When news broke that Psyko Steve was booking a gig at Modified Arts, I got excited. Not because I'm a huge fan of the artist he's booking,  Ari Herstand -- the guy makes pretty straight forward pop-rock, possesses a fairly angelic voice, and sounds an awful lot like something you'd hear on The CW, if that's your thing -- but because I immediately wondered if Modified was going to start booking some "bigger" shows again, connecting with its long history of bringing independent music to downtown.

Of course, I had cause to suspect a change. After all, coordinator Kim Larkin is leaving the gallery, and it seems if there was ever going to be a shift from the quiet, intimate gigs she's been hosting -- shows that resolutely fall in line with the venue's reputation as an art gallery first -- now would be the time.

Modified Arts to Host Ari Herstand on August 6

But if the venue does plan on returning to a more music-based format, this isn't the show that signals it.

"This show is not any sign of any changes in programming at Modified Arts," says Stephen "Psyko" Chilton. "For the last year, Modified has hosted a intimate performances of
cutting edge live music. The Ari Herstand [show] fits in with this programming
as much as it does the programming from the past."

Chilton booked Herstand back in April at the Hard Rock Cafe, when he was touring with a rock band, but for this show, Chilton wanted a more homey feel.

Herstand will perform solo, recording and looping tracks live to create the sounds of his albums.

Like most of Phoenix, I caught a lot of great shows at Modified while it was open. There was something about the spirit of the place that made dealing with the heat and rank sewage smell all worth it. Larkin and crew did a fantastic job cleaning the place up, and the last time I caught a show there (my friends in A Technicolor Yawn accompanied by Michael Krassner), it was a beautiful and classy place to see a show. I can appreciate the venue's shift toward straight up art space, but still get nostalgic for the days I saw bands like Viva Voce and The Good Life tear it up on the stage. 

Ari Herstand is scheduled to perform August 6, with support from Will Knox.

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