Truck Ruckus

The MadCaPs take their music to the streets of Phoenix literally

9:32 p.m. Modified Arts. "Hello, Phoenix, we're from Ohio," lies Logan as the band rips into "Squaresville." The MadCaPs unload their space rock material for the all-ages crowd at Modified and, after 10 minutes of hovering overhead, a police helicopter finally favors the MadCaPs with a searchlight from above. The band gets to leave when it's tired of the audience. Logan announces, Christopher Columbus style, "We're off to claim Holga's!"

9:53 p.m. The Mainstay. A takeover of Holga's airspace seems premature, as Fatigo is still playing and band etiquette must prevail. The 'CaPs backtrack to a relatively new art space a block away. The inebriated clientele is easy to mistake for a frat house on this half-lit street. A totally lit reveler is accosting the band, wanting to bum rush (emphasis on bum) the show. He's wearing a blue cup on one ear and a red one on the other, presumably to hear in 3D. Logan is polite but eventually surrenders the mike and subjects everyone to the same harangue he's had to listen to unamplified since the 'CaPs arrived.

10:20 p.m. Holga's Art Gallery. Irony of ironies, local oddities the Curse of the Pink Hearse are setting up on Holga's sidewalk across the street when the 'CaPs return. "I played with Curse two, three years ago," says Logan. "It was in the first incarnation of the Hearse where we got Marco to put down the bass. He never tuned his bass. There was always so much drama behind that band." After only one MadCaPs song, the Hearse plays on.

10:40 p.m. Still at Holga's. I've lost the MadCaPs! Having done the chivalrous thing and letting a young lady use the rest room before me has put my sorry ass a good 10 minutes behind the 'CaPs caravan. Word on the street says they went to the Bikini Lounge, but instead they're at the Willow House getting the first negative reaction of the night. Says Henderson, "Some crusty old guy in a blue flannel shirt came out and was getting in John's face saying, I got kids asleep, I'm talking to the manager.'"

11:35 p.m. Bikini Lounge parking lot. Nothing much is happening at the Paper Heart and 3CarPileup. With all this downtime comes a loss of momentum and fume fatigue. Nuñez, who's been wearing a coat over her groovy skirted self for the past four stops, is noticeably chilled. There's a blown speaker in Henderson's amp. After much "should we play or should we go now" discussion, the band begins as a trio. By midnight, Henderson's back and playing a fuzzy and low lead guitar. What started out as a last blast before Miller time turns into a showcase for the band's entire set, played on a near-deserted Grand Avenue with a strange backdrop – some outreach group's marquee directly opposite them screams "Teen Challenge." Handfuls of curious people venture outside the packed Bikini Lounge. A fiftysomething couple in cowboy hats makes an unscheduled SUV stop. The band's power over the elderly has not gone unnoticed, and Logan later expresses a desire to take the truck to Sun City. "Those people smile, but they won't buy any merch. They'll just go home, fall asleep and die," I argue. But secretly, I think Logan believes he can turn the cast of Cocoon into repeat customers, if the carbon monoxide doesn't get them before osteoporosis does.

12:55 a.m. Splitsville. All in all, it is a good night for the MadCaPs. Invariably, at least three other musicians come up to them to talk about how much fun it must be to play on a truck. Since Let It Be, everyone's fantasized about playing music where it don't belong. "This is pushing the barrier of what entertainment and playing at a venue is," says Logan. "I know a lot of people will think, Oh, the truck, that's your thing.' But I say the more, the merrier. If you're not bringing a scene up, you're bringing it down."

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