Toybox @ Phoenix Convention Center
You have to fish where the fish are. Maybe that's why so many bands from Japan make their U.S. debuts playing anime and sci-fi conventions. Why slug it out like rookies when a built-in audience of squealing fan girls and manga-obsessed Pocky swallowers awaits? Toybox, the Valley's only band whose members are all natives of Japan, has made a name for itself playing conventions such as Saboten-con and regularly hitting up Japanese cultural events, including the annual Matsuri festival at Heritage Square Park. Hawking EPs and jamming their infectiously stripped-down punk through the ear holes of Phoenix's Japanophiles, Toybox has slowly made it out of the garage to become a more powerful musical force. The band's 2010 release, Stay Alive, proves the band's evolution by maintaining the youthful vigor of their earlier work, but balancing it out with a more professional edge. Don't think a little evolution has taken them out of the convention racket, though — the band trio plays the Phoenix Comicon this week, where the squeals of cosplayers will undoubtedly echo as they take the stage.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.