Concert Review

Kinch's Christmas Party at Rhythm Room

The holiday season holds a special meaning for each of us. For most, the holidays are all about coming together with family and friends in celebration. For me the holidays have always been and always will be about the presents. As a music lover I got the best present I could've hoped for as some of Phoenix's best local acts gathered Tuesday night at the Rhythm Room for a Christmas party hosted by local indie-pop rockers Kinch.

When you assemble a line-up of the likes of Rajiv Patel, What Laura Says, Black Carl, Kinch and Dear and the Headlights it's not hard to understand why the Rhythm Room was as packed as it was Tuesday night. Which isn't a bad thing as all of the proceeds from Tuesday night's show went to benefit local homeless charities.

It would be hard to pick a standout performance from this show, as each act delivered an outstanding set. If I had to pick a biggest surprise of the night it would have to be Rajiv Patel. This was my first chance to see him live and I have to admit I was blown away by what an amazing guitarist he is. His first two songs was just him playing guitar. It's hard to believe someone could make that much music with just one instrument. Patel played a short but sweet set and What Laura Says took the stage next. In typical What Laura Says fashion they managed to deliver a fantastic performance. Black Carl came on shortly after. No matter how many times I see Black Carl play live I am still blown away by just how good lead singer Emma Pew's voice is. I truly believe that she could give any female vocalist in the music business today a run for their money. The show was closed out with solid performance from both Kinch and Dear and the Headlights.

Being that this was a Christmas party there were plenty of holiday songs mixed in with the bands usual set list. Black Carl performed an original Christmas song they wrote for this this show. Surprise guests Matthew Reveles and fiancé Ami Johnson showed up to perform the song "Silver Bells." Kinch managed to mix in the most holiday songs into their set and at one point in the show invited their entire family on stage to help them with one of those songs. Nothing quite topped Dear and the Headlights performing "The Chipmunk Song" with spot on chipmunk voices. The night ended in perfect holiday fashion as members of all the groups performing gathered on stage for a performance of "Silent Night."

Everybody who showed up for Kinch's Christmas party definitely walked away with a fantastic Christmas present of great music and fantastic performances from everyone involved. And as an added bonus everyone who came out helped support a good cause. Hopefully this show will be a regular thing during the holiday season here in Phoenix.

Critics Notebook

Last Night: Kinch's Christmas Party featuring Rajiv Patel, What Laura Says, Black Carl, Kinch and Dear and the Headlights

Better Than: Last minute Christmas shopping at the mall.

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Mike Escoto