Best Reboot Phoenix 2013 - Pub Rock
In the Valley's music scene, change is sometimes a good thing. Yes, it's always a buzzkill when a favorite band or concert hall goes kablooey. But more often than not, something better will come along. Case in point: When longstanding rock bar Chasers was purchased by KUKQ's Nancy Stevens and concert/event production guru Jeff Stotler in 2012, it got a complete makeover and new lease on life as Pub Rock. It definitely had seen major mileage over the decades during its stints as Chasers and as '90s hard-rock haven The Atomic Café, so the pair started making changes literally five minutes after getting the keys. They covered up the often-sticky and dirty cement floor with parquet tiles, rebuilt the creaky old stage, installed better sound and lighting rigs, and created a closet-size recording booth for interviews and live remotes. Its primary focal point is still on music, probably more so than ever. According to Stevens, its new moniker is a reference to the '70s era in English rock emphasizing small shows by big bands. And that's exactly what fans have seen at Pub Rock since the reboot, ranging from appearances by such punk legends as Unwritten Law and former Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra to an intimate acoustic concert with The Ataris' Kris Roe and a rollicking Queen tribute from The Protomen. Oh, and the bathrooms are no longer messy, fragrant scumbuckets, which makes it easier to, er, take a break between bands.