It's been six years since Phoenix has seen Amos Lee. With his Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song album climbing the charts, it's only fitting that he plays intimate shows across the country, and last night's Mesa Arts show was intimacy paired with dark sunglasses and Americana flare. It was clear from the moment I entered the venue that this night was going to be spectacular.
The opening band was Amy Helm & the Handsome Strangers, but the only reason I knew that was because that's what was stated on the venue's website. They never once addressed who they were during their entire set. Even later, Lee referred to them as "Amy Helm and her band." Helm took center stage with mandolin on the first two songs, and lackluster dance moves on the rest of the set, but her voice packed a punch and delivered what her stage presence lacked.