Concert Review: PUBLIC

Abbey Nelson, EDM Producer

Sage Holt
John Vaughn, Lead Guitar and Vocals

On Monday, February 10th, rock and indie band PUBLIC performed at the Complex in Salt Lake City, Utah. PUBLIC was the opening act for American Authors and Magic Giant’s Band of Brothers Tour. I’ll be honest, I had never heard of PUBLIC prior to the concert. They are a three-member band from Cincinnati. John Vaughn plays lead guitar and is the vocalist. Ben Lapps plays percussion, and Matthew Alvarado plays bass and synth.

The Venue:

Their performance was located at The Complex in Salt Lake City. This was my first time at the Complex, and I was impressed. At first, it looked like quite a small venue. However, it is very spacious inside. There is a second floor balcony with a bar, and the first floor is a dance area. The Complex felt intimate, which I really enjoyed. There were just the right amount of people for the venue size.

Sage Holt
Matthew Alvarado, Bass Guitar

First Impressions;

PUBLIC had just begun playing when I walked into the concert. They were in the middle of a song, and I didn’t catch the band’s name before I arrived. Immediately I was struck by the amazing guitar and vocals, especially. Their first performance was an original called “One That I Want”. John’s voice was so incredible that I almost thought that their live performance was a recording.

After PUBLIC finished their first song, they took the time to interact with the crowd. John introduced each of the band’s members and discussed what type of music they make. I’d honestly say that many of their songs fall in the “high school love songs” category. Their songs are upbeat and full of catchy melodies. It’s been two weeks, and I still have multiple songs from their set stuck in my head.

My favorite part of PUBLIC’s set was when they covered Brittany Spears hit song “Toxic”. Again, John amazed me with his incredible vocals, especially his falsetto! Ben also did incredible on the drumset. His fills complimented the music perfectly, while showing off his amazing talent. He seemed so into the music. In fact, they all did. John and Matthew were jumping off of boxes and hyping up the crowd. By the end of “Toxic”, the whole audience was screaming.

Sage Holt
Ben Lapps, Percussion

PUBLIC finished up with two more of their own originals. The first was titled “For Her”, and the second was “Make You Mine”. John took a moment to talk about the latter song, stating that it was a song about true love. Just like with their previous songs, I was singing along to the lyrics by the end of the song. I hadn’t even heard of PUBLIC before that day.

Final Thoughts:

I had the opportunity to meet John after PUBLIC finished their set. He was a complete sweetheart, and I loved watching how he interacted with fans. He was very down to earth and took pictures with anyone that asked! PUBLIC amazed me with their talent, and I’ve played many of their songs on YouTube while studying. If they come to Salt Lake again soon, I know that I’ll be buying tickets!