Kinch at Rogue Bar Last Night

Saturday, January 15, 2011
Rogue Bar, Scottsdale

The Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Marathon was this morning -- thousands of runners, both locals and tourists, jogged 26 miles of Valley streets on a warm January day.

The race wasn't the weekend's only impressive show of endurance along Scottsdale Road, though. Kinch's second week of residency at Rogue Bar also seems to qualify. After spending most of 2010 recording and touring outside Arizona, the band has played a local show pretty much every week since their annual Kinchmas fundraiser at Rhythm Room in the middle of December, including a New Year's Eve gig opening for Jimmy Eat World at the Fiesta Bowl Block Party. That's in addition to weekly gigs in LA and SD.

It's mile 18 or so -- Kinch has plays the next two Saturdays at Rogue -- but the five-piece live version of the band looked in strong form this week.

Going on around midnight after local "supergroup" Ticky Tacky (Matthew Reveles, PJ from Dear and the Headlights, Rachel Ludeman), Kinch played a mix of material from their first record (the best of 2008, remember?) last year's Collars and Sleeves EP ("Carolina Cannonball" might just become their signature song) and theit not-yet-released new album, the band sounded sharp and tight.

They drew well, too, considering the exposure they've had. Usually local bands try to limit the number of shows they play around town to build up excitement. Not Kinch --  I had to park waaaaay down Fillmore Street. There were plenty of usual suspect scenesters in the room, of course, but the show also had plenty of people who looked a little out of place at a club show -- Old Navy types mouthing along to the words, the sort of people you imagine may have heard them open for Jimmy Eat World and become fans.

The set was pretty much what I've come to expect from the band -- passionate and professional, with an emphasis on pacing and momentum that left room for just a few jokes between songs. The newish fifth member on keyboards helped free singer Andrew Junker, who plays piano or guitar depending on the song, up a bit.

One surprise: a cover of Wilco's "I Got You (At the End of the Century)" played with a little less twang and a little more oomph than the original.

It was a special little touch -- the sort of thing that keeps people coming back to see a band a few Saturdays in a row. It's the sort of thing Kinch can use to keep their momentum as they pound the pavement for a few more miles.

Last Night: Kinch at Rogue Bar

Personal Bias: I've long been a fan of the band.

The Crowd: A mix of hipsters and typical Phoenix 20-somethings.

Overheard in the Crowd: A cheer went up for the promoter, "Psyko" Steve Chilton, when Junker announced that midnight marked his 28th birthday. Happy birthday, Steve!

Random Notebook Dump: Love watching the sassy bartender almost toss some guy out for not "calming down." Not sure what he did -- nothing I noticed from 15 feet away -- but she sure was pissed.

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