Stage Dives

Veteran musicians say what's to like, hate about Valley venues

The Green Room, like the Jar, is a club-size concert venue with good sound, big stage, bar, all that. And there is an intangible thing that makes it a classic rock 'n' roll club.

Evans agrees: "There is a really cool kinda creepy vibe there. There's just something going on, and I'm attracted to it. People might actually fuck in the bathrooms there. It's good bad, not evil."

"My least favorite is the Arizona Roadhouse in Tempe," he continues, "only because I got kicked out of there one time. I was carrying around a pitcher of beer, but that breaks some law that says one guy can't have a whole pitcher to himself. The lawmakers feel like they are making laws to keep people from not driving drunk, and it makes for a bar owner to feel like he cares, too. I can go and order 50 drinks in a row, but I can't carry around something that holds more than two drinks. You can order the little mini pitchers, but if you get the full-size pitcher you have to be splitting it with somebody. I was just kicking back with a glass and a pitcher, and I was tossed out. You know, I'm a pretty advanced drinker, so I thought there'd be no problem me finishing that and driving home fine. But this big, fat, bald guy in shorts thought otherwise. But with the Arizona Roadhouse, I think the wounds have healed, now that I know the laws."

No beer for you: Sugar High's Adrian Evans parched at the Arizona Roadhouse.
Doug Hoeschler
No beer for you: Sugar High's Adrian Evans parched at the Arizona Roadhouse.

The Sport Rock in Tempe with its Sizzler-meets-big-screen-every-day-is-Sunday ambiance goes lengths to quell rock 'n' roll, or any, spirit. Even a dart tournament here would have unenduring possibilities.

"The Sport Rock place, that's like probably the nightmare of anyone who has ever picked up the guitar," says Pierson, laughing. "If you are gonna play there, go ahead and drink your tab. Because you are not going to want to remember."

Shelton also has venues he now avoids.

"We played a show or two at Anderson's Fifth Estate with the Pistoleros, and it had this artificiality," he says. "Nothing personal, it just didn't have that feeling like, say, the old Sun Club had, or Mad Gardens 20 years ago almost. You know, you show up and your friends are there and it's all great."

Evans: "The Jar, I just don't even know anymore. I've had some great times there in the past and there has been some fun drama there. I've had a lot more fun as a patron there than as a performer there."

Shelton says it's the people in the club who make the scene a success or not.

"I think a lot of it is . . . musicgoers locally that are into the scene. And wherever they are going, as a principle, is the nice place to play."

Contact Brian Smith at his online address:

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