SLC’s evening with Haken 

Reading Time: 2 minutes The progressive metal band, Haken, performed their newest album on tour in Salt Lake City.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

On February 13, 2024, the “Evening with Haken” tour graced The Depot in Salt Lake City, presenting a unique concert experience that defied the usual expectations of metal gigs. This night was distinguished by its entirely seated audience, a rarity in the realm of metal concerts, transforming the venue into a sophisticated auditorium for the night. 

“Last year, I went to 30 to 35 metal concerts,” shared one attendee, highlighting the uniqueness of the experience. “Not a single one [was seated]; this is pretty significant.” 

The seating arrangement lent an air of elegance and anticipation, setting the stage for an intimate appreciation of Haken’s technical mastery. With no opening acts, the focus was solely on the progressive metal maestros, allowing the audience an unadulterated dive into their complex musical world. 

Kicking off with “Taurus,” the opening track from their latest album “Fauna,” Haken embarked on a nearly uninterrupted musical journey through the album’s narrative. The concept album, which explores the tapestry of human existence through animal metaphors, was delivered with crystal-clear audio, ensuring that each intricate layer of their music was appreciated in full. 

“Fauna’s” technical brilliance and genre-bending compositions clearly demonstrated Haken’s progressive roots, drawing on jazz, rock, and metal to weave its stories. This complexity might challenge newcomers to the genre, yet the audience, well-versed in progressive music’s nuances, embraced the live rendition of the entire album. 

One audience member eloquently captured Haken’s essence, describing them as “a heavier, slightly more metal version” of classic prog bands like Yes, Rush, Jethro Tull, and Pink Floyd, praised for their “very technical vocals” and “catchy keyboard parts.” 

The evening escalated with a performance of “Crystallised” from the “Restoration” EP, a piece showcasing Haken’s versatility and cohesion as a band, culminating in a standing ovation for the band’s vocal harmonies and genre-spanning prowess. 

After a brief interlude, Haken revisited their discography, pleasing fans with classics and long-form compositions that underscored their evolution as a band. This retrospective journey showed the band’s capacity to engage fans across their diverse catalog. 

Concluding with “Visions,” their sprawling epic, Haken ensured the evening was memorable, weaving through their musical epochs in a way that both newcomers and long-time fans could appreciate. 

One attendee summed up the night perfectly: “This is the third time I’ve seen this band…Anytime a band plays an album from start to finish, it’s very bold…it’s a very unique experience to just go and see one band play like 15-20 songs.” 

The “Evening with Haken” at The Depot in Salt Lake City was more than just a concert; it was an immersive experience into the depths of progressive metal. By breaking the conventional mold of metal gigs with a seated arrangement, Haken offered their audience a new way to engage with their music. The evening wasn’t just about the performance of an album but a journey through the expansive universe Haken has built over the years. Their ability to captivate and connect with the audience, regardless of the formal setting, underscores their mastery not only as musicians but as storytellers. As the lights dimmed and the final note echoed through the venue, it was clear that this night would linger in the memories of those in attendance, a testament to the enduring power and appeal of Haken’s music.