While it might not be Santa Claus flying into town complete with one sleigh and eight reindeer, Jared & The Mill are back in the Valley to play their annual holiday show this coming weekend. And it just could be their biggest one to date — yet, at least.
“It’s looking like it’s going to sell out this year. Next year, we want to be able to rent our own festival grounds [for the event],” says lead singer (and band namesake) Jared Kolesar. For an event that’s steadily grown every year since its inception, that’s not a bad goal.
The Jared & The Mill Fifth Annual Holiday Extravaganza will once again take place at Crescent Ballroom on Saturday, December 7. Fans can expect seven bands on two stages for the event, says Kolesar over the phone, including Valley Queen, Harrison Fjord, and Sydney Sprague, in addition to a few others.
The holiday extravaganza is the perfect way to cap off another eventful year for the Phoenix-based indie band, which included a gig at the zenith of the musical festivals — Bonnaroo.
But the last time we saw Jared & The Mill in Phoenix — a band that was once as ubiquitous around town as they now are on the national touring circuit — they were treating fans to a more intimate show at The Rhythm Room.
“It was a while since we played a small show. The energy gets better each time,” says Kolesar.
The band, who include Michael Carter on banjo, guitarist Larry Gast III, bassist Chuck Morriss III, and drummer Josh Morin, have spent the majority of the past six years touring nearly nonstop. Before Bonnaroo, there was Firefly and other big-name music festivals, in addition to coverage in Billboard and Forbes.
The story in Billboard gave a shout-out to Jared & The Mill’s soulful version of current alt-pop queen Billie Eilish’s track “When the Party’s Over.”
“I try not to let the press stuff get to me,” Kolesar admitts, maintaining an admirably zen-like attitude about the gradually increasing visibility of his group’s efforst. Essentially, his philosophy is to be chill if it happens, but not to actively seek the attention out.
He and his bandmates are content to do what they love, and if some onlookers take notice, well, cool.
A band formed by friends at Arizona State University toward the start of the decade, Jared & The Mill have certainly put in the work to see the fruit of their labor pay off. Their most recent album, This Story Is No Longer Available, came out last year and earned the band comparisons to The Head and The Heart and The Avett Brothers.
But despite that relatively recent success, they're now in the early stages of incubating some new music.
“The next release should be an even bigger deal,” says Kolesar. He indicates that the band may take that momentous leap into searching for a label. “We want to break this thing open and see what it can do.”
But back to the more immediate future. Should you plan to stop by the Holiday Extravaganza at Crescent Ballroom this weekend, Kolesar’s advice for you is to grab tickets now (as opposed to waiting for the day of the show).
And, in the spirit of the holiday season’s altruism, the event is also geared to help some nonprofit causes. One of the nonprofit causes will be the Boys and Girls Club, as the Holiday Extravaganza will have a toy drive set up to benefit the organization.
So not only should you prepare to “have a good time” as Kolesar advised — but bring an unopened toy along, too.
Jared & The Mill are scheduled to perform on Saturday, December 7, at Crescent Ballroom. Tickets are $18 via Eventbrite.
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