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And The Winner Of The Bon Jovi Opening Band Contest Is...

And The Winner Of The Bon Jovi Opening Band Contest Is...
Nathaniel Taylor
Drummer Devon Quartullo’s voice sounds like he's living on a prayer.

He is still processing the news: His band Luxxe will be opening for Bon Jovi when the New Jersey band's This House Is Not For Sale Tour arrives at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Saturday, March 4.

Quartullo received a call from Live Nation on Monday with the news, and Bon Jovi's Facebook page made the announcement on social media two days later. Quartullo still has yet to come down from the cloud he has deservedly perched upon.

“It was probably the best phone call this year,” he says with a laugh.

Only a month and a half into the new year, it seems rash for Quartullo to assume that Luxxe’s 2017 has peaked; it is an undeniably amazing start (or a blaze of glory) to what is sure to be a busy and exciting year for the Scottsdale-based quintet. The group, which also consists of vocalist and Quartullo’s high school friend Seth Smades, keyboardist Nullin Hasan, Michael Gessert on guitar, and Evan Yuen on bass, is gearing up for a small tour that begins at Crescent Ballroom tonight and travels through California and the Southwest this spring. Quartullo says the pop-folk group even has plans to put together their first full-length album.

The band heard about the contest through a friend of Gessert's. Aspiring bands who wanted to be considered for an opening slot on Bon Jovi’s 30-show tour had to upload a video on the contest’s website. Quartullo admits he did not think Luxxe had much of a chance to win but knew it was worth a shot. The band has created more than one opportunity for themselves by entering contests such as this. In 2015, Luxxe won the Vans Warped Tour Battle of the Bands, which earned them a spot in the lineup when the festival made its way through Mesa that year.

While winning this contest is huge, Luxxe are no strangers to warming up arenas for national touring bands. Last year, they had the privilege of opening for their heroes One Republic when they stopped in Utah. The percussionist took in every moment of that day, but winning this opportunity feels a little sweeter.

“I’ve never been to one of [Bon Jovi's] concerts,” Quartullo admits. “This is going to be so epic.”
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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil