Edgefest Lowdown: Micky Avalon, Authority Zero, Flogging Molly and More

Mickey Avalon (11:30 a.m. on the main stage): It's not unfair to call Mickey Avalon the male Peaches. They both started their adult life innocently before turning to the shock-rap game: Peaches was an elementary school teacher, Avalon was a bearded Orthodox Jew. Now, they both make a living plopping scandalous lyrics over second-rate beats. The difference? Mickey Avalon has stories about giving hand jobs for smack and Peaches has "Set It Off" and "Do Ya" to keep her from playing her festival sets before the sun is fully risen.

Authority Zero (12:15 p.m. on the second stage): Living in Mesa doesn't give people like me a lot to brag about — we can't really afford all the frills of ordinary municipal living, like, say, properly staffed police and fire departments — but we do have Authority Zero, and you can't ever take that away from us. So you people in the rest of the Valley can go on and on about your schools and libraries and all that shit — we've got Authority Zero. Kiss our asses.

The Kooks (12:35 p.m. on the main stage): Do not be fooled. The Kooks are not hip. They may look hip with their tousled hair and skinny jeans. They may even sound hip with their classic-rock riffs, nippy little harmonies, and Luke Pritchard's delightful Brighton accent, but they're not. NME hates them, as does Pitchfork. "Naïve" may be an undeniably catchy song, they'll admit, but these guys are a poor man's Fratellis, making them a broke-ass Arctic Monkeys. Do not like this band.

Alkaline Trio (2:45 p.m. on the main stage): I had a friend who really liked Alkaline Trio once. He also really liked the now-defunct San Diego punk band Rocket from the Crypt. Like, so much that he got the RFTC logo tattooed on his arm. It ended up looking like an upside-down dildo. Enjoy those sweet pop-punk melodies on "Help Me." The band says the song's "a tribute to a melancholic beauty that can never be replicated" — that of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. But do not, under any circumstances, leave this show with an upside-down dildo tattooed on your arm.

Pennywise (3:50 p.m. on the main stage): People always knock punk bands by saying all their songs sound the same. Sometimes it's true; other times not. With Pennywise, though, it's an absolute truth. To the point that I'd wager $20 their producer couldn't identify five 30-second samples taken from their latest record, Reason to Believe.

Reverend Horton Heat (4:30 p.m. on the second stage): The good Reverend Heat is a staple at outdoor festivals like Edgefest for good reason. His brand of psychobilly is unlike anything else you'll hear all day, and he knows how to work a crowd. After you've had enough punk, walk over to the second stage and soak it up.

NOFX (5 p.m. on the main stage): Lagwagon, a punk band on NOFX founder Fat Mike's record label, just released an EP called, I Think My Older Brother Used to Listen to Lagwagon. It's a tribute to Fat Mike's credibility that he didn't immediately steal that name for NOFX's next collection of punchy SoCal punk — after changing the last word of the title to "NOFX," though, obviously. Still, anyone who's not looking forward to hearing "Please Play This Song on the Radio," "Bob," and "Linoleum" should probably skip Edgefest.

Flogging Molly (7:50 p.m. on the main stage): How much of Flogging Molly's popularity is due to live shows? Well, let's see. In 10 years, the band's released four studio albums and three live albums. These luminaries of the Celtic punk genre (Wikipedia makes a compelling case for its genre-hood) tear it up live. So grab a Guinness (where available) and toast the Emerald Isle. Do not, however, expect to hear, "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" or "Tessie" — research reveals that those are actually Dropkick Murphys songs.

Paul Oakenfold (9:30 p.m. on the main stage): Queen Creek and Ibiza do not have much in common, but when the venerable trance DJ takes the stage Saturday night, you just might find yourself transported to that breezy Spanish island where Oakenfold first took to the tables in 1985.

 
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