Five More Reasons to Check Out That Damn Show on Saturday: Tiger Army, Face to Face, Awolnation, Fenix TX, and More
Clockwise from left: Fenix TX, Face to Face, and Tiger Army
We're fairly certain that by now you're fully up to speed on That Damn Show's headliner Bad Religion, as well when they're playing, how they've been around longer than you think, and their best albums ever.
So what about the rest of the rock, punk, and indie heavy-hitters filling out the bill at Mesa Amphitheatre on Saturday? Here's a rundown on the other touring acts that will rock the outdoor venue tomorrow, each offering their own distinct sounds. Consider it a final wrap-up of our week of That Damn Show coverage.
Awolnation Awolnation singer/songwriter Aaron Bruno cobbles together modern-rock tunes that are candy pop, hard as nails, and cathedral-huge: Aggro refrains choke on wafting choruses and kitchen-sink post-Beck song suites, but somehow it still all feels right. At once wading-pool shallow and mercilessly affecting, the quintet caulk the fault line separating a guilty pleasure from a cultivated muso obsession. His 2011 album Megalithic Symphony suggested that the band could do anything, so expect them to keep breakdancing atop your notions of what popular music should be able to accomplish. -- Raymond Cummings
Tiger Army Rock is what Tiger Army's known for -- being a three-piece juggernaut of upright bass, jangling reverb guitar, and steady drums, led by frontman Nick 13's boyish crooning about temptation, werecats, and the night. Tiger Army's more like a cross between Stray Cats and The Misfits, and nothing like Nick 13's solo homage to Townes Van Zandt and the Hank Williams clan. It'll be interesting to see what songs Tiger Army crams into its set this week. Fans will probably get what they know and want -- songs like the fist-pumping "F.T.W." and the haunting punk ballad "LunaTone" -- with maybe a few sonic shockers thrown in, like Nick 13's hillbilly folk song "Where the Moss Slowly Grows" or "Outlaw Heart," which sounds like a bouncy riff off "Folsom Prison Blues." -- Niki D'Andrea
Face to Face Although not as well known as, say, Green Day or Blink-182, two other bands that emerged at about the same time, California's Face to Face were always the truest of that bunch to the spirit of old-school punk rock.
Led by Trever Keith, the roots of Face to Face go all the way back to 1991 when Keith fronted Zero Tolerance, a band that never recorded, but still managed to make some noise within the crowded Los Angeles punk scene. While other acts flirted with various genres and styles, Face to Face always preferred the balls-to-the-wall approach, playing their music hard and fast. The band had some mainstream success in the mid- to late-'90s with the song "Disconnected," but the predictable "musical differences" curse struck Face to Face and the guys called it quits in 2005.
Lucky for everyone, then, that Face to Face miraculously came back in 2008 and haven't looked back since. -- Darryl Smyers
See Also: - Face to Face at Nile Theater, 7/1/11
Fenix TX Houston pop-punkers Fenix TX have had a rather sordid and tumultuous history, to say the least. They originated in 1995 as Riverfenix in reference to the late heartthrob actor, whose estate caused the band to ultimately change their name to its current incarnation after a few legal missives were dispatched their way. Their excellent self-titled debut, a raucous time capsule of mid-90s, was released on indie label Drive-Thru records and contained such memorable tracks as "Skinhead Jessie" and "Speechless."
It caught the attention of Blink 182, who became mentors to Fenix TX and got them a primo album deal with MCA in 1997. Despite all the snarky accusations of being a carbon copy of Travis Barker and company, their padawans rocked more of a harder sound that even crossed over into ska and funk at times. Regardless, Fenix TX shot to stardom, got much airplay, and toured endlessly. Then came all the drama.
Fenix TX broke up in 2002, briefly reunited for a tumultuous farewell tour (which saw more than a few cancelled dates) a couple of years later, including recording a live album Purple Reign -- In Blood at the now-defunct Clubhouse in Tempe. The band eventually put aside their differences in 2009 and began touring and producing new songs, although they haven't busted out with a new disc.
Needless to say, you can expect plenty of Fenix TX material both new and old this weekend when they appear on Saturday at Mesa Amphitheatre. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Here's one more look at our complete coverage of That Damn Show, including when and where to see each of the bands involved. See y'all out at the the Mesa Amp.
- That Damn Show 2013 Set Times: Saturday's Complete Schedule - Five Bad Religion Albums To Hear Before That Damn Show 2013 - The Faint to Bring Dance-y Sing-Alongs to That Damn Show - Bad Religion, That Damn Show Headliners, Have Been Around Longer Than You Think - That Damn Show 2013: Bend Sinister Groks Classic Rock
That Damn Show takes place on Saturday at Mesa Amphitheatre. Gates open at noon. General admission is $35, VIP access is $125.
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