Tempe "Vanishing Show" Gives an Anarchic Middle Finger to Noise Ordinances
Shining Soul playing to a monster crowd at The Compound in Tempe during last year's vanishing show.
You want to see a magic trick? Because the Maple Ash Farmer Wilson Neighborhood is going to make their annual walking tour show disappear. That's right, the lads and lassies over in the Casey Moore's district of Tempe, also known as the Maple-Ash-Farmer-Wilson neighborhood or Zone 1, are throwing another “Vanishing Show” with a new lineup, new locations, and (most importantly), according to organizer A Claire Slattery, more beer.
For anyone not in the know, the vanishing party is somewhat akin to the Coronado District's annual house tour or Tucson's porch fest, only with one distinct difference. The “neighb/crims” in Zone 1 ask for no quarter from the authorities and in turn none is given — no permission, no permits, just pure unadulterated fun for the whole 'hood (except perhaps those looking to get a good night's sleep).
“Originally, when we had decided to do the [first] Vanishing Show [in 2015], I had actually gotten beers with Tyburn [Gallows], and we were talking about fun stuff we could do. Then after reading an article about South By South Roosevelt getting shut down by the cops, we just had to do this. We were talking in April when it started getting really hot and we put it all together in two weeks and it went off really well. It was all Tyburn's brainchild,” says Slattery.
South By South Roosevelt is another Tempe house show-focused event organized by veteran concert promoter Pete Facundo. One of the houses used to make the show go down was shut down mid-Saturday afternoon by the Tempe P.D. for a noise violation, an infraction which Gallows and the rest of the MAFW were not going to take sitting down.
“The city was trying to domesticate the neighborhood for developers and yuppies," Gallows says. "In their ideal world, all music and celebration would be corralled into restaurants, bars, and other venues that are easily controlled and taxed. Yuppies are workaholics and early risers, so they don't like to be disturbed. Too much vibrancy! But Tempe has never been that kind of town. Ironically, the city was busy celebrating Tempe music at the historical museum at the time. Many of the bands they featured had played house shows in the neighborhood when they were coming up. Plus, I'm a big fan of the house show. My friends and I used to throw them all the time. I don't want to see that disappear.”
Chris Sanchez of Snake! Snake! Snakes! indulging in an adult beverage legally on a neighbor's front lawn.
The way the Vanishing Show works is on the day of the show one of the organizers will announce the location of the first set in the Facebook event page. That set will be played on a front lawn or porch of a house within the MAFW neighborhood. Then once the set is over, the location of the next set will be spread by word of mouth through the crowd. The crowd will then be given about 20 to 30 minutes to disperse and then reconvene at the next location.
Last year's show included the likes of Snake! Snake! Snakes!, The James Brown Band Band, Liam and the Ladies, Pro Teens, and Shining Soul, all rocking out in Tempe's last remaining vestige of rowdyism. This year Slattery and her cohorts are downsizing by one band and one venue but adding an all-night afterparty at Zone 1's favorite watering hole, Taste of Tops.
This year's lineup will showcase performances by upstart dance punks Couples Fight, existential anarcho garage rockers Red Tank!, Tempe's own The Darling Sounds, and boogie barons The Boogienauts out of Tucson.
"The main thing was just agreeing with the cops when they showed up to shut us down," Gallows says. "It really threw them off! They'd tell us the party was over and we'd just agree. 'Okay, officer, it's over! Don't worry!' Then move on to the next spot. It was a lot of fun to see it working. I consider this hedonistic anti-cop, anti-government, and anti-capitalist direct action,” Gallows says.
Correction: This piece originally misspelled A Claire Slattery's name, as well as the name of the band The Boogienauts.
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