The Black Moods - RockBar Inc., Scottsdale - 6/15/2013
All photos by Caleb Haley
The Black Moods
RockBar Inc., Scottsdale
June 15, 2013
Old Town Scottsdale came alive last night when The Black Moods blew the roof off Rockbar. On the street, the usual busy social scene of Scottsdale seemed mellow for a Saturday night. But inside, it was apparent word of mouth had spread, emptying the surrounding clubs, as people crammed inside the long, narrow bar for the evening's performance.
Prior to taking the stage, all three members of The Black Moods mingled with the crowd. Hugging and laughing commenced as singer Joshua Kennedy, bassist Ryan Prier, and drummer Danny "Chico" Diaz interacted with the attendees.
Around 10:30, The Black Moods left the ground level and strutted on stage, cocksure and swaggering. The lights above filtered into a mysterious blue and Chico began spinning a pair of drumsticks between his fingers while eyeing his bandmates. Prier picked up the rhythm as his fingers walked along his bass, and Kennedy dove into a guitar riff that immediately put the crowd at attention.
Then they tore into "Give It to Me," and feet began to tap and heads began to bob as the audience gained a feel for the band. When Kennedy discharged a wailing guitar solo during that first song the crowd was shown exactly what to expect all night.
Kennedy has stated the band wants to project the largest sound possible while performing, and they did just that. By channeling the purest rock 'n' roll spirit, The Black Moods unleashed a colossal wave of musical force through unquestionable talent. The alcohol flowed with ease as people danced and sang and fed shots of Jameson to the band members between songs.
Read More: Our complete Black Moods interview
"I see a lot of old friends and new friends," Kennedy declared, raising a shot glass into the air.
The Black Moods gave fans their fix as they dished out tracks from their debut album, along with new material and renditions of classic tunes to transport listeners on a nostalgic voyage through music.
Their unique cocktail mixes the elite sounds, performances and writings of rock 'n' roll's last 40 years into an original concoction all their own. The band offered a performance packed to the gills with verve, and created an atmosphere of electric energy through instrumental crispness and Kennedy's charging vocal melodies.
Partway through the set, the crowd chanted "Chico" at the top of their lungs as the percussion man pounded away on the drums.
"Don't get him started," Kennedy said, laughing, as Chico kept the fans screaming.
Toward the end of the hour and a half set, The Black Moods pulled friends on stage to lend a hand on vocals, including Prier's brother to sing "Whole Lotta Love." Kennedy was all smiles as he taunted the crowd with his Jimmy Page-inspired swiftness.
After the performance, the three men strolled off stage and fans were waiting with plenty more shots of Jameson.
Last Night: The Black Moods at RockBar in Scottsdale
The Crowd: Early 20s to middle-aged mixed together. Singing, dancing and drinking plenty of booze. The usual sexual tension that goes along with a night in Old Town Scottsdale.
Overheard In The Crowd: "I want more shots," as spoken by a mess of a girl who had just puked and then somehow managed to snag her own bottle of vodka from behind the bar, which she was wielding around her friends.
Personal Bias: I met Black Moods singer Joshua Kennedy one week ago in Puerto Penasco, Mexico when he accidently and drunkenly stumbled onto my hotel patio, lost in the middle of the night, and I had no idea who he was. I thought it was hilarious at the time, and the next day, when I saw him on stage singing with Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, it was even funnier.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.