Viva PHX

10 Sleeper Bands to Catch at Viva PHX

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No Volcano - Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center - 7 p.m

These affable hometown heroes are a four-piece, genre-defying band from Central Phoenix. If you dig a healthy dose of early '70s Rolling Stones meets the Flaming Lips, then No Volcano is a band you may not know yet, but definitely should. Jim Andreas (vocals/guitar) and Christopher Kennedy (drums/vocals) hail from Trunk Federation, one of the most acclaimed Valley bands of the 1990s and have continued to make great music together in the years since. In No Volcano, Andreas and Kennedy are joined by Moody Fishermen alum Jake Sevier (bass/vocals) and Jeremy Randall (guitar/keys), formerly of popular locals Colorstore. Regardless of your musical taste, if you appreciate unadulterated musical talent, you can't go wrong making your way over to East Adams Street and check out one of the groups we chose last year in our 14 for '14 bands to check out. While you're at it, be sure and pick up a copy of their excellent new CD, Who Saved the Party.

Thee Commons - Goldwater Room - 8 p.m.

Thee Commons hail from East Los Angeles and play a brand of cumbia heavily mixed with some trippy surf-tinged punk rock. While they are not a household name by any stretch of the imagination here in Phoenix, the trio can really play their instruments, and for a group of young dudes, they are crazy prolific in their recorded output with a goal of releasing a new EP every month. Twin brothers, David (guitar/vocals) and Rene Pacheco (drums) team up with buddy Jose Cruz (bass/vocals) to create one of the cooler sounds you will find at the festival. Thee Commons are known in their hometown for their generator-fueled shows, so you never know just where they might pop up and start shredding. Check them out at the Goldwater Room (Between Monroe and Adams on Central Avenue) at 8 p.m. and make sure you are ready to rock.

The Stone Foxes - Crescent Ballroom - 10 p.m.

Like many of the other bands taking part in Viva PHX, San Francisco's The Stone Foxes will be sadly overlooked for bigger, trendier names, but those who choose to see them will truly luck out. This band is rock 'n' roll personified with killer, hooky riffs and deeply felt blues and soul roots. The band eschews individual attention, and we can respect that, but their three LPs and four singles beg to be heard at high volume, especially 2011's Small Fires, which absolutely slays. While there are some stellar choices for your 10 p.m. rock fix, we highly recommend spending at least part of that hour at the Crescent Ballroom (Second Avenue and Van Buren) checking these guys out. You might just forget about the other bands you thought you wanted to see.

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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon