So, how was your weekend? Ours was a pretty busy one as we attended a slew of shows, concerts, and gigs around Metro Phoenix, starting off with George's Strait's swan song at US Airways Center on Friday and concluding with White Denim's well-attended performance last night at the Crescent Ballroom. Plus, the Up on the Sun staff also attended the fantastic Phoenix Rock Lottery, Stone Sour's appearance in Tempe, Slapshot's rowdy night at the Yucca Tap, and even Remezcla PHX at the Monarch Theatre.
How many songs does an artist have to play to make a great concert? 15? That's pretty sub-par for a headliner, but some acts skate by on it. 20? There are many renowned tenured musicians who operate at that number. With a reputation in music circles as King George, however, even that will not be enough.
How about 33? Last night, at the sold-out US Airways Center, George Strait fans that were lucky enough to be online in the first few minutes after tickets went on sale months ago, got their money's worth -- and then some -- 33 tightly woven and timeless ballads that encompassed the legacy of a true pillar of country music. -- Caleb Haley
As the winds of fate would have it, of all the places for Boston's Slapshot to land in the Sonoran landscape, the infamous Tempe watering hole Yucca Tap Room is where the Massachusetts straight edge legends returned to the desert last night after a 20-year absence.
Although the show was technically advertised as free, upon entering the venue for the first time you were strongly recommended to make a donation to a doorman with a cash drawer. Not atypical, and not uncalled for, if only a bit uncomfortable to navigate when you only have two dollars in your wallet. -- Roger Calamaio
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The Monarch Theatre was filled with both the cutting-edge and Latin-infused sounds and throngs of moving bodies on Saturday, February 8, during Remezcla PHX. The self-described "alt-Latino party" featured tastemaking electronica -- including moombahton and live psych-electro – via DJ sets from such burgeoning artists as Mexican Institute of Sound, Tijuana's Los Macuanos, Musa Mind, and Melo. Needless to say, there was much in the way of dancing as attendees grooved to "new and next music from international and local acts that are pushing Latin electronic forward." -- Melissa Fossum
Phoenix Rock Lottery - Crescent Ballroom - 2/9/14
What happens when you take 20 well-known (to varying degrees) local musicians, shuffle them around, and give them only 10 hours to start a band? Crescent Ballroom decided to find out, hosting the Phoenix Rock Lottery on Sunday night. Not only was this a pretty damn cool idea, it benefited Rosie's House, an educational nonprofit that helps kiddies learn piano. D'awwww . . .
Beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, the musicians involved were assembled into randomly selected pools and given the rest of the day to write three originals and practice them, as well as learn one cover. But what came out of this experiment was more than just four weird musical juxtapositions with bizarre names -- it was a testament to the hard work of this here music scene, and given the short turnaround, also proves these singers, guitarists, drummers, bassists, keyboardists, and what have you are some incredibly talented individuals...Read More.
Stone Sour - Marquee Theatre - 2/9/14
Generally, when singers of huge bands decide to launch side projects or go back to rekindle the rock 'n' roll romance of bands they started before hitting the big time, it's because they don't like having time off, have material that doesn't quite fit into their platinum-selling band's repertoire, or are trying to help out their musician friends who didn't make it.
This kind of band usually does a couple of tours and isn't taken overly serious by itself or its fans. Stone Sour is not that kind of band...Read More
White Denim - Crescent Ballroom - 2/10/14
You could say that White Denim has had a great week. They performed on Conan last Thursday, and then they played two sold-out shows at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. And then they hit Phoenix on a Monday night for a packed concert at Crescent Ballroom.
After an invigorating, organ-tastic set by Nashville's Clear Plastic Masks, White Denim sounded sterile to start. James Petralli, prone to pulling the mic away from his mouth when he sings, came off timid during the first two songs ("Pretty Green" and "Corsicana Lemonade," both from the band's latest release, Corsicana Lemonade), but his verbosity progressed with the night and he was practically eating the mic during belts in "Cheer Up/Blues Ending" -- also from the aforementioned album.
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