Lists

10 Best Things I Heard in Phoenix in 2014

What a crazy year 2014 was. Personally, I moved to Phoenix, dove into a vibrant music scene in a brand new city, and overall filled my head with new sounds and experiences. I went to a lot of concerts and listened to a lot of new music this year. Here are the 10 best things I heard.

Primus' front-to-back performance of Primus and the Chocolate Factory with The Frog Ensemble (Monday, November 19, at Orpheum Theatre): Darkness lingers in every corner of Roald Dahl's classic children's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Gene Wilder and company brightened much of that out of the 1971 film adaptation Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (which Dahl disavowed), but remnants remain. What do you expect from a movie based on a book in which a chocolate factory becomes judge, jury, and almost-executioner of four sinful children? So when Primus announced it was going to remake the film's iconic soundtrack and release it as an album, everyone scratched their heads but ultimately came to the same conclusion -- well, that makes sense. If there's any band that could honor both the dark and playful sides of the source material, it's Primus. When the band came to the criminally underused Orpheum Theatre in November, it pulled out all the stops -- performing the album front-to-back in full costume, complete with seven-foot-tall Oompa Loompas and a giant video screen that showed twisted re-edits of the film. The final product was spellbinding -- much like the movie -- and ended up being one of the best concerts of the year.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
David Accomazzo is a music wrangler, award-winning reporter, critic, and editor with more than a decade in the business.
Contact: David Accomazzo