If you are a native of southern Utah, you’ve probably heard these types of phrases from students: “There’s never anything to do in St. George,” or, “The nightlife sucks here,” a few times.
It’s true. The nightlife in St. George could be a lot better, especially in the music scene.
If students are constantly complaining, they should support local activities more than they do currently. Venues like the Electric Theatre and GOGO37 have closed, and students have nobody to blame but themselves. There should be much more promotion and physical appearance at local performances from students if they think they have the right to complain about it.
Mitchell Reber, former owner of the GOGO37, told me via email the Electric Theatre did as well as it did for a variety of reasons, but one of the reasons was its specified genre it usually appealed to.
“This isn’t to say they didn’t bring in a variety of acts, but the bands they usually did (bring in) was its bread and butter,” Reber said.
Reber said GOGO37’s most successful nights were tied to the same scene the Electric Theatre appealed to.
“GOGO’s aim was to be a bit more across the board with the music acts we brought in,” Reber said. “Even still, our most consistently successful endeavors were usually tied to the hardcore/metal/punk scene, which for the most part, was the Electric Theatre’s central focus.”
Since most of the venues have closed down, many local performers have resorted to performing outside. Pangea, a band composed of past and present Dixie State University students, performed at Centennial Park on Sept. 13. This park is a great outside venue for bands to perform. It’s large, there are many places to sit and if weather permits, it’s a great experience.
Surprisingly, there weren’t as many college students at this performance as there should have been.
Reber said the music crowd was more “eclectic” when he was growing up compared to what it is currently. There were more places for bands to play, and there was more diversity. This is what he was hoping to restore with the GOGO.
Shouldn’t we be moving forward rather than backward? St. George as a community has always been relatively small, but it’s growing rapidly. The people who reside here would never let this city turn into a metropolitan wasteland. It seems as though students don’t realize they have the power to turn St. George into something unique: a small town with a wholly well-represented music scene.
Reber is positive his actions helped introduce new culture in the area.
“We wanted to provide something alternative, something different,” Reber wrote in an email.
You asked for it, and they gave it to you. Somehow this still wasn’t enough.
“Though I definitely think we acted as a catalyst for some parts of the music scene, it could certainly get frustrating at times,” he wrote. “Some days I felt like, ‘Why the hell are we even doing this?’”
It’s important to recognize local bands are performing more often than you think. If you think there is nothing to do on the weekend, search again. Become an active community member.
“Music venues + active concert enthusiasts = revived music scene,” Reber wrote.
In order for the music scene to flourish, there needs to be a larger group of music enthusiasts. I know you are out there—make yourself known. Support what you want to see more of. If not now, when?