Max Pain & The Groovies Took Me to Utah & All I Got Was This Fried Brain

It’s no wholesome family time for Max Pain & The Groovies when they go back to their hometown. But it is a whole lot of crazy.

Though they’re now based in NYC, the psych garage rock five-piece was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. And today, SLC remains the group’s hub for chaos as I saw firsthand when I headed to Utah for the band’s Halloween show. It was non-stop partying that my mind and body are still recovering from.

Traveling the city with these guys felt like traveling with local celebrities. When we stepped into any bar we’d hear, “hey, a groovy is here!”

Max Pain & The Groovies spent the day of the show trying to make the venue Urban Lounge look spooky and themselves look like Oompa Loompas (which did not work at all, by the way, guys). It seemed like everyone cool in the city had to catch this show. The place was packed with people decked out in costumes like Orville Peck, creepy Joker and a court-ready 6ix9ine.

Locals Green River Blues played first, followed by Lord Vox. Bodies were raging and people were hollering along to every beat. You’d think it couldn’t get any crazier than this—but then Max Pain & The Groovies took the stage.

Anybody who was waiting in line for the bathroom, getting a drink at the bar or taking a smoke break must’ve rushed back in to catch the hometown heroes, because the place was more packed than ever.

Max Pain & The Groovies played fan favorites like “Swirvin’,” “Goblin Valley,” and “Street Casino” while the crowd gave off great vibes and danced along like they’ve known these songs forever, which most of them probably did.

If you think the partying ended after the show, you haven’t been paying attention. These boys are partiers. So, you better believe everyone piled into a van for a raging house party.

The next day, I was hungover as hell but agreed to a desert camping trip proposed by the two guitarists and bassist. Off to Goblin Valley, the namesake of their song “Goblin Valley,” we went. As we climbed the red rocks and tripped on hallucinogens, the boys went from rock stars to cowboy pioneers real quick.

After a week spent in the hometown of Max Pain & The Groovies, I’m completely fried. But now I’ve seen where rock ‘n’ roll really comes from and it’s called Salt Lake City, Utah. Guess the Mormons better find a new city.