Good news for those who dug last year's locally focused Los Dias De La Crescent event: it's coming back for a second round.
Crescent czar Charlie Levy sent out an e-mail blast Thursday night trumpeting the lineup for this year's version of the two-night concert, and just like some of the best sequels ever (Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Knight, Wrath of Khan), it's got some favorite bits from the original mixed in with new and interesting elements.
Levy told Up on the Sun via e-mail that, like last year, the event will feature nothing but bands and musicians from the Grand Canyon State, performing either inside the ballroom itself or on an outdoor stage each night, as well as a variety of food and beers from Arizona chefs and breweries.
As for the lineup, each evening will offer its own distinct verve. Ensembles and musicians specializing in a wide variety of Latin genres will dominate the first night on Friday, May 17, many of whom will make a trip up I-10 from Tucson for the occasion.
The Old Pueblo mambo kings of Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta (who performed at last year's event) will headline the evening, which will also feature their fellow Tucsonans Salvador Duran (a practitioner of Mexican folk) and cumbia quintet Vox Urbana.
Phoenix-based Colombian band Jaleo, as well as Flamenco Por La Vida (another holdover from 2012), Mariachi Passion, and Afro-Cuban stylists Caray are also scheduled to appear on May 17.
When asked what inspired the Latin-heavy focus for night one of Los Dias De La Crescent, Levy offers multiple reasons.
"Just thought it would be a good time, really. Expose some of the Crescent regulars to Arizona artists that they have might not heard of," Levy states. "Plus, since this is an Arizona-centric festival, why not have a night with a Latin feel? I also saw a bunch of great Latin bands from all over the world at SXSW this year and that was probably a factor, too."
And then for something completely different, the second night (on Saturday, May 18) will have local bands Black Carl, Kongos, Sara Robinson, and Iamwe performing on the outdoor stage while other acts pay tribute to renowned rock and pop artists on the inside stage. It's a setup, Levy says, that's similar to the popular ongoing Cover the Crescent series.
"We have had so much fun doing [Cover the Crescent] that we thought it would neat to include it," Levy writes. "Plus, I think it will be something different and entertaining for everyone going."
Per Crescent's website, it will include analog synth-pop Vial of Sound aptly covering New Order and the unclassifiable eclectic Dry River Yacht Club will be playing the hits of Led Zeppelin. Meanwhile the men of Snake! Snake! Snakes! perform songs by The Strokes, Americana act The Senators try their hand at the Rolling Stones, and Cheri Cheri tackles Neil Diamond.
Is it too early to request "Forever in Blue Jeans" or "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show"?
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Los Dias de la Crescent takes place on Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18, at Crescent Ballroom. Admission is $10 each night.