20 Favorite Concerts at The Sail Inn

Jace Lasek of Besnard Lakes performs in 2010.
Jace Lasek of Besnard Lakes performs in 2010.

If you ask any of the local musicians that have performed at The Sail Inn what they'll miss about the Tempe venue -- and we did -- you can expect its outdoor stage to be one of the most common answers. And probably some memories about all the many great shows they either saw or participated in while at the bar.

Given that Sail Inn's been around since 1990, owner Gina Lombardi's estimate that her place has hosted "literally thousands of shows" isn't hyperbole in the slightest. Since this is The Sail, of course there were hordes of jam-heavy gigs by The Noodles, Xtra Ticket, or other crunchy, funky, jazzy, or reggae-y artists. Indie bands both local and touring were big here, especially in the last five years, as were any and all flavors of rock 'n' roll.

In honor of Sail Inn's three-day "Farewell Festival" this weekend, followed by its closing, we've assembled a look at some of our favorite shows at the venue, Arranged chronologically, as seen through the eyes of our various contributors, as well as a few gigs that others in the music scene enjoyed.

While it's admittedly a mere fraction of the sheer amount of shows that happened at The Sail Inn, it's a small sampling of the sort of jams you could catch at the joint.

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Vince Welnick (2004)

I played with Vince Welnick, the last keyboard player for the Dead, on the outdoor stage which was really cool. I used to do in-between sets for the Noodles out there when I was really getting my solo thing together. I was getting ready for my thing, everyone comes walking up, and he came and sat down at the piano, and got the band up with me and it was a really good feeling as a younger player getting to play with all those seasoned musicians. -- Mikel Lander, Sugar Thieves

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