As we dive headfirst into the holidays, now’s the time to reflect on the good things 2017 has given us. We’ve seen some big things happen for the Arizona music scene, from great local bands to new venues and festivals. At the start of the 12 days of Christmas, here are a few big moments we’re thankful for.
On the first day of Christmas, AZ music gave to me: great local EPs and LPs
Sundressed, The Ricky Fitts, Doll Skin, Steff Koeppen and The Articles, Kolezanka, Luau, Weird Radicals, The Darts, Playboy Manbaby, and more dropped new music in 2017.
On the second day of Christmas, AZ music gave to me: the biggest VIVA PHX we’ve ever seen
More than 100 bands performed at 20 different venues that ranged from full theaters to alleyways to accommodate over 12,000 people in attendance for the fourth annual event.
On the third day of Christmas AZ music gave to me: AJJ’s celebration of People Who Eat ...
The local folk heroes celebrated 10 years since the release of People Who Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World. They played five sold-out nights at The Trunk Space, a venue that fostered them from the beginning.
On the fourth day of Christmas, AZ music gave to me: FORM festival now has a fee
For the first time ever, the FORM festival charged an “experience fee” for its super-selective event in May. It meant more people were able to attend, there were better accommodations, and the event’s environmental impact was lessened.
On the fifth day of Christmas, AZ music gave to me: a stacked HOCO Fest 2017
Hotel Congress packed a whopping five days full of events in downtown Tucson. Alongside nightly performances from Thundercat, Cherry Glazzer, and John Maus, the fest featured yoga classes, art fairs, lectures, and the grand opening of KXCI’s satellite studio at the hotel.
On the sixth day of Christmas, AZ music gave to me: Crescent Ballroom’s burritos and cheese
We are thankful for Crescent Ballroom burritos this year, and every year, forever and ever, amen.
On the seventh day of Christmas, AZ music gave to me: U2 performing Joshua Tree
Thirty years ago, U2 released the landmark album and packed two nights at the ASU Activity Center where — according to local musicians who attended — a very sick Bono soldiered through the set. U2 spent 2017 celebrating with a front-to-back tour that stopped at University of Phoenix Stadium.
On the eighth day of Christmas, AZ music gave to me: a new venue from Charlie Levy
The Van Buren’s a new live music space nearby its sister venues, Crescent Ballroom and Valley Bar. The 1,900-capacity club filled a substantial void in the Phoenix music infrastructure, and has hosted bands like Death Cab For Cutie and Portugal. the Man and big local shows like Jared and The Mill.
On the ninth day of Christmas, AZ music gave to me: Lost Lake’s debut at Steele Indian School Park
The creators of Bonnaroo and Outside Lands hosted the inaugural three-day Lost Lake Festival in October. The prime location and solid lineup made for an exciting weekend and a big step toward more events like this in Phoenix.
On the 10th day of Christmas, AZ music gave to me: Morrissey actually made it to Tempe
The oft-embattled Moz didn’t cancel his Tempe show in November as he had done many times, in many cities before.
On the 11th day of Christmas, AZ music gave to me: new Arizona Music Hall of Fame inductees
Grunge pioneers Meat Puppets, jangle-poppers Gin Blossoms, and the E Street Band’s Nils Lofgren were honored with a night of music at Celebrity Theatre, a historic venue that was also recognized for its contributions to the city.
On the 12th day of Christmas AZ music gave to me: Innings Festival coming soon to Tempe
This brand new, three-day festival is set to coincide with spring training and take place at Tempe Beach Park from March 23 to 25, 2018. Headliners will include Chris Stapleton, Queens of the Stone Age, and The Avett Brothers.
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