The Foundry on First
Saturday, July 9
Despite pesky city inspectors delaying the doors opening and Mother Nature battering concertgoers with gusts of wind and blasts of dust, The Foundry on First opened her doors for the first time last night.
The work-in-progress venue dealt with its fair share of opening night jitters, but ultimately pulled through. Doors were originally scheduled to open at 8 p.m., then were pushed back to 9.
As a crowd of around 150 early fans began to grow restless, a wicked dust storm brewed and tested the patience of people expecting to spend more time inside than outside the building. After plenty of speculation, a burly alpha security member stepped out of the front doors and announced that the venue was officially open at 9:12.
Fortunately, New Orleans-based rockers Cowboy Mouth have dedicated fans, willing to weather the storm, literally, in order to witness the band break in the new joint.
With their fast pace and positive juju, the group was able to reverse the negative tension built outside and deliver an energetic set to the varied crowd.
Giving people just enough time to shuffle in and find their place on the fresh concrete floor, Cowboy Mouth took the stage promptly at 10, and started the party with a take on the traditional "Iko Iko." The four-piece band maintained a breakneck pace, lead by drummer and lead singer, Fred LeBlanc. Situated front and center of the new stage, LeBlanc flailed his arms violently and thrashed his head, creating an infectious vibe as he directed the crowd in hand claps and jumps.
Not 10 minutes into the set, however, the good time hit a technical snag, temporarily knocking out the vocals during "Light It On Fire." LeBlanc and the gang took the snafu in stride and played through until their voices were audible again.
As fun and exciting as the band was, a lot of attention was placed on the building itself. A former urethane bumper warehouse, The Foundry is capable of housing 1,500 people on any given night and is located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, near Alice Cooperstown. An open floor directly in front of the stage welcomed fans with indigo blue lights that illuminated wooden trusses overhead and steel and concrete support columns throughout.
Back on the stage, LeBlanc challenged the crowd all night to match his intensity as his guitarists John Thomas Griffith and Matt Jones paraded around the stage ripping off heavy riffs while the petite Casandra Faulconer kept it funky while she lugged her bass around.
Musically, some highlights included crowd favorite "I Believe," sandwiched between a cover of "You Can't Always Get What You Want," and a sneak peak at the band's new album with the track, "Drama."
After an hour and 45 minutes, the band wrapped up by bringing out promoter Danny Zelisko and handing him drumsticks to participate in the fun.
Cowboy Mouth will be playing again tomorrow night, promising an entirely different set for whoever decides to join them for a second straight night. The venue is far from being completed, but the industrial atmosphere looks like it's going to lend well to more shows as the fledgling building moves forward.
General Manager Keith Jackson says that it was general grand opening inspections that delayed the opening time.
"You know that saying, 'The road to success is always under construction,'" Jackson says. "I'm getting the T-Shirts made."
Last Night: Cowboy Mouth
The Crowd: Everything from young 20's couples to decked out 40-somethings covered in dust.
Overheard in the Crowd: "You know this is the first event here, ever? It's pretty special."
"Light It On Fire"
"How Do You Tell Someone"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want,
"All American Man"
"So Sad About Me"
"Tell The Girl Ur Sorry"
"Everybody Loves Jill"
"This Much Fun"
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