The English novelist Henry Fielding once quipped, “A Lottery is a Taxation, Upon all the Fools in Creation.”
While many great minds throughout history have rightfully shellacked lotteries for being “an idiot tax,” it doesn’t stop us from crossing our fingers and hoping that the Mega Millions ticket we snagged at Circle K will pay off. In the vast majority of cases, the only people winning the lottery are the people who are running the lottery.
In that respect, the Phoenix Rock Lottery is truly unique, because everybody wins.
Founded in 2014 by the folks at Psyko Steve Presents, the Phoenix Rock Lottery brings some of the Valley’s best musicians together for super-charged creative collaborations. The event creates temporary bands of musicians who are brought together on the morning of the show, then thrust through the lifecycle of a band in just one day. Each group is expected to pen three original songs and one cover that they will perform that same night at Crescent Ballroom.
Now on its seventh iteration (set to kick off on January 11), the Phoenix Rock Lottery stays fresh by handpicking a diverse assortment of musicians (many of whom have never done a Rock Lottery show before).
“The original goal of doing the Rock Lottery was to bring together musicians that otherwise might never cross paths,” organizer Stephen Chilton said in a press statement. “And that goal would not be served if we only looked to the same pool of talent every year.”
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The bands are assembled by drawing names from a hat. Musicians aren’t separated or sorted out by genre or style, which means you can end up with some fascinating match-ups: hip-hop musicians collaborating with indie rockers, or folk-rockers putting a little Americana and twang on top of a hard rocker's metal riffs. Hosting this year’s show is radio personality Mo from ALT AZ 93.3. DJ Mitch Freedom will be spinning local tunes between sets.
Here are all the local musicians in the mix for this year’s Phoenix Rock Lottery:
Matt Aldawood (Troubled Minds)
Joe Allie (Audrey Heartburn/Brother Teresa)
Janel Blanco (The Maya Spectra)
Etti Bowen (Harper and the Moths)
Brea Burns (Brea Burns & The Boleros)
Ark Calkins (Like Diamonds/Gabi Jr/Sunroom)
Brian Chartrand (The Sweet Remains/Live From Laurel Canyon)
Tatiana Crespo (Las Chollas Peligrosas)
Raquel Denis (Raquel Denis)
Saydi Driggers (Whstle)
Larry Gast III (Jared & The Mill)
Trevor Hedges (Sundressed)
Meghan Herring (Doll Skin)
John-Josiah Hernandez (Herbert Waler/Pro Teens)
Scott Johnson (Gin Blossoms)
Jeff Jones (Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra)
Matt Klassen (Coyote Tango)
Molly Mashal (Good Boy Daisy)
Tyler Matock (Mr Mudd & Mr Gold)
Jordan Raub (Cheap Hotels)
Israel Reyes (Rebecca De La Torre/Bohemian Insurgence)
Aislinn Ritchie (Dovi)
Torri Ross (Sad Dance Party)
Nate Vanderpol (Viper Club)
Ryan Weddle (Katastro)
The Seventh Annual Phoenix Rock Lottery is scheduled for Saturday, January 11, at Crescent Ballroom. Tickets are $10 to $15 day of show via Eventbrite.