Cody Canada and The Departed rock SLC on a Sunday night

IMG_3915SALT LAKE CITY — It’s only January, but Cody Canada and The Departed put in an early bid Sunday night at The State Room for my favorite concert of the year.

After more than a two year absence from Utah, Canada returned seemingly re-energized and firing on all cylinders, delivering a great mix of songs off his new album, HippieLovePunk, and lots of songs from his beloved former group, Cross Canadian Ragweed. And yes, even “Boys From Oklahoma” found its way back onto the set list.

FullSizeRender-3The Departed started the show with one of Ragweed’s most popular songs, “Alabama” followed by the first single off HippieLovePunk, the driving “Inbetweener.”

Canada’s voice was in top form all night as well as his always stellar guitar playing.

Half of The Departed’s regular players weren’t scheduled to join the band until Monday in Las Vegas. But with Jeremy Plato’s bass playing and vocals standing next to Canada, as he has for the past 20 years, nothing was lost in sound quality.

FullSizeRender-2The State Room was close to a sellout, which was a lot better than the last time The Departed came to town, especially considering it was a Sunday night in Utah.

Canada was good spirits and personable with the crowd. Some of his stories Sunday night included an experience in Portland that lead to the writing of “Easy” off the new album. And during his brief solo set, he told the story of the run-in with three Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers that lead to the writing of Ragweed’s “51 Pieces” off their last album.

IMG_3912The Good: Inbetweener and Comin’ To Me off HippieLovePunk. Lonely Girl, Constantly, Record Exec and Deal from the Ragweed catalog.

What Was Missed: Revolution off the new album. Ballad of Rosalie, possibly the The Departed’s most well known song prior to HippieLovePunk. And I’m probably in the minority on this one, but I’d take Anywhere But Here as a show closer any night over Boys From Oklahoma. But a lot of people in Salt Lake enjoyed the latter Sunday night.

The Bottom Line: Micky and the Motorcars just announced they’re returning to Utah in April after playing here just two weeks ago. Hopefully The Departed will follow in the Brauns’ footsteps and not wait another two years to return. Sunday night was an all around great concert and the next Departed show can’t come fast enough.


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