They say that all good things must come to an end. On Friday night, it was the Provo Rooftop Concert Series' turn.
The popular summer/fall concert series closed out its 10th and final season in glorious style, with headliners The Moth & The Flame performing an hour-and-35-minute set before a large crowd in front of the Nu Skin building in downtown Provo.
Before The Moth & The Flame performance, the four original founders of the series -- Sarah Wiley, Justin Hackworth, Mindy Gledhill and C. Jane Kendrick all took the stage for the final time. They were feted by Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi, who noted the impact the concert series has had on downtown Provo during its decade-long run.
"Ten years ago, they made a goal to revitalize downtown Provo, and they have reached that goal," Kaufusi said. "I wanted to say, this will be historical. Provo will forever be in your debt, and we're forever grateful to what you've brought to downtown Provo. It's a little emotional. I hope everyone just gives them a round of applause, and enjoys the night. Let's send them out on a bang."
The Moth & The Flame was a perfectly fitting selection to ground Rooftop's finale. The band, which is now based in Los Angeles, was a fixture on the Provo music scene for years, and Friday's performance was the fourth time the group has graced the Rooftop stage. The band first appeared in 2012, and later returned to headline shows in 2014 and 2015.
"I don't really know Provo without the Rooftop," said lead singer/guitarist Brandon Robbins, noting he moved to Provo just shortly before the series started. "It's how I know Provo. It's really one of the first shows we got to play for a crowd of this size back in 2012, and it gave us a taste for what could be."
The Moth & The Flame were joined by several fixtures on the local music scene for much of their set. Stuart Maxfield (keyboards) and Robbie Connolly (guitars, keyboards), bandmates in Fictionist, were both on hand for much of the performance, augmenting the group's sonic jam. Sophie Blair (violin) and Porter Chapman (percussion) also joined in at various times to round out the band, which also featured Andrew Tolman (drums) and Michael Goldman (bass, guitar).
One particularly impressive number was "Wishing Well."
"This is more of a ballad," Robbins said in his introduction to the song, "but it builds up at the end -- so don't give up on it."
He was absolutely correct in his assessment. The slow burner eventually reached fever pitch, and featured back to back lines wjere Robbins held onto the word "well" at the end for two extremely long times, showing off his vocal power.
Of the 14 songs the band played, highlights included opener "Only Just Begun," "Empire & the Sun," "Ozymandias," "The New Great Depression" and closer "Young and Unafraid."
The band was called back to the stage by repeated crowd chants of "One more song." Robbins returned to the stage alone and introduced what will go down as the final song in the Provo Rooftop Concert Series canon.
"This has been an amazing experience for us, I hope it's been amazing for you," Robbins said, noting the final song was off the band's first record. "We don't play it anymore. I haven't played this song in probably five years, I hope I can pull it off. This song is dedicated to Provo and the Rooftop.
The song, "Home," speaks to how everything is common here, yet there is love, family and no fear.
Midway through the song, Robbins brought out the rest of the band and many other fixtures from the Rooftop's circle of friends, for backing vocals. At one point, everyone joined the crowd in singing two key lines: "Everyone I love will be there, everything will be beautiful and so clear."
It was a beautiful moment, and one which served the concert series' mission and memory perfectly.
Two Salt Lake City-based bands, The Backseat Lovers and I Don't Know How But They Found Me, performed invigorating sets to open the final show.
I Don't Know How But They Found Me proved to be especially entertaining in the middle slot.
Wiley introduced the band, noting the group had been on her radar for some time.
"This is really very exciting for me," she said. "This next band I've been following for a long time. I reached out to them thinking it was a total longshot."
The duo, featuring bassist Dallon Weekes and drummer Ryan Seaman kept the crowd entertained with their music and animated stage show. Weekes, formerly a member of Panic! At the Disco, proved to be an engaging and quirky ringmaster.
At one point he warned the crowd the band was going to do a cover with some PG-14 themes.
"Anyone under the age of 27, I want you to cover up your eyes and ears," Weekes said. "Pretend you're in church."
After the song ended, Weekes followed up with exaggerated gusto.
"You youngsters in the crowd, you may now uncover your eyes and ears," he said. "And for those of you who feel guilty for listening to such filth, you can talk to your bishop on Sunday. I'm sure he'll understand."
Later in the band's set, Weekes said he was very pleased for the opportunity to play in the final Rooftop show.
"I'm so glad we got to be a part of this," he said, noting that it was something he and Seaman had been wanting to do for a while. "To be honest, we were afraid to ask."