Seven of Our Favorite Shows From Hollywood Alley History
Dick Hazard performs at Hollywood Alley in Mesa on Friday, July 26. See more photos from the last weekend of live music at the venue via our slideshow.
The website for Hollywood Alley contains a fairly lengthy rundown of some of the vast array of renowned musicians and bands that have performed at the Mesa rock dive over its 25-year history, and it's both enormous and impressive. Said list includes name both iconic and influential, ranging from such punk legends as Sylvain Sylvain, Sonny Vincent, and the late Jay Reatard to rock and indie tastemakers past and present like The Action Design, Ghostland Observatory, and Girl in a Coma.
But as enviable as this inventory of past performers looks, it's merely a sampling of the literal thousands of shows and musicians who have graced Hollywood Alley's stage since the landmark music venue first opened in 1988. Like countless other locals, our scribes have stopped by on multiple occasions over the years to attend memorable concerts and gigs taking place. In honor of the Alley closing its doors for good after last night, we've assembled a list of seven of our favorite shows that occurred at the bar, including what will likely be its final night of live music.
Crown City Rockers
Around 2006, Hollywood Alley played host to the Valley's premier hip-hop joint The Blunt Club. In fact, the venue was the site of more than a few memorable episodes of its usual b-boying/graf art/hip-hop-filled adventures, including the time when New Times scribe Stephen Lemons (who penned our infamous Inferno nightlife column) stopped by for a gig by the Crown City Rockers. What follows is an excerpt for the piece, which you can read here.
The Crown City Rockers are readying to leap up there and get at it in support of their latest and livest album to date, earthtones. Anyone who hasn't caught their high-energy act should examine their website, www.crowncityrockers.com, and especially the video for their track "B-boy." That could practically be the Blunt Club's anthem, with its refrain, "I love -- bein' a b-boy!" Needless to say, everyone is humming that tune by the time CCR's set is done.
After conversatin' with Professor Hyder and Señor Dumps, I chat with CCR's charismatic MC Raashan Ahmad, the leader of that multicultural quintet, whose members can -- check this -- actually play some motherfunkin' instruments! As opposed to some others these days who've never gotten beyond using prerecorded tracks.
"We definitely come from that side of like the more organic kind of hip-hop, like Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, De La Soul," he says. "We follow that aesthetic. But we also love everything from Jay-Z and N.W.A to MF Doom and Living Legends, all that stuff. That's hip-hop, and we love playin' it." -- Stephen Lemons
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