd surf and mosh, failed to appreciate the band as the quartet played before one of the smallest crowds of the day.

Many were already jockeying for position for Sum 41, who in contrast to Cold War Kids played before one of the largest audiences. The band and the audience seemed to feed off each other's energy as both were very animated for the Canadian quartet's one-hour set. Songs off their new album, "Underclass Hero," such as "Walking Disaster," blended nicely with older classics that threw the crowd into a frenzy, such as "Fat Lip" and "In Too Deep."

Jimmy Eat World followed with their blend of melodic, guitar-driven emo rock. Jim Adkins' voice was strong as the Arizona quartet finished with crowd favorites "Pain," "Sweetness" and "The Middle."

Mike Ness and Social Distortion played a solid set, including show staples "Reach for the Sky," "Ball and Chain," "Story of My Life" and the new song "Far Behind." Again, however, a smaller crowd seemed to affect the sound quality of the set as many were already waiting at the other stage for the show finale, The Used.

The Utah County-based boys received a big homecoming welcome as they played before the biggest and loudest crowd of the day. Bert McCracken encouraged the audience on as he screamed his way through thrashers like "Take It Away."

The emcees of the event, the X-96 Radio From Hell morning show, kept everyone well-informed of what was going on, even providing updates from the LDS general conference happening a block away. Overall, organizers deserve kudos for making the annual BASh happen at all. But what the faithful really need to pray for next year to make it better is sunshine.


E-mail: preavy@desnews.com